Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

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Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Adults and children cannot be friends when the adult is involved in activities that contribute to the delinquency of a child. Adults who encourage minors to take part in acts involving juvenile delinquency can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor or (CDM).

In most states, a minor is anyone under the age of 18. The consequences of contributing to the delinquency of a minor can be serious. You should contact a criminal defense attorney if you are charged with this crime. Examples of contributing to the delinquency of a minor may include:

  • Serving alcohol to a child or minor

  • Buying alcohol for a minor

  • Using or manufacturing drugs in the presence of a minor

  • Exposing minors to illegal activities and behavior

  • Engaging in sexual misconduct with a child

  • Showing pornography to minors

  • Exposing minors to sexual exploitation, such as prostitution and sexual trafficking

You need to remember that if you are caught providing alcohol to a minor, you may not only be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor but also may be charged with providing alcohol to individuals under the legal drinking age of 21.

According to Massachusetts Law/Part1/TitleXVII/Chapter119/Section 63:

"Any person who shall be found to have caused, induced, abetted, or encouraged or contributed toward the delinquency of a child, or to have acted in any way tending to cause or induce such delinquency, may be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. The court may release on probation under section 87 of chapter 276, subject to such orders as it may make as to future conduct tending to cause, induce or contribute to such delinquency, or it may suspend sentence under section one of chapter 279, or before trial, with the defendant's consent, it may allow the defendant to enter into a recognizance, in such penal sum as the court may fix, conditioned to comply with such terms as the court may order for the promotion of the future welfare of the child, and the said case may then be placed on file. The provisions for recognizance in section 56 shall be applicable to cases arising hereunder. The divisions of the juvenile court department shall, within their respective territorial limits, have exclusive jurisdiction over complaints alleging violations of this section."

Since there are various levels and elements involving the contribution to the delinquency of a minor in Massachusetts Law, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can examine your case and how the law affects your situation and select the best defense for your case.

In many instances, adults can be charged with CDM even if the minor does not really commit an act of delinquency. You can be charged with CDM if the activity intended to cause delinquency and endangerment of a child. In Massachusetts a crime of reckless endangerment of a child involves any reckless behavior or engagement that creates a risk of bodily harm or sexual abuse of a minor. If you fail to take appropriate actions to reduce these risks, you can be charged with the reckless endangerment of a child, as well. The punishment can include serving time in jail.

If you have been accused or arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the consequences can be serious. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you and your family with legal advice that may help reduce your punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about you and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.