Can parents be held accountable for a child’s criminal activity?

When your child gets into legal trouble, it is stressful enough dealing with the possibility of him or her being punished. What happens when the law also holds you accountable? Now you have to worry about yourself and how your child’s actions have put you at risk for legal trouble. Is this situation even possible, though? Can the law hold you accountable for your child’s criminal activity? According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, the court can make you accountable for crimes your child commits, but maybe not in the way you may think.

The juvenile court does have jurisdiction over you, which means it can order you to do certain things related to the punishment of your child. This includes making you responsible for any fines or damages. You may also have to take a parenting classes. It is also up to you to ensure your child gets to court for hearing dates and that he or she attends any court appointed meetings. If the court orders you to do something and you do not do it, you could face contempt of court charges.

The law generally does not hold someone responsible for someone else’s actions. However, in the case a juvenile, you as the parent are responsible in some way for the actions of your child. It is up to you to ensure your child does not get into trouble or do things that are illegal. If your child does get in trouble, the court will expect you to be a part of fixing the situation. This information is for education and is not legal advice.