If I am 18 years old, can my school prosecute me for truancy?

Q: Can I be charged with a truancy violation in Pennsylvania if I’m 18 years of age? I’m 18, and I got a letter in the mail that because I have 7 unexcused absences they have notified the district and legal action may be taken. Does this truly apply to me being 18 years old.

A: I shouldn’t. Pennsylvania’s compulsory attendance law only applies to minors up to seventeen. The school is doing their job in reporting you, but I would be very surprised if it went any farther than that. Of course, if charges are brought, you should retain counsel immediately. They can even charge your parents for your truancy.  If the facts are as you say they are, this should be an easy case to get dismissed. After age 17 you can sign yourself out of school. The school likely is pushing you to make up your mind as to whether you want to be a student or not. You may have to sign yourself out, which is maybe what they want.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.