In Utah, there are circumstances in which a parent or legal guardian may be held financially responsible for juvenile property damage.
Get Out Your Wallet
A parent or legal guardian can be liable for juvenile property damage up to $2000 when:
• The juvenile intentionally damages, defaces, destroys or steals someone’s property
• The juvenile recklessly or willfully shoots or propels some type of missile or other object at or against a motor vehicle, bus, airplane, boat, train/train car—whether the vehicle is moving or stationary
• The juvenile purposefully tampers with someone else’s property, recklessly endangering someone’s life or threatening a public utility service
The cost to a guardian of juvenile property damage goes up to $5000 when:
• One of the above-mentioned offenses occurs due to a juvenile’s association with any criminal street gang
Graffiti Counts as Property Damage
Defacing or tampering with a person’s property includes the application of graffiti.
Encourage Good Behavior
If you’re the type of parent who, with reasonable effort, tried to dissuade your child from causing property damage and you reported any knowledge of the damage to the property owner or police, you might not be held financially responsible after all. That does, however, depend upon the judgment of a juvenile court judge.
Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney
We know that lots of good kids make mistakes, which is why it’s important to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney if your child has any run-ins with the law. Even kids deserve to be treated with respect and have access to the advice of legal counsel, regardless of their prior actions.
Do your child a favor and call a Utah juvenile defense attorney today. It’s not too late to help your son or daughter get back on the right track.