Restitution with Juveniles: How do you recover when it is a juvenile committing the property damage?

Crimes are seldom limited by age of the offender – and a common question a prosecutor will ask a victim is how much it will cost to repair the damage a juvenile has caused in a property destruction offense.

Typically, a victim will tell the prosecutor, who will in turn tell the judge, who will then enter that amount and make it payable as a condition of the juvenile’s probation.

However, business owners, property holders, and others have another option available that does not require that they take out a criminal charge: Virginia Code § 8.01-44. This code section gives a victim the right to demand that the juvenile’s parents pay up to $2,500 for any damage caused.

That judgment can then be docketed as a judgment to get payment later if the property owner wants to give those parents time (or if they are refusing to pay within a reasonable time).

If you or someone you know has had their property damaged by someone under age 18, and they need help mitigating the damage caused, please call our office at (804) 423-1382 or at, and we will be glad to assist!