Juvenile Delinquencies

What is a Juvenile?

In the State of New Hampshire, a delinquent is an individual aged 18 or under who commits the adult equivalent of a felony or misdemeanor. To be considered a juvenile, the offender must be expressly found to be in need of counseling, supervision, treatment, or rehabilitation as a consequence of their actions.

Parental Responsibility

When a minor is charged with a crime and due to appear in the court, there are certain things the parent or guardian must do.

  1. Personally attend and assure the attendance of the minor at all court proceedings.
  2. Personally attend and assure the attendance of the minor at any Department of Health and Human Services meetings and other meetings required by the court.
  3. Supervise the minor’s compliance with court orders such as rehab, counseling, classes, mediation, or community service.

Failure to supervise or otherwise accept responsibility carries up to a $1000 fine and 90 days in jail. To avoid this, the parent or guardian needs to make sure they make reasonable efforts to comply with court orders.

Who is a minor?

A minor is:

  1. A child who committed a crime prior to their 18th birthday.
  2. Has committed a crime prior to their 19th birthday but has consented to the court trying them as a minor.
  3. One who is attending high school or a GED program and is considered likely to receive a diploma.

When a minor is tried, the court is allowed to sentence the minor to a sentence that lasts longer than the minor’s 19th birthday.

Who is NOT a minor:

  1. One who is 21 years of age.
  2. One who has graduated from high school or has received a GED.
  3. One who ceases to be enrolled as a full-time student during normal sessions of school.
  4. When a minor revokes their own status as a minor and it is approved by the court.

What Happens?

Officers can arrest a minor in the same way they arrest any other citizen.

A court will always attempt to act in the best interest of the minor. This includes steps such as pretrial diversion programs.

For certain crimes, a minor can be tried as an adult. This means they no longer receive protections minors do, and are tried as if they were any other adult. This is normally only done in the instance of very serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, or robbery.

If a minor is arraigned, they are not allowed to be detained at any facility where adults who are charged, convicted, or committed for criminal offenses are simultaneously detained.

Children under the age of 11 are not to be placed in youth detention centers unless done so under the recommendation of an appropriate agency.


If a minor is found guilty of vandalism, a court will order the child to start by writing a formal apology.

The court can also order the minor to write a report on the history and significance of the property or to help fix and restore the damaged property.

The minor and their family can also be liable for up to $10,000 in damages. The court can allow payments to be made in installments for up to 7 years.