The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Am I Liable for My Child’s Alleged Crimes?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

IL defense attorneyAs a parent, any criminal offenses your child commits will impact you. Though you are not liable for his or her offenses in the sense that if your child commits a criminal act, you could go to jail, you may be held civilly liable for the monetary damages he or she causes to others through his or her actions. The Illinois Parental Responsibility Law outlines the circumstances under which a parent or legal guardian may be liable for the damages victims of a minor’s actions suffer. If you are facing a situation where you believe you may be liable for these kinds of damages, discuss your case with an experienced juvenile defense lawyer.

Examples of Circumstances where a Parent May be Liable for a Minor’s Offenses

There are certain offenses for which a parent may be deemed liable for the damages a minor caused to victims. These include:

  • Shoplifting. A parent may be required to pay restitution to the victim
  • Property damage. Like with shoplifting, the parent of a minor adjudicated of vandalism may be required to compensate the victim for their losses
  • Incidents resulting in injury. You may be liable for the victim’s medical expenses and other injury-related damages

Additionally, you may be required to cover your child’s court costs and any costs incurred by his or her incarceration or probation. A parent may only be held liable for a victim’s “actual damages,” the damages that can be quantified.

Civil Liability for a Minor’s Actions

Civil liability is different from criminal guilty. Even if your son or daughter is not adjudicated delinquent for his or her alleged offense, you may still be deemed civilly liable for the victim’s related damages. This is because the threshold for civil liability is lower than the threshold for criminal guilt.

Keep in mind that this only refers to situations where the victim suffered damages because of the minor’s intentional, malicious actions. When a victim suffers damages due to a minor’s carelessness, like a driver whose car is damaged in a collision with a new driver, the young driver’s parent is not civilly liable for the victim’s damages.

Defending Your Child’s Case with a Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Act in your child’s best interest by contacting a juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible to start developing your son or daughter’s legal defense strategy. Successfully defending his or her case may keep you from being held civilly liable for the damages related to the offense, depending on the surrounding circumstances.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer for Legal Help Today

As a parent, you are responsible for your child’s legal defense strategy and in some cases, your own as well. If your child is facing a juvenile charge and you are facing civil liability for it, get in touch with an experienced Kane County criminal defense lawyer today to start working on your defense strategy. Call our team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 today to schedule your free legal consultation in our office.



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