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Can adults be charged in connection with a juvenile crime?

We all know that there are two categories of charges when it comes to committing a crime. People can be charged as adults and people can be charged as juveniles. It all depends on the age of the person who committed the crime, the severity of the crime and the laws of Massachusetts regarding the crime committed. But, what if an adult was involved in the commission of a crime with a juvenile? How is this handled?

When an adult helps a juvenile commit a juvenile delinquency act, he or she can be charged with the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (CDM). The most common time this type of charge is levied against an adult is when he or she provides alcohol to minors or aides them in one way or another to obtain alcohol.

The circumstances surrounding a CDM charge include the following:

  • The adult failed to perform a duty or committed an act
  • The omission or act caused the minor to become one or more of the following:
  • A juvenile court dependent
  • A habitual truant
  • A delinquent

There are exceptions to the CDM charge and they vary from location to location. For example, there are religious exceptions, medical exceptions, educational exceptions, parental consent on private premises, no parental consent on private premises and many more.

As you can see, adults can face charges if they were involved in the commission of a crime with a juvenile. They will simply face the adult version of the charge in Franklin, Massachusetts.

Source: Findlaw, "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor," accessed April 26, 2018

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