What are the Consequences of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor 

Police handcuffs and criminal fingerprints card, closeup

Although it is rather unfortunate, at times, adults are responsible for pushing a child towards a life of crime. Minor delinquents can grow up to be seasoned criminals if they are not aware of their crimes and corrected from an early age. Anyone who contributes to the delinquency of a minor by encouraging children to engage in malpractices and petty crimes can be convicted and sent to jail. Minors and kids in their late teens are easy to manipulate, and any adult taking advantage has to face strict consequences. 

Helping a child acquire alcohol or drugs, getting fake IDs, helping them perform shoplifting or burglaries, or forcing them into sexual acts can be considered a serious offense. 

Here are some of the consequences you are likely to face, depending on how the court of law categorizes the crime.


If you are suspected and convicted of contributing to minor delinquency, then you can be heavily fined for it. Acts like allowing a child to drive, helping minors buy alcohol or buying it for them, or telling a minor to ignore parking tickets, can lead to hefty penalties, climbing up to a few hundred dollars. In states where the laws are stringent regarding drinking for minors, you can even be sent to jail.

Sent to Prison

For severe offenses like causing accidents, burglary, or forcing a minor into performing sexual activities, you could also be sent to jail. These crimes are considered very serious throughout the US. Depending on the nature of the crime, you can be sentenced to a few years as well. If an adult is repeatedly offending in contributing to minor delinquent behaviors, they can also be sentenced for life as they are perceived as a threat to society. 

Degree of Charges

Usually, the first time an adult is convicted of contributing to minor delinquency, their offense is categorized as a misdemeanor. They are usually fined, and the amount can be around $1000. Only if the charges are very severe are they sent to prison.

The second time the adult is convicted of contributing to juvenile delinquency, it is considered a felony. The second conviction could land the adult in prison for three years, and the fine can go up to $5000. 

Special Cases

In some states, in case an adult contributes to the delinquency of a minor by helping the child commit an act which would be considered a felony had a grown person committed it, the adult would be awarded the maximum punishment for that crime, regardless of whether he had done it himself or helped a minor do it. The crime of the adult is the same in both cases. 

Hence, if an adult knowingly helps, abets, or encourages illegal activities in minors or forces them into committing crimes, the consequences can be severe. If you are in charge of a minor, it is of utmost importance that you look out for the activities they engage in and with the kind of people they start mingling with within their late teenage years.