Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
Criminal statutes in the State of Florida have a reputation for being vague and difficult to understand. This is not an unintentional aspect of the legislative process. Prosecution for crime is a huge moneymaker for the State and the fines and court costs that are associated with criminal convictions go toward funding the projects pushed forward by our politicians and special interests. For that reason, legislators criminalize a great many types of conduct, drag their feet on repealing unjust criminal laws—ones that punish minorities more harshly than others—such as cannabis possession and prostitution, and draft statutes that are purposefully vague and difficult to interpret in order to charge as many people with crimes as possible.
Sometimes, these offenses actually are created with an actual purpose in mind, but are simply so vague that they are used by police and prosecutors to charge people with crimes when other, more specific statutes will not do the trick. The offense of contributing to the delinquency of a minor is one of those criminal statutes. Crimes against children are considered especially heinous in the criminal justice system, and are therefore prosecuted and punished more harshly than many other types of crimes. The statute criminalizing contributing to the delinquency of a minor is sort of a catchall offense when a minor child appears to be the victim of some crime or neglect, but a clear criminal statute does not exist to punish the people responsible. If you have been charged with any criminal offense involving children, you should immediately contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to aid you in your case.Elements of Contributing to the Delinquency or Dependency of a Child
The crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor is penalized in Florida Statute Section 827.04. Under the law, it is a crime for any person to commit an act which causes contributes to or encourages a child to become delinquent, dependent, or to become a minor in need of services. Delinquency is essentially when a child is deemed to have committed a crime, thus the common term “juvenile delinquent.” The criminal justice system holds juveniles to a lesser standard, and the juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate rather than punish children who are charged with crime. And the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor actually punishes those who encourage or entice a minor to become a delinquent—to commit crime.
The statute further punishes those who induce, threaten, or persuade a child to commit any act, or do any conduct that results in the child becoming dependent, delinquent or in need of services. A child who is dependent is one who is to be taken from his parents or legal guardians and placed as a ward of the state. And a child in need of services is defined as one who is required to receive government services as a result of the actions of the defendant. The justice system treats those who mistreat, neglect or harm children with malice. So if you have been charged with such a crime, you should quickly contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
The penalties associated with being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor can potentially be serious. If you are found guilty of the offense, you could be convicted of a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to a year in jail. While most misdemeanor offenders don’t face any serious jail time, it is always risky to deal with cases involving minor child victims.Speak to the Lawyers at Hanlon Law
Our lawyers will zealously and compassionately fight for the best resolution to your case, no matter what the public opinion might be. We have the skills and experience to achieve the best results for our clients. Call today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.