Judge Sitting at a Desk With Paperwork and a GavelContributing to the delinquency of a minor is a crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, the Commonwealth must prove that you committed each element of the crime before you can be convicted of and sentenced for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Virginia Code §18.2-371 defines the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Only adults, defined as people 18 years old or older, may be charged with this crime. Any adult, including the parent of a child, may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor if the Commonwealth proves one of the following:

  • The adult willfully contributed to, encouraged, or caused any act, omission, or condition that renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected. It is not enough for the government to prove that a child was breaking the law, abused, or neglected. Instead, the government must prove that the adult willfully contributed to or encouraged the behavior. For example, a person may be charged under this statute for deliberately ignoring that a child in their home was using alcohol or drugs.
  • The adult engaged in consensual sex with a child who was 15, 16, or 17 years old who was not their spouse, child, or grandchild. According to this law, consensual sex includes sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, and anilingus. While Virginia Code §18.2-371  is limited to children age 15 or older and excludes certain relatives, other Virginia sex crime laws prohibit sexual acts with younger children and close relatives. Additionally, other charges may be brought against you if the sex was not consensual.

You should not face any criminal penalties if the government fails to prove any element of the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if the government does prove its case against you, you may be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Potential Sentence for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Virginia

A contributing to the delinquency of a minor conviction could result in jail time, a fine, and other consequences. If you are convicted of this Class 1 misdemeanor, your sentence may include up to 12 months in jail, a fine or up to $2,500, or both a fine and jail time. Additionally, a criminal conviction could impact your education, employment, housing, and reputation.

In some cases, contributing to the delinquency of a minor may not be the only charge against you. You could face additional jail time and fines if you are also charged with another crime.

Now Is the Time to Call a Northern Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether contributing to the delinquency of a minor is the only charge against you, or you face multiple charges, you need the help of an experienced Fairfax criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You may contact an attorney if you think you may be charged or if you’ve already been arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The legal team at Greenspun Shapiro PC has more than 80 years of combined trial experience. We aren’t afraid to take tough cases, and we are ready to talk to you about your legal options.

We provide each of our clients with an honest, straightforward assessment of their case. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will thoroughly review all aspects of the case against you and provide you with a realistic idea of what to expect. At each stage of your case, you can expect us to work hard, build a thorough defense, and protect your constitutional and legal rights.

Don’t spend another night worrying about your defense. Instead, please contact us today by completing our online contact form or calling us directly at 703-352-0100. A member of our team will answer your initial questions and schedule your first consultation with a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer.