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Juvenile Law Assignment Help

There are many possible status offenses. Name three you feel are the most serious and explain why.

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Introduction

A status offense,in a juvenile law, is a behavior which will not considered as a crime if it is done by an adult. In other words, status offenses are those actions which involve the violations of laws only because the status of the youth is minor. There are several possible status offenses in the juvenile law of the countries which are handled by the juvenile justice systems of the country. The paper will consider three serious status offenses, truancy, violation of juvenile curfew laws and possession and consumption of alcohol. It will also explain the reasons for considering the three status offenses as serious offenses.

Three Status Offenses in Juvenile Law

The three most serious status offenses in juvenile law are given below:

- Truancy

- Violations of Juvenile Curfew Laws

- Possession and consumption of Alcohol

Status Offense 1

Truancy - That minor child is called truant if school is skipped by him or her without the knowledge of their guardians or parents and any valid excuse.Different countries and schools have different rules to determine the number of absences before a student is considered a truant (Bennett, Mazerolle, Antrobus, Eggins & Piquero, 2018). In some countries,it is three each year, and in some other countries, the number of absences is 18 per year. The Truancy Laws are firstenforced by the schools and even have the power to refer to the cases of truancy to the juvenile courts if needed.

The police officers have the legal authority for detaining the truant children those who are outside the schools. Several countries even hold the guardians or parents for the truancy of their children, impose fines or send the parents to the jail those who fail to make sure that their child is in school (Dahl, 2016). Truancy makes most of the cases of status offense in the juvenile law and survey have shown a strong connection between truancy and future criminality as well as difficulties in schools (Havik, Bru & Ertesvåg, 2015). For all these reasons, several countries, states as well as schools, have started to crack down on the truancy.

Truancy is considered a serious status offense since it not only impacts the students but also affect the schools as well as the communities. It also has the potential to reduce the economy of the country and thus viewed as a serious issue for the nation.

Status Offense 2

Violation of Juvenile Curfew Laws - The violation of curfew laws is subject to some controversies. The rules of the curfew are imposed locally, by countries or by cities. Generally, during curfew, the young people under the specific age, typically 18 years from being in public places during particular hours, for example between 11 pm and 6 am (Carr & Doleac, 2018). Most of the ordinances of curfew have some exceptions such as travelling to and from work or events of schools. The curfews are enacted by the governing bodies of the local areas with the aim to prevent juvenile crimes and keep the peace.

The handling of curfew violations and the imposing of penalties varies by depending on the localities or cities. In some of the jurisdictions, the violators of the curfew are brought by the police to the centerwhere they wait to be picked up by their guardians or parents (Wilson, Olaghere & Gill, 2016). The police officers are often given the authority to warn the violators or take the minor child to the home. The violators of curfew sometimes faces fines, enrollment in after-school programmes, compulsory community services or loss of privileges of driver's licenses (Chappell, 2019) In some of the extreme cases, a violator of curfew may end up in juvenile hall and in some cases, the parents those who intentionally allow the violations of curfew can even be fined.

Some challenges have occurred in some of the curfew laws based on the violations of juveniles' First Amendment rights of free speech (Cho & Mellow, 2018). One of the examples is the curfew law fixedby the city of Rochester in New York. The Court of Appeals of New York struck down that law is unconstitutional, but several other ordinances of curfew have been upheld after being challenged in the courts.
Most of the curfew laws are enacted on the basis of the degree ofcriminal activities in the communities and community preferences. So, violation of juvenile curfew laws is considered a serious status offense as it can lead the young people towards criminal activities.

Status Offense 3

Possession and Consumption of Alcohol - Illegal possession and consumption of alcohol by the minors are punished by the Underage Drinking and Minor-in-Possession Laws. These laws also punish those people who serve or sell alcohol to the minors. In most of the countries, the legal age of drinking is 21 years. Under Underage Drinking and Minor-in-Possession Laws, when an individual under the legal age of drinking is found to be possessing alcohol, the following punishments can take place:

- Payment of fines

- Revocation of driver's license at least for 30 days

- Community Services

- Enrollment in Alcohol Education Programmes

While giving punishment, the age of the offender is considered, whether during the offensethe minor was intoxicated legally, has a history of minor-in-possession offenses or any unlawful behavior in the past (Grossman, Gonzalez-Nahm, Frost & Benjamin-Neelon, 2018). In most of the countries, it is also a crime under the law for those persons of legal age of drinking such as store clerks or friends to provide or buy alcohol to persons under the legal age of drinking.

In some of the countries, the legal guardians or parents are legally allowed to serve alcohol to their child as long as the child drinks alcohol in the presence of the adult either in a family residence or in a private location (Erickson, Lenk, Toomey, Nelson & Jones-Webb, 2016). In some specific countries, there are some exceptions, such as where the minors can only possess and cannot drink alcohol at the working hours or can drink only at the time of religious ceremonies.

Possession and consumption of alcoholare considered a serious status offense because this behavior of the minors can lead to serious legal and health issues to them. As per a recent survey, nearly 50% of teenagers those who consume alcohol are under the age of 15 (Romano, Scherer, Fell & Taylor, 2015). By 18 years of age, almost 70% have taken at least one drink. More than 5000 minors die each year, and nearly 90,000 are injured due to the consumption of alcohol.

Conclusion

The paper considered three serious status offenses, truancy, violation of juvenile curfew laws and possession and consumption of alcohol. It also explained the reasons for considering the three status offenses as serious offenses. Each year almost 20% of the juveniles are arrested due to status offenses. The status offenses are like warning signals, which shows that the minors and the teenagers need supervision or other assistance and supports to avoid delinquency in the future. Thus, it is incredibly vital to ensure that they are referred to those programmes that have proven results. Sometimes the parents can also be made to attend counselling sessions by the courts.

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