We all make mistakes. We’re human. Think back to when you were a young person. Surely you said or did things that you would never do now. Perhaps there are even things you do not quite understand why you did in the first place.

Should that one mistake ruin someone’s life? Should something a teenager did still impact their life when they’re an adult?

After all, teens make mistakes for reasons that will not influence them as strongly when they grow up. We wouldn’t all want to be judged off of how we acted at 15. Remember, the brain does not stop developing until around 25. A teenager is a massively different person at their age than they will be a few years later. What they do when they’re young does not necessarily define who they are or who they will be.

It’s also important to remember that teens are trying to figure out their place in the world. This makes them especially susceptible to peer pressure as they try to fit in. Those relationships with their friends are very important, and they may do and say things they don’t even agree with if that makes them feel like part of the group.

That’s not to excuse their actions, necessarily, but just to show that they should not be judged for life based off of those actions. That’s why it’s so important for teens and their parents to know what legal options they have in a situation like this. They need to know what steps they can take to protect a young person’s future.