Parents Could Pay up to $5,000 if their Kid is Caught Tagging - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Parents Could Pay up to $5,000 if their Kid is Caught Tagging

Posted: Updated:
If police, homeowners or business owners can prove that a particular kid is responsible for the graffiti, then their parents could pay up to $5,000 depending on damages. If police, homeowners or business owners can prove that a particular kid is responsible for the graffiti, then their parents could pay up to $5,000 depending on damages.

YAKIMA, WA - Did you know if your kid is caught red-handed tagging someone's property in Yakima County, you could end up paying a massive fine?

If police, homeowners or business owners can prove that a particular kid is responsible for the graffiti, then their parents could pay up to $5,000 depending on damages.

Court administrators said this doesn't happen too often, and a big reason why is because people in the community don't realize this is a way to get back their losses.

If a young teen gets caught spraying for the first time, they're typically given a second chance to stay out of the legal system.

"They're still held accountable," said Robyn Berndt, a Yakima County Court Administrator. "They have to sign a contract, they get community service and other services as well depending on their need. And if they complete everything then they're finished."

However, if their name pops up in the system after getting caught tagging for a second time, they'll wind up in court.

"A prosecutor can decide to charge them, and they end up in the court process," said Berndt. "Usually if they're found guilty,  they end up on probation."

Court administrators said probation typically lasts six to 12 months. During this time, offenders complete community service and are sometimes ordered to go to school.

While kids are paying for their consequences, some of their parents are literally shelling out thousands of dollars to clean up the damage.

"So the child might go through the criminal court process, but the parents could possibly end up with a lawsuit," said Berndt.

Over the past several years, the number of kids facing third degree charges of malicious mischief graffiti have dropped. According to numbers court administrators had on hand, in 2011, around 54 kids faced graffiti charges.

This went down to around 39 in 2012, and in 2013, roughly 27 kids were in court for tagging.

Court administrators said a program called "Restorative Community Service" seems to be doing wonders. In this program, kids caught tagging go out with adult volunteers to clean up the graffiti. Volunteers try to instill a sense of community pride so young taggers won't keep offending.

  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • WATCH: Grouper eats a shark in one bite!

    WATCH: Grouper eats a shark in one bite!

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:06:33 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Shark Week has been trending on social media this week, and while humans go crazy for Shark Week, a recent trending video on YouTube shows exactly what Grouper fish think about sharks.More >>
    KHQ.COM - Shark Week has been trending on social media this week, and while humans go crazy for Shark Week, a recent trending video on YouTube shows exactly what Grouper fish think about sharks. What's a Grouper? They are apparently giant fish with stout bodies and large mouths. I'd never heard of them before, but after doing some research, I've likened them to the "pigs of the sea."More >>
  • Dog recovering from gun shots looks for loving home

    Dog recovering from gun shots looks for loving home

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:00:29 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just for a second, forget everything you think you know about Pit Bulls. Forget that you think they are vicious or that you've heard they attack children. Approaching this story with an open mind might just change your opinion of what can actually be a very sweet, people-loving breed. A very special pit bull is lucky to be alive after enduring two gun shot wounds and abuse that left her blind in one eye.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just for a second, forget everything you think you know about Pit Bulls. Forget that you think they are vicious or that you've heard they attack children. Approaching this story with an open mind might just change your opinion of what can actually be a very sweet, people-loving breed. A very special pit bull is lucky to be alive after enduring two gun shot wounds and abuse that left her blind in one eye.More >>
  • WATCH IT: A farmer. A trombone. An empty field. What happens next?

    WATCH IT: A farmer. A trombone. An empty field. What happens next?

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:42 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:42:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The video begins simply enough. A man who calls himself Farmer Derek Klingenberg walks into the frame with a trombone, looks at the camera, gives a "shhhhh" sign, and then sits down in a lawn chair and begins to play a cover version of Lorde's "Royals." More >>
    KHQ.COM - The video begins simply enough. A man who calls himself Farmer Derek Klingenberg walks into the frame with a trombone, looks at the camera, gives a "shhhhh" sign, and then sits down in a lawn chair and begins to play a cover version of Lorde's "Royals." What happens next? An audience quickly forms. Check it out.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.