The second part of my question is can these charges be filed against a minor/their guardian? I'm 25 and my mother's husband's daughter (13 yrs old) keyed my car 5 days ago. I did not call the police that night as I thought an attempt to make things right would take place. Five days later I've still not heard anything about repairs and don't expect that I will. She's also not recieved any form of discipline nor reprimand and I feel that this type of behavior is legally and socially unacceptable. I'd like to know what, if any, are my options and how long I have to decide. Thanks in advance
Criminal Defense Attorney
The statute of limitations for malicious destruction in Maryland is one year. And yes, a 13-year-old can be charged with malicious destruction in Maryland. The complaint procedure is the same whether it is being made against a child or an adult--you call the police and file a complaint. This would be a juvenile delinquency case due to the age of the child and would be handled in the juvenile court. However, there are special procedures that must be followed by the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) before a delinquency case can be sent to court. So, just because you make a complaint and the police forward the complaint to DJS, it does not necessarily mean that the case will go to court--it could be resolved by DJS outside of the juvenile court process. Alternatively, you might consider a lawsuit against the child and her parent(s) for the damages to your vehicle.