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Do Parents Have to Pay for Their Children's Crimes in Arizona?

When one becomes a parent, they automatically assume a lot of responsibility that will last at least until their child’s 18th birthday, if not longer. At first, parents shoulder the costs of diapers, wipes, health insurance, doctors visits, daycare, clothing, and food.

As the child gets older, the expenses get higher. Parents have to start thinking about swimming lessons, dance classes, karate classes, football, cheerleading, bicycles, skateboards, cellphones, laptops, auto insurance (ouch), a car, and so on. Truly, children are the greatest gift a parent can ask for, but they can be quite expensive!

Parents Have a Legal Responsibility

Until a child reaches the age of adulthood, 18, their parents are legally responsible for them. This means if a child breaks something at a gift shop, the parents may have to pay for it. If a child breaks someone’s window with a baseball, the parents could have to pay for it.

If a high school student physically assaults another minor, the parents can be sued by the other child’s family. If a teenager gets a speeding ticket and doesn’t have the money to pay for it, does that mean it doesn’t get paid? Nope. The parents are on the hook for it. The same goes for the fees assessed for a juvenile offense.

“Why do I, the parent, have to pay for my child’s mistakes?” Since parents are ultimately responsible for their children until they turn 18-years-old, parents are financially responsible for their children’s actions. However, if a parent cannot afford the fines or fees assessed for their child’s criminal conduct, the parent can apply to the court for a fee waiver or deferral.

If your son or daughter is facing criminal charges for a juvenile crime in Phoenix or the surrounding areas, we urge you to contact our firm to request a free case evaluation with Attorney Davidson, a former prosecutor. We’d be glad to answer your questions and help you explore your legal options.