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The many consequences teens can face for misdemeanors

Stop and think about what you were like in middle school or high school. Think about all the mistakes you made and silly things you might have thought were the most important things in the world. You could be quite happy to have put that time behind you and relieved that any decisions you made back then stayed in the past.

However, this isn't how it is for everyone. Teenagers charged with crimes like underage drinking or minor drug offenses can experience serious penalties that follow them for years. Below, we examine some of the consequences teens might suffer for a criminal conviction. 

Criminal consequences

A criminal conviction could lead to time in jail, fines and orders for community service and/or probation. These consequences can make it very difficult for a teenager to get back on the right track after an offense. And having one offense on their record already could lead to harsher penalties if a young person recommits in the future.

Academic and extracurricular penalties

Certain behaviors like underage drinking or drug use can lead to serious penalties in school and school-related activities. A student could be suspended, kicked off an athletic team or lose a critical scholarship. This could have a detrimental impact on their future opportunities and ambitions.

Social, personal repercussions

Thanks to social media and the internet, news of a person's legal missteps can quickly spread with a few clicks of the mouse. For instance, many parents today had or used a fake ID as a teen to get into certain places or buy certain things. Getting caught with one might have led to some embarrassment among the people around you, but today, such an incident can show up the next day in a news story.

Helping your teen avoid overly harsh penalties

Considering all that can be at stake for a young person facing these types of offenses, it can be crucial for Tennessee parents to help their children minimize exposure to harsh consequences. While it is understandable to be angry and disappointed as a parent, a child should not have to suffer consequences into adulthood for minor teenage transgressions.

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