Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a criminal offense that is generally governed by state laws, and located in a state’s penal or criminal code (statutes). The crime is usually defined as an adult knowingly persuading, inducing, enticing, encouraging, assisting, or facilitating a minor to engage in conduct that would constitute a violation of state or federal law, or of a municipal or local ordinance.
Some common examples of contributing to the delinquency of a minor include:
• purchasing or providing alcoholic beverages for minors;
• providing illegal drugs to minors;
• allowing minors to use illegal drugs or drink alcohol in your presence;
• providing a fake ID to enable a minor to enter a bar, casino, or other adult-only establishment;
• accompanying a minor while the minor commits a criminal act;
• asking, encouraging, or persuading a minor to commit a crime;
• asking or allowing a minor to assist you in committing a crime; and
• encouraging or assisting a minor in driving a vehicle without a license or permit.
In some states the criminal offense of contributing to the delinquency of a minor only applies to parents, guardians, or other adults who had custody and control of the minor at the time of the crime. But in other states any adult who contributes to the delinquency of a minor—as defined by the relevant state statute—may be subject to criminal prosecution.