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Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor: F.S. 827.04
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Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor - Florida Statute 827.04 defines the crime of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. A person is guilty of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor if they commit “any act which causes, tends to cause, encourages, or contributes to a child becoming a delinquent...”
The most common example of this crime is giving someone under the age of 18 an alcoholic beverage, whether it be a beer or mixed drink. This is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law which means that, if convicted, you could be facing up to twelve (12) months in the county jail. This charge is also seen when a child under 18 is caught drinking or smoking pot at their parent’s house (or at their friend’s parent’s house) and the parents get charged. There are defenses to these charges.
For example, in one case from 2004, the defendant was charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor because his daughter was smoking pot given to her by her boyfriend and drinking alcohol she took from her mother. The trial court found that while these things were happening in the defendant father’s home, he did not know it. Because he did not know about it, he was required to be found not guilty of the charges.