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Legal Responsibilities—Con’t

Pranks A simple prank, such as removing hubcaps or spraying graffiti, can bring a serious charge of theft or vandalism against youth. You may be ar- rested. Penalties can include a fine, restitution (paying for damages), probation or jail time.

Weapons Laws Unlawful use of a weapon is a possible felony under New York State law. Using a dangerous weapon in committing a crime can lead to life in prison. The law’s definition of a “weapon” includes guns (all types), switchblades, gravity knives, sticks, cane swords, and concealed blades (for example, a razor blade). An item such as a nail file can be viewed by police and the courts as a weapon, depending upon how it is used. A person who is stopped by the police and found to have a gun or other weapon can be arrested and charged with possession of a con- cealed weapon. It is always against the law to have possession of a con- cealed weapon without the proper permit.

Arrest If you, or someone you’re with, is stopped or picked up by the police, here are things you need to know.







Do not resist arrest. The most important thing to do is cooperate. Your attitude and cooperation will have a direct effect on how you are treated. You do not need to say anything to the police in answer to their questions without your parent present (if under 16) and/or advice from an attorney. You will be asked to give the police your name, address, phone number, date of birth, parent or guardian’s name and how to reach them. Beyond this, you do not have to volun- teer anything. You do not need to sign anything without advice from your par- ents (if under 16) or an attorney. If you give permission to any search, you are allowing the police to fully search you. You have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you. Ask the police to call your parents or other adult.


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