Parents are more than the people that go to work to provide food, shelter, and comfort for their children. It is a parent’s job to teach their child right from wrong and guide them along the right path, but parents are humans as well and are bound to make mistakes like everyone else. Although parents are allowed mistakes they can be held accountable for their and their children’s missteps depending on the situation.
A man and his teenage daughter have both been charged with felonies after a car crash that left three dead. The late August crash occurred while the 15-year-old was allegedly speeding and the SUV she was driving flipped. The 15-year-old had yet to gain her learners permit meaning she was an underage and unlicensed driver at the time of the crash. During the investigation of the crash the girl’s father, who showed up shortly after the accident, was arrested in connection with the accident. His arrest stemmed from the police’s belief that he allowed his daughter to driver the SUV multiple times without supervision or a license. His charges range from endangering the welfare of a child to involuntary manslaughter. If convicted the man faces years in jail.
Parents can be held civilly liable for the damages their children cause even in instances where the parents have done no wrong; fortunately that liability does not extend to the realm of criminal law. In the above case the father was charged because he allegedly and routinely allowed his underage and unlicensed daughter to drive his SUV.
Under the law parents have a duty to not only be responsible for their children but to also not allow them to endanger themselves or others. If the act violates the law a parent and their child could be held liable even in situations where the activity seems relatively harmless.
Source: Iohud, “Penn. fatal crash: Dad’s felony tied to ‘pattern’,” Jonathan Bandler, Dec. 19, 2014