Imagine a scenario where a parent quickly runs into a store, leaving their child safely strapped in the car for just a minute. Perhaps they forgot something, or just needed to buy something important quickly. A passerby, concerned for the child’s well-being, assumes the worst and accuses the parent of contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor.
This is a common example of how one act that a person deems harmless can be misinterpreted and lead to a charge of contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor. In Michigan, such situations can lead to serious legal consequences. Let’s explore what this charge entails and why seeking legal counsel is crucial.
What is Contributing to Neglect or Delinquency of a Minor?
Contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor, as outlined by Michigan legislature 750.145, involves actions that encourage or contribute to the unruly or delinquent behavior of a minor. This charge is not exclusive to parents; it can apply to anyone responsible for the welfare of a child.
For this charge to apply, certain elements must be present:
- An adult neglects to fulfill a responsibility or engages in an action;
- This failure to act or specific action either leads to or has the potential to make a minor:
- Dependent on the juvenile court
- A habitual truant
Many situations can often lead to this charge, ranging from keeping a child home from school, to exposing a child to illegal behavior. An adult can face charges for contributing to neglect or delinquency, even if a minor under 17 doesn’t actually commit a delinquent act.
Penalties and Consequences of CDOA
As a misdemeanor offense, being found guilty of contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor can result in fines up to $500, a jail term of up to 90 days, court costs, community service, and probation. This conviction may also lead to a permanent criminal record for those found guilty.
Being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor can significantly affect your chances of securing housing and employment. This may limit opportunities for future jobs, especially those involving children, such as positions in schools or daycares.
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor may also be associated with other offenses, such as selling or furnishing alcoholic liquor to a minor, child endangerment, or neglect charges. Understanding these connections is crucial for a comprehensive legal defense.
Defending Against Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor Charges
An accusation of contributing to the delinquency of a minor hinges on specific facts and circumstances. Simply being near illegal activity is insufficient if the minor is unaware of it. Defending against criminal charges, as in most cases, relies on the unique details of the situation. Common defenses include no harm or minimal risk of harm to the child, lack of responsibility for the child, the child being 17 or older, a mistake in assessing the minor’s age, consent from the minor’s parents, and asserting that the accusation is untrue.
Facing charges related to contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor can be distressing. These cases can also be complex in that the specific circumstances of the case must be analyzed to reveal the truth.
At Duplessis Law, we understand the complexities of these cases and are dedicated to providing compassionate, skilled legal representation. Your future and the well-being of your family are our priorities. If you find yourself entangled in such legal matters, reach out to us for a confidential consultation. Together, we can build a robust defense to protect your rights and navigate the legal issues you may be facing. Don’t face these challenges alone—contact Duplessis Law today.