In today’s society, after-school programs are few and far between and social media displays the current activities of anyone with a cell phone. This combination can lead to a lifestyle of competition and mischievousness for bored teenagers who want to fit in. Sometimes, their eagerness for acceptance and recognition among their peers gets them into trouble. The concern comes when the trouble, though possibly harmless, involves legal action, which could tarnish their record for a lot longer than the four years they’ll spend in high school.
A common conviction showing up on the records of juveniles is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor convictions can include things such as making fake I.D.’s, littering, vandalism, minor thefts, and simple assault due to physical altercations with their peers. Oftentimes, having a misdemeanor conviction brings no jail time. The immediate consequences are usually small and can include fines, suspension from school, or community service, just to name a few.
While a misdemeanor doesn’t seem like a big deal, the effects can be far-reaching. If the conviction stays on their record, which it most often does, a convicted person can face problems getting a job. Most employers do background checks. While this may be the only thing on their record, when coming up against many other potential employees, the employer is more likely to choose the ones without blemishes on their records.
Not only does having a record affect employment opportunities, it can affect college applications. Most colleges ask whether the applicant has committed crimes and will require further explanation of those crimes. The applicant is placed under more scrutiny than those without records.
A few other things that a misdemeanor record can complicate are housing applications, loan applications, and also family rights, should the convicted person pursue custody of a child down the road. Teenagers are often not aware of the significant impacts that one night of antics can have on the rest of their life.
If you are the parent of a teenager who is in legal trouble and would like help to keep your child’s record clean, consider calling a Lebanon Criminal Law Attorney at Henry & Beaver, LLP. Their criminal defense lawyers have a wide range of experience in dealing with juvenile defense cases.