With a few exceptions, a person who has not reached the age of 18 has very few legal
rights which he or she can assert for themselves. For instance, you may not sign
legally binding contracts such as a contract for the sale, purchase, or lease of
a home, or may not obtain a credit card in your own right. Upon reaching age 18,
however, you may ratify or make legal anything you signed before reaching age 18.
You may not vote, hold office or, in some instances, be responsible for certain
criminal behavior. Upon reaching the age of 18, however, you may do most things an
adult may. One notable exception is the purchase of alcohol.
This pamphlet is intended to present you with a brief summary of certain rights and
responsibilities which you gain upon your 18th birthday. It is not providing you
with legal advice. You should contact an attorney to represent you when needed for
matters contained herein.
Finally, you should note that the law on various subjects changes from state to state.
The bar association from your state is a resource for you in learning your specific
rights and in finding an attorney to advise you if you or your parents do not have
a relationship with an attorney. A reference guide for online websites is provided
at the end of this pamphlet.