Q. VI.1 If a youth, who is over the age of 16, breaks
the law, can the parents be held responsible?
Q. VI.2 If a youth has a Juvenile Record at age 13,
and commits a crime at 16, does he/she have to go to
Q. VI.3 How long does a young person's name remain in
a Juvenile Report?
Q. VI.4 What is the procedure to get a young person's
juvenile record expunged?
Q. VI.5 If a parent is arrested for possession of
drugs or intent to sell drugs, should a CPS report be
Q. VI.6 In regards to CPS, must the name of the
person investigated for child abuse or neglect be
removed from the State Registry if the case is
Q. VI.7 In regards to CPS, unfounded cases are kept
on file and may be reexamined if another report is
made; if another report is not made, is there any
potential adverse impact on the client if the case
has been unfounded?
Q. VI.8 What are the current Domestic Violence Laws
in New York State (arrest, stalking, etc.)?
Q. VI.9 How does one obtain and enforce an Order of
Q. VI.10 What is the average length of jail time for
a teen who is arrested for selling/using marijuana?
Q. VI.11 What is Statutory Rape? When can/should a
CPS report be made and under what conditions is that
report accepted? What is the process after a report
is made? What responsibilities do the police and/or
agency have toward the alleged victim?
Q. VI.12 What does "Y.O. status" mean?
Q. VI.13 What is a "R.A.P. Sheet"? How does
a young person get one?
Q. VI.14 If a mandated reporter calls the CPS
Hotline, does that call have to be accepted?
Q. VI.15 What recourse does an abused youth have when
CPS will not respond?
Q. VI.16 At what age does CPS no longer have
responsibility for a youth? 16? 18? 21?
Q. VI.17 When a young person's probation goals have
been met, and the probation time is coming to an end,
can a parent seek to have the period of probation
Q. VI.1 If a
youth, who is over the age of 16, breaks the law, can
the parents be held responsible?
General Obligation Law 3-112, parents are liable
for damage to public or private property, up to
$5000, caused by the willful or malicious acts of
their children under the age of 18. If the youth
is emancipated and living beyond the lawful
control of the parent, the parent may be relieved
of such liability depending on the circumstances
of the child's emancipation.
Q. VI.2 If a
youth has a Juvenile Record at age 13, and commits a
crime at 16, does he/she have to go to jail?
Q. VI.3 How
long does a young person's name remain in a Juvenile
A. We are
assuming that this question refers to the record
of a child who commits a criminal offense as a
juvenile. Whether or not a record remains depends
upon whether the court, on its own initiative,
expunges the record or whether a motion to seal
the record is granted. Neither occur
automatically and, therefore, unless the record
of juvenile delinquency is sealed or expunged it
remains available. It is also worth noting that a
sealed record can be opened if the young person
is involved in a subsequent adult criminal
Q. VI.4 What
is the procedure to get a young person's juvenile
this question refers to procedures governing
expungement, it is important to describe two
different provisions in the Family Court: one
involving the expungement of records and the
other involving the sealing of records of
Unless a child is actually adjudicated (found to
be) a juvenile delinquent (JD), any record of
juvenile delinquency must be automatically
expunged. Where a JD is withdrawn, dismissed, or
the child is acquitted, the record must be
destroyed. The only exception would require the
county attorney to file a motion with the court
that the record not be expunged. Such motions are
filed very rarely and even when filed, are rarely
granted. The procedure is automatic and should be
noted on the final court order.
Even if the court concludes that the child is a
juvenile delinquent, (except in cases involving a
designated felony) the court may issue an order
sealing the child's record, upon the filing of a
motion. To obtain an order to seal a record of
juvenile delinquency, a motion must be filed with
the Family Court. Such a motion cannot be filed,
however, until the child's sixteenth birthday. If
the initial request for sealing is denied, the
motion may not be renewed for a year, unless the
order of denial permits an earlier renewal. There
does not appear to be any time limit for filing
such a motion. If the young person does not have
a copy of an order sealing or expunging any
record of juvenile delinquency, the young person
should contact his/her law guardian to request
that a motion be filed. Unlike an expungement, a
sealed record of juvenile delinquency may be
opened by the courts in the event of a subsequent
Q. VI.5 If a
parent is arrested for possession of drugs or intent
to sell drugs, should a CPS report be filed?
the possession or the sale of drugs alone is a
basis to suspect that a child may be maltreated.
To file a CPS report, one must suspect that the
child is a victim of neglect or abuse as defined
in the Social Services Law. Of course, when
possession involves drug abuse, it is far more
likely to also involve child abuse or neglect.
Q. VI.6 In
regards to CPS, must the name of the person
investigated for child abuse or neglect be removed
from the State Registry if the case is unfounded?
an unfounded report must be removed from the
State Registry, a record is nonetheless retained
in the event a future report is filed (as a
result in recent changes in Social Service law).
Q. VI.7 In
regards to CPS, unfounded cases are kept on file and
may be reexamined if another report is made; if
another report is not made, is there any potential
adverse impact on the client if the case has been
Law requires both State and local Departments of
Social Services to retain unfounded reports of
child abuse or maltreatment. Under the new law,
these reports are no longer expunged. Unfounded
reports, however, must be sealed and are only
available to DSS in the event of a subsequent
investigation involving a child in the same home.
These sealed reports are otherwise unavailable.
They cannot be referred to when obtaining
clearance from the State Central Registry nor are
they admissible in court proceedings.
Q. VI.8 What
are the current Domestic Violence Laws in New York
State (arrest, stalking, etc.)?
degrees of assault, harassment, and battery
between relatives, spouses, people involved in a
relationship, or people having a child together
are considered domestic violence. Depending on
the nature of the relationship, a minor may seek
an Order of Protection from the Family Court
against a relative who threatens the minor's
safety. If the case involves a non-relative who
is not a parent to a child they have in common,
the only recourse will be Criminal Court.
Q. VI.9 How
does one obtain and enforce an Order of Protection?
Order of Protection can be obtained either from
the Family Court(for family/household members) or
Criminal Court (against non-family members and
family members). A Family Offense Petition must
be filed to obtain an Order of Protection from
Family Court. The clerk at the Family Court or a
Domestic Violence Counselor can usually be of
assistance in filling out the forms. In the case
of an emergency, ask for a Temporary Order of
Protection which can be obtained from a judge
immediately upon filing the papers, even before a
hearing takes place. To obtain such an Order, the
"petitioner" (the person signing the
petition) must inform the clerk or counselor that
there is an immediate emergency and that the
person needs to obtain a Temporary Order of
Protection before the papers are served.
To get an Order of Protection in Criminal Court,
the district attorney has to first bring criminal
charges against that person. You can go to the
police to file criminal charges.
Once you get an Order of Protection, carry it
with you always and give a copy to your local
Q. VI.10 What
is the average length of jail time for a teen who is
arrested for selling/using marijuana?
answer to the question depends upon many factors
including: the amount of marijuana, whether it
involves a sale or personal use, whether it is
possessed in a public place and open to public
view or burning, and the prior record (if any) of
the young person. Judges have discretion in
sentencing for the possession and sale of
marijuana. Sentences range from a violation for
which no jail time may be imposed on a first or
second offense (for possession of 25 grams or
of marijuana, not in public view or burning) to a
Class C Felony where a judge may order
imprisonment for up to six years for possession
of over ten pounds. The sale of marijuana,
regardless of the amount, is a Class D Felony
where the sentence imposed can range from one to
seven years. A person may be charged with the
sale of marijuana, even when no money is
exchanged. Young people under the age of 16 may
be adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent in Family
Court, where the youth may be sent to a
Q. VI.11 What
is Statutory Rape? When can/should a CPS report be
made and under what conditions is that report
accepted? What is the process after a report is made?
What responsibilities do the police and/or agency
have toward the alleged victim?
Statutory rape is a felony involving sexual
relations between an adult and a young person
under 17 to whom the adult is not married.
Because a minor under the age of 17 cannot
legally consent to sexual intercourse (unless
married to his/her partner), a sexual
relationship between an adult and a minor,
regardless of the circumstances, is referred to
as statutory rape. The seriousness of the crime
depends upon the age of the adult and the minor,
ranging from: rape in the third degree when the
adult is over 21 and has relations with someone
between 14 and under 17; rape in the second
degree when the adult is over 18 and has sexual
relations with someone less than 14 and over 11;
or rape in the first degree when a male engages
in sexual intercourse with someone less than 11,
with someone who is physically helpless or uses
force. Permissible penalties for statutory rape
range from 6 to 25 years (for rape in the first
degree) to 1 to 4 years.
Staff of runaway/homeless youth programs are not
required to report cases of statutory rape unless
it involves family members. In such a case,
anyone deemed to be a mandated reporter (under
the Social Services Law) would be required to
report the matter to the Department of Social
Services as suspected child abuse, assuming the
victim is under the age of 18. Other than those
cases which require reporting, staff of the
program are required to keep such information
confidential unless the victim requests
assistance. In such cases, the police should be
contacted if the matter involves a crime, which
will precipitate an investigation. In many
counties, there are special sex crime units. In
any case, the matter should be handled with great
sensitivity toward the victim.
Q. VI.12 What
does "Y.O. status" mean?
A. In New
York State, a person over the age of 16 is tried
as an adult for any crime committed. However,
young people between the ages of 16-19 may be
eligible for the status of Youthful Offender (YO)
(Criminal Procedure Law 720.10). This means they
can have their criminal conviction sealed (it
will not show up on their adult records).
Youthful Offender Status is not automatic and
must be requested by the person's lawyer. Whether
YO status is granted by the court depends upon
the nature of the crime committed and the
Q. VI.13 What
is a "R.A.P. Sheet"? How does a young
person get one?
stands for Record of Arrests. It may also be
called a NYSID (New York State Identification
Document) or a Yellow Sheet. It is the official
record of a person's prior arrests and
Q. VI.14 If a
mandated reporter calls the CPS Hotline, does that
call have to be accepted?
A. A case
will not be accepted by the Hotline unless the
facts presented constitute alleged abuse, neglect
or maltreatment as defined in the Social Services
Law. (This is true whether the call is made
anonymously or by a mandated reporter.)
Guidelines on what constitutes alleged abuse or
neglect are available from the State Central
Registry of the Office of Children and Family
Q. VI.15 What
recourse does an abused youth have when CPS will not
A. A young
person can try to obtain an Order of Protection
from the Family Court (see VI.9). There is at
least one case in New York which holds that a
young person can sue the Department of Social
Services for refusing to take action on the
Q. VI.16 At
what age does CPS no longer have responsibility for a
youth? 16? 18? 21?
authority ends when a young person reaches the
age of 18. For a young person over the age of 18,
abuse may involve a criminal matter. When there
are younger siblings in the house, however, CPS
may be called in to investigate on behalf of
younger children even when the victim is over 18
Q. VI.17 When
a young person's probation goals have been met, and
the probation time is coming to an end, can a parent
seek to have the period of probation extended?
Suspended judgements and probation may be
extended only when the Family Court finds
"exceptional circumstances" exist that
warrant such extension.