Most parents know that they will have to confront the weighty subjects of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs at some point. Nobody wants their child to be brought home in a squad car that just broke up a party. That is why one approach parents have sometimes taken this is allowing their underage children to partake as long as they do so with their supervision.
Despite some parents having done this over the years, knowingly permitting a minor to drink, smoke or take drugs in their home is against the law. Allowing this behavior can lead to serious charges for the parent which can result in heavy fines and even jail time.
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
As explained in California Penal Code 272, it is illegal for an adult to allow or knowingly turn a blind eye to a minor doing anything that allows the child to violate the law. This is a broad definition that includes several things, including:
- A father allowing his 17-year-old son and his friends to drink alcohol in his garage.
- A 20-year-old woman giving cigarettes to her 15-year-old friend.
- An aunt turning a blind eye to her 16-year-old niece using her recreational marijuana.
California takes these actions seriously. Anyone caught doing these or similar actions can be charged and sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This is not limited to adults; minors who provide substances to other minors can face similar charges.
There is no time to waste if you find yourself facing these types of charges. The best thing you can do is to speak with an experienced attorney right away. Even if the situation appears bad, they will help you devise an effective defense. There are several ways you could overcome these charges, including:
- If you tried to intervene but your child was out of control
- If you did not know that the person was a minor
- If you were simply falsely accused and were not involved
These are only a few examples; your attorney will look at the facts of your situation and determine how best to defend you and your rights.
The future of the next generation is the responsibility of everyone, including their parents, relatives, siblings and mentors. Trying to do right by them is the best way to give them a shot at a positive future and a better world for everyone.