Common Juvenile Penalties for Juvenile Offenses

Even though each juvenile offense case is different, there are a few common penalties that you can expect your child to face. Here, I will discuss these penalties to help your family prepare for what is next to come.


Fines are one common penalty that juvenile offenders might face. A person likely will have to pay fines to the court, as well as cover any damages that they caused. For example, if your child is accused of shoplifting, they will probably have to give or pay back what they took from the store.

Community Service

Since rehabilitation is one of the major goals in juvenile court, a judge might ask that a juvenile perform community service and contribute to society. Community service is a good opportunity for young people to contribute and learn more about other communities, as well as their own.


If a drug or alcohol problem led to criminal behavior, a judge may order that your child participate in some type of rehabilitation program. This might also be the case if your child has anger issues that led to violence. Rehabilitation programs, whether they are classes or residential programs, can help young people learn to cope with their vices and can prevent future issues.


Probation is a very common penalty for minors. It is a good alternative to jail because it allows minors to continue their education and return to normal life while still ensuring that their behavior is monitored for a certain period of time.

Probation is certainly better than serving a jail sentence, but it can be fairly restrictive. Judges can set conditions for release that they deem appropriate on a case by case basis. Some common conditions for release include:

  • Going to school
  • Going to work
  • Following a curfew
  • Not possessing drugs, alcohol, or firearms
  • Checking in with their probation officer as frequently as deemed appropriate.

If a person breaks their probation, the court can set stricter conditions for probation. If the person continues to break their probation, jail might be considered as an alternative.

Juvenile Detention Facility

Generally, the court does not like to put minors in a juvenile detention facility. However, this might happen depending on a few factors. First, the court will consider your child’s previous offenses. First time offenders generally do not face time in a juvenile detention facility. But, a person with multiple previous offenses might. Your child also might face time if they are charged with a serious offense. As mentioned above, they might face time if they continuously violate probation and the court feels that sending them to a detention facility is the only way to keep them in line.

These are some of the most common forms of juvenile punishment when a minor faces a juvenile offense. It is important to work with the judge and the prosecutor to get your child minimal penalties. I can do this on your family’s behalf. Contact my office at 203-208-3067 to discuss your child’s case in further detail.