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What Are My Rights?: Q&A about Teens and the Law (Revised and Updated Third Edition)


What Are My Rights?: Q&A about Teens and the Law (Revised and Updated Third Edition) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Can I be prosecuted for comments I make online?” “Can I get a credit card?” “When can I get a tattoo?” “Why can’t I wear what I want to school?” These questions—and many more—are asked and answered in What Are My Rights? Teens often have questions about the law, but they don’t always know where to turn for the answers. This book gives them those answers, exploring more than 100 legal questions pertaining specifically to teens. The third edition includes fresh facts, updated statistics, and additional questions and answers, including a new chapter addressing online issues from Facebook to file sharing. Using a straightforward “just the facts” tone, and drawing on examples from real-life court cases involving young people, Judge Tom Jacobs explains to teens what their rights are. Readers learn about the laws that affect them, appreciate their rights, and consider their responsibilities.

About the Author

Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D., was an Arizona Assistant Attorney General from 1972 to 1985, practicing criminal and child welfare law. He was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1985 and served as a judge pro tem and commissioner in the juvenile and family courts until his retirement in 2008. He also taught juvenile law for ten years as an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University School of Social Work. He now writes for teens, lawyers, and judges. Judge Jacobs also maintains the popular website "Ask the Judge: Answers for Teens About the Law" at He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1: You and Your Family

What does adoption mean?

What is foster care? How long does it last?

What happens to me if my parents get a divorce?

What is kidnapping?

If my parents get a divorce, will I still get to visit my grandparents?

Do my parents have to support me after they get divorced?

Can I “divorce” my parents?

Who has the right to discipline me?

Can my parents force me to follow their religion?

Can my parents keep me from watching certain TV shows or playing certain video games?

What is a will? Can I write one for myself?What if my parents die without a will?

Can I keep what my uncle left me in his will?

Do I need a guardian if my parents die?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 2: You and School

Do I have to go to school?

How long do I have to stay in school?

What will happen to me if I ditch school?

Do I have to obey my teacher?

What if I damage school property?

Why can’t I wear what I want to school?

Can my property be searched and seized?

Can I be forced to take a drug test if I go out for sports?

Do I have complete freedom of expression in school?

Do I have to pray at school?

Are my grades public information?

I’m a student with a disability. What rights do I have?

Can I go to school if I have HIV or AIDS?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 3: You and the Internet

Is the Internet protected by the First Amendment?

What is cyberbullying?

Can I get in trouble at school for what I write on my computer at home?

Can a teacher monitor my use of a school computer?

Can I go to jail for cyberbullying?

Will my posts on social networking sites hurt me later on?

Can I be prosecuted for comments I make online?

Can I get in trouble for using my cell phone and the Internet during test taking and paper writing?

Can a teacher take my cell phone and read my messages?

Can I get into trouble for “sexting”?

What if I hack into my school’s computer system?

Are file sharing and downloading music illegal?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 4: You and Your Job

How do labor laws affect me when I look for work and get a job?

What are my rights as a working teenager?

What if I’m sexually harassed at work?

Can I use my employer’s computer?

What do I put on a job application if I’m asked about prior arrests?

If I work, will I be making minimum wage?

Do I have to pay income taxes?

Can I open my own bank account?

Can I start my own business?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 5: You and Your Body

Can I go to the doctor without my parents’ permission?

Can I donate my blood and organs?

What can I do if I’m being abused or neglected?

Can I get birth control?

Can I get an abortion without telling my parents?

What is date rape, and what can I do to protect myself?

Do I lose any rights if I’m pregnant?

What if I’m depressed or thinking about suicide?

When can I get a tattoo?

How old do I have to be to smoke?

When can I have a beer?

What if I use or sell marijuana or spice?

Is it against the law to sniff glue or paint?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 6: Growing Up

When will I be an adult?

What does emancipation mean?

Can I change my name?

When can I get my own apartment?

Can I have a gun?

When can I vote?

Can I run for public office?

Will I get drafted?

When can I get married?

What rights do teen parents have?

Do traffic laws apply to me?

When can I drive the family car?

Do I have to wear a helmet when I ride a motorcycle?

What is joyriding?

What are the penalties for drinking and driving?

Do water safety rules apply to teens?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 7: You and Other Important Rights

Can I sign a contract?

Can I get out of a contract?

Can I get a credit card?

What if I’m discriminated against based on my age,gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation?

What is sexual harassment?

What are my rights as a gay, lesbian, or bisexual teenager?

How late can I stay out?Do I need a license to go hunting or fishing?

What if I see someone abusing an animal?

Can I go across the border with my friends?

Can I get into trouble for swearing?

Can I get into trouble by using the telephone?

Can I buy and use fireworks?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 8: Crimes and Punishments

What’s the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

What is a juvenile delinquent?

Am I in trouble with the law if I disobey my parents?

What will happen to me if I get caught shoplifting?

Is it against the law to fight?

What is trespassing?

What if I start a fire that gets out of control?

What if I damage someone else’s property?

Is it illegal to belong to a gang?

Can I gamble? What if I win the lottery?

What if I use a fake ID?

Think About It, Talk About It

CHAPTER 9: You and the Legal System

What is a lawsuit?

Why are there so many different courts?

What is a jury?

Is every court decision final?

How should I dress for court?

What happens in juvenile court?

What does “diversion” mean?

What if I’m tried in adult court?

Can I be put in jail?

If I’m convicted of a sex crime, do I have to register as a sex offender?

Does the death penalty apply to me?

Can my juvenile record be destroyed?

Think About It, Talk About It


Custody Factors

Compulsory School Attendance

Compulsory Provision of Services for Special Education

Cyberbullying Laws




About the Author

Product Details

A About Teens and the Law (Revised and Updated Third Edition)
Jacobs, Tom
Jacobs, Thomas A.
Jacobs, Thomas A., J.D.
Free Spirit Publishing
Law & Crime
youth rights
teens and the law
Children s-Peace and Justice
Youth Rights; delinquent juveniles; at risk juveniles; teens at risk
Teens and the Law; legal questions; responsibility; responsibilities; juvenile d
juvenile justice system; court; lawsuit; law suit; crime
Edition Description:
Third Edition, Revised
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 6
9 x 6 in
Age Level:
from 12 up to 18

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Related Subjects

Children's » Peace and Justice
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Parenting Teens
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Living

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