Georgia has a number of parental responsibility laws that can hold a parent or guardian liable for both criminal and civil acts that a minor may be involved in. The liability may include financial responsibility up to $10,000 plus court costs in property damage and/or medical expenses.
Parental Responsibility Duty
In Georgia, parental responsibility refers to the liability for both the criminal and civil acts committed by a minor, or child under 18 years of age. The law implies that parents have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to supervise their minor child, and they may become legally and financially responsible if that child causes harm to a person or property.
Parental Liability Laws
In the State of Georgia, a parent can be held liable and financially accountable for the willful or malicious acts of their minor children. These parental liability laws cover intentional, malicious, or reckless behavior, not injuries or damage caused by an accident or unforeseeable circumstances.
Examples of Intentional or Malicious Acts
There are numerous examples of an intentional or malicious act which causes damage or harm. Some of the more common behaviors that a parent can become liable for include:
- Spray painting a school, public property, private business
- Destroying property in hate crimes (race, religion, sexual preference)
- Vandalism to government, school, private property
- Defacing national or state flags, monuments or historical markers, cemetery headstones
- Bullying others at school
- Fighting with injury
- Throwing objects causing damage or injury
- Personal injury that occurs during any of the above
Georgia Statistics on Crimes by Minors
In 2015, 22,701 minors were arrested in Georgia. In 2016 there were 741 cases of vandalism, 37 cases of arson, and over 8,000 charges for disorderly conduct and other illegal behaviors – all of which a parent or guardian could become liable for when property damage or physical injury is reported.
Parental Responsibility Attorney
When a child is detained or accused of behavior that makes you legally and financially responsible and liable, call the attorney who can provide the needed expertise and guidance in these stressful situations. Call the office of Attorney Joel Baskin for a confidential evaluation of your situation.