Tattoos for Minors
Only within the past couple of years has it become much more accepted in North American mainstream culture to have, and publicly expose tattoos. Prior to this, there was a major taboo surrounding tattoos, given that most of those who had them were considered to be criminals or members of gangs and/or violent groups. Today, though, people from all walks of life have tattoos as they become more normalized bodily accessories. While the taboo may be fading, there are still laws in place regarding tattoos and minors. Specifically, it is illegal to tattoo someone under the age of 18 in the state of California.
According to California Penal Code 653 PC, it is a crime to tattoo or even offer to tattoo a minor. Any mark or pigment on the skin counts as a tattoo under this penal code. Those who have tried to get tattooed as minors will know of this law; however, many will be surprised to know the illegality of the act given the prevalence of not just body tattoos but also face tattoos on celebrities who are minors. Many of the young rappers in mainstream culture have tattoos all over their bodies, adding to the popularity of them for young adults and teens. However, those interested in having tattoos should be aware of the rules in California.
If a tattoo artist is accused of tattooing a minor, it is vital that they seek the counsel of an attorney. An allegation of this nature can result in a criminal record and possible jail time, which can jeopardize the career of any tattoo artist. If found guilty, the tattooist can face up to six months in jail and may have to also pay a fine. Given that a minor is involved, other legal challenges could be added to the mix, which is why tattoo artists should always check whether the client is a minor prior to proceeding with the inking.