Law Office of James M. Brun, LLC
Free Initial Consultation / Calls Answered 24/7 877-508-0661

Status offense versus misdemeanor and felony

Did you realize that if you are under the legal age in Kansas, you can't buy cigarettes and you can be charged with a "status" offense if you skip school? It is true. Possession of alcohol and drinking alcohol are both status offenses. The reason for this is based on "parens patriae" which translates as protecting juveniles from certain harmful activities.

In the late 1960s and the 1970s, it was determined that status offenses need to be de-institutionalized. Before this, if a juvenile committed one of the crimes above, he or she was sent to reform school. The authorities decided to instead divert these misguided juveniles to an agency -- and their parents -- for help because they often saw the same faces popping up again and again when they had been to reform school. It was as if the label of juvenile delinquent led them to do worse and worse things.

Many times, just the simple act of caring enough to not send the juvenile to an institution can be enough to divert him or her from a lost life of crime.

Whether or not a juvenile ends up in detention depends on the crime the juvenile committed. If the juvenile committed a misdemeanor, like shoplifting, then he or she could be released after the intake process. If he or she broke into someone's home, this is a felony and the juvenile will likely be placed in juvenile detention until the trial takes place.

If your child is in trouble with the law, an attorney can help you understand how the juvenile justice system works.

Source: FindLaw, "Juveniles and age ("status") offenses," accessed Jan. 22, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Tell Me About Your Legal Matter. Your Case Is Confidential.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

LAW OFFICE OF JAMES M. BRUN, LLC
7211 W 98th Terrace, Suite 140
Overland Park, KS 66212

Toll Free: 877-508-0661
Phone: 913-826-6229
Fax: 913-948-8360
Overland Park Law Office Map