What is Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Virginia?
Virginia Code § 18.2-371 states:
Any person 18 years of age or older, including the parent of any child, who (i) willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition that renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected as defined in § 16.1-228 or (ii) engages in consensual sexual intercourse or anal intercourse with or performs cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus upon or by a child 15 or older not his spouse, child, or grandchild is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This section shall not be construed as repealing, modifying, or in any way affecting §§ 18.2-18, 18.2-19, 18.2-61, 18.2-63, and 18.2-347.
There are essentially two aspects to this charge, sexual and non-sexual.
The non-sexual aspect of this charge can become somewhat of a “catch-all” and can be common, especially among young adults who may socialize or frequently interact with individuals who are legally minors. For example, it would not be unusual for an 18, 19, 20, or 21 year old to be around 16 and 17 year olds on occasion. This charge can also include family members.
One may find themselves facing a charge for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor if they are with minors who are accused of a crime and arrested, or they are accused of being part of an alleged criminal act that involves minors as well. If you are an adult, and you are with minors who are arrested for any reason, and it appears you facilitated the crime in any way, you may pick up this charge.
What is the Penalty?
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This is the most ‘serious’ level of misdemeanor, and carries a risk of up a $2,500 fine and 1 year of jail time.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you have been charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, you should absolutely hire an attorney. This can be a serious charge, and a qualified attorney can help you fight it. Contact our attorneys Farheena Siddiqui and Brian Szmak if you have been charged with this crime.