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If your child misses school for three days without an excuse, you, the parent, may be held responsible and cited for a truancy offense. You will have to attend a hearing before a judge along with your child, and you may face penalties such as fines, parenting classes and even jail time.

There are defenses that a parent can use against a truancy violation and an experienced defense lawyer who understands truancy law can help you avoid or lessen any punishment.

Truancy Charges

In Pennsylvania, with just a few exceptions, every child from 8 to 17 years old has to attend school.

If a child skips school for three or more days without a valid excuse, such as a note from a doctor, the school will send their parent or guardian notice that the child was not in school.

The parent will then have to make sure that their child goes back to school. If the child is not back in school within three days, the school can prosecute the parent.


Truancy is a summary offense in Pennsylvania. If you are cited for truancy, you and your child will have to attend a court hearing.

Usually, the parent will be the one held responsible for the child’s truancy instead of the child who actually skipped school.

If you are found guilty, you can be fined up to $300 and have to take parenting classes. If you don’t comply with what the judge orders, you can even have to serve five days in jail. You may also be told to perform community service at the school.

Under some circumstances if your child is 13 or over, he or she may be found guilty of truancy. If so, they will be fined up to $300 and may have their driver’s license suspended.

Your Defense

Your defense is proving that you did everything reasonably possible to ensure your child would go to school.

How A Lawyer Will Help

If your child is arrested, you need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine the best course of action.

If a minor’s case is going to be tried in an adult court, whenever possible your attorney will try to have the case moved to a juvenile court.

Pennsylvania Minors Law

Laws for minors are described and defined in The Pennsylvania Code under Title 18, Chapter 63. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to get juvenile charges dismissed or lowered. Should the case go to a hearing or trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.