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Most Common Juvenile Crimes

— August 20, 2020

The punishments meted out for juvenile offenses tend to be milder than they are for adult offenses, but they can still be very serious.

“Kids will be kids” is a pretty common refrain that is meant to excuse and explain the kinds of mischief and misbehavior that young people sometimes get up to. While most of those transgressions are relatively harmless, some rise to the level of juvenile crimes and are patently illegal. These can have serious consequences on that kid’s present as well as their future. The reason is that it could have a negative impact on their education if they are forced to miss school because they were put in a juvenile detention center and that could affect their future career prospects.

Fortunately, juvenile crimes have been steadily decreasing over the years, but they have not been eliminated completely. A juvenile is someone eighteen or younger and if your child gets into legal trouble, then you will need a good defense lawyer to represent them. That is because an attorney can get their sentence reduced or dismissed so that the charge does not end up destroying their life. A Miami defense law firm can help any juvenile offenders from Florida but it is best if the juvenile never commits a crime in the first place. So be on the lookout to make sure that your child is not going down the wrong path by committing any of these crimes.


One of the most common juvenile crimes is petty theft, usually involving shoplifting. Petty theft is described as the theft of an object or a group of objects worth less than $500. These types of crimes tend to go unnoticed or are underreported, usually because the items stolen are disposable and/or cheap. Nonetheless, if a juvenile gets caught, they could face serious consequences for their actions.


Teenagers get into fights all the time and while many of them are quickly broken up or don’t amount to much more than some minor scuffling, some fights reach the level of assault. Juveniles who commit assault may not limit their offense to other juveniles as they could assault adults as well. Bullying or a problem with authority figures may be the cause of many instances of assault, but regardless of the reason, this kind of offense is considered to be very serious because violence is involved.

Underage Crimes

Young man in hoodie vaping; image by Nery Zarate, via
Young man in hoodie vaping; image by Nery Zarate, via

Some crimes that juveniles commit are only crimes by virtue of the perpetrator being underage. That means acts such as drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, using recreational drugs in states where doing so is legal, or even just driving. If the person doing any of these activities is below the legal age limit, then they could get into trouble.

Sex Offenses

Some of the sex offenses committed by teens may be deliberate, such as sexual assault or abuse, but some of them may be inadvertent. This can be acts such as taking or sending nude photos of other teenagers, which can be interpreted as the possession or trafficking of child pornography. 


Idle teenagers will often commit acts of vandalism against other people’s property. The most common acts of vandalism are graffitiing private property, keying cars, and breaking windows.

Drug Crimes

Some teenagers will use and abuse various kinds of drugs. These can range from recreational drugs like marijuana to prescription drugs like oxycontin. Teenagers will also sometimes use stimulants like Adderall to help them with their scholarly pursuits.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Teenage Children

The punishments meted out for juvenile offenses tend to be milder than they are for adult offenses, but they can still be very serious. If your child has got into legal trouble, then you will need to hire an attorney to help them. However, it is best if they never get to the point where they need an attorney in the first place. 

That means you should pay close attention to who your teenager hangs out with and what they get up to when you are not around. Giving them boundaries is always a good idea as long as they are not too restrictive, otherwise they might try to break out in a destructive way. Ultimately, it is up to your child to keep themselves out of trouble, but it is up to you to set them on the right path.

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