For many people, their teen years can be an exciting time, but also a bewildering one. You have your youth, so you have energy and vitality. However, you don’t have much life experience yet, so you’re trying to learn your place in the world.
As you meet new individuals and experience new situations, you’ll learn more about yourself and your values. Your beliefs start to form that will likely stick with you throughout your life.
It can be a thrilling time, but as a teen, it’s also easy to get yourself in trouble. You might want to push boundaries a bit in various ways, and running afoul of the law is possible.
In this article, we’ll go over four scenarios where teenagers will need to hire a lawyer to get themselves out of a legal entanglement.
You Had Sex with Someone Who Was Underage
When you turn eighteen, the government legally considers you an adult, regardless of the state in which you live. Once that happens, you might not necessarily feel like a grownup yet, but the courts can charge you as one if you get yourself in trouble. You might decide to pursue a relationship or have a sexual encounter with someone you meet.
However, you may discover that:
- This individual is younger than you
- The law legally considers this person to be a minor
For instance, if the individual who you meet and pursue a relationship with is only fourteen, and you’re eighteen, the law can try to hit you with a statutory rape charge if you decide to become intimate with them. That’s certainly a scenario where you’ll need to hire a sex offense lawyer.
That’s why, before you engage in sexual contact with anyone, you should be sure they’re old enough for you to do so. Some teenagers do look older than they actually are, and it never hurts to confirm their age before you do something you’ll regret later.
You Vandalized Something
Some teens deal with anger issues. That can happen because:
- The person you like doesn’t feel the same way
- Your parents are getting a divorce
If you feel angry, you might lash out in different ways. You may feel destructive and want to act out on those feelings.
A teen’s brain is not fully grown yet. This means you might not have the impulse control that an older adult would have.
You need to try to control your temper. You might seek therapy to help you get through a rough patch you’re experiencing. If the cops catch you after you vandalized something, you’ll undoubtedly need a good lawyer for that reason as well.
You Got in a Fight
You might get in a fight at school or maybe around your neighborhood. Perhaps someone said something about you that you didn’t like. It could be that they were trying to bully you, and you were just defending yourself.
As you were fighting, maybe you knocked the other person down, and they hit their head. That’s an easy way to sustain a traumatic brain injury. You probably didn’t mean to hurt them that badly, but never the less, it happened, and now they or their parents might bring legal action against you.
You’ll need to hire a lawyer to represent you in court if the case goes to trial. The injured party or their family might bring a civil lawsuit against you. You’ll need a lawyer who can talk about the mitigating circumstances that led to what happened.
You Hurt Someone in a Car Accident
In many states, you can get your license and drive by age sixteen, if not before. At that age, kids don’t have a lot of driving experience yet.
Your parents might buy you a used car so you can get to and from school, or work if you have a part-time job. Maybe you get in a car accident that was clearly your fault.
This is another situation where you might seriously hurt someone. Maybe the other driver suffered some broken bones, or worse.
Unfortunately, even though you’re still quite young, you might have done the other person some serious damage, in which case they might bring civil charges against you. If you were texting on your phone or something else distracted you when the crash occurred, you or your family might have to pay a hefty penalty for that. Perhaps your lawyer can arrange a suitable settlement out of court.