“Teen violence” is a term describing violent acts involving children, adolescents, and young adults between the ages of 10 to 24 years old. A young person can be the victim, perpetrator, or both of teen violence. It is also sometimes called “youth violence.”

What Are Examples of Teen Violence?

Teen violence includes behavior such as verbal and physical abuse that do not result in serious injury or death. Physical abuse generally consists of:

  • Slapping
  • Hitting someone with an object
  • Punching
  • Hair-pulling

An example of verbal abuse is cyberbullying.

Can Dating Violence Count as Teen Violence?

Yes. Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behavior between individuals. The behavior is used to control and/or gain power over the person they are dating. This type of violence can occur between adolescents and young adults who are dating one another.

Does Teen Violence Include Serious Criminal Acts?

Yes. Teen violence also includes more serious, violent acts. These acts may be against another teenager or an adult. Examples of criminal acts involving violence that are committed by teens are:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Murder

These criminal acts result in serious injury or death to the victim.

Can I Be Tried as an Adult for a Crime?

Yes. Typically, individuals under the age of 18 years old will be tried as a juvenile in juvenile court. However, in specific circumstances, anyone under the age of 18 years old can be tried as an adult. The criminal act must be one that an adult would commit such as murder.

A teenager may be arrested and initially seen in juvenile court, but the case can be transferred into the adult criminal system by:

  • Direct File: In some states, the prosecutor has the right to decide if the juvenile is tried as an adult
  • Judicial Waiver: A judge decides to transfer the case to adult court
  • Reverse Waiver: The seriousness of the crime makes requires the juvenile be tried as an adult unless ruled it should be remanded to juvenile court
  • Statutory Exclusion: This is an automatic transfer if the crime is serious or the teen has a prior record

Should I Contact a Lawyer about Teen Violence?

Teenagers often act more impulsively and irrationally than adults. This can lead to a teenager acting violent to the point where they are arrested for and charged with a crime, which can then ruin their life before it even really began. If you or a family member is facing a criminal charge as a result of teen violence, contact a criminal lawyer to discuss the charge and figure out how best to defend against it.