Articles Tagged with juvenile law

It takes around 25 or more years for a human brain to become fully developed. While people can make bad decisions at any point in their life, younger, more naive children and teenagers are well-known for impulsivity and misjudgments. Some errors made at a young age are easily remedied, but others can impact the quality of life and a child’s trajectory forever. Underage drinking and trying drugs is something that most parents warn their children to avoid. While both can harm a teenager’s physical health and well-being, they can also lead to legal troubles.

The worst thing that can happen to a youth who is experimenting with drugs is to lose their life to drugs that are contaminated or from overdosing. Outside of the tragic loss of life from drug use, being arrested for a California drug crime is another potentially life-altering situation. Drug charges for teens are not just restricted to a certain demographic. Even the most well-off, college-bound teen could make a bad decision that results in legal implications.

How Can a California Drug Arrest Affect a Teen?

The outlook of a teenager’s life can be dramatically altered with just one drug arrest in California. If the teen was arrested for a drug crime and ultimately convicted of their charges, then this may impact their ability to get the funding necessary to go to college. These days, a drug conviction does not make it impossible to get student loans. However, the path to secure that aid comes with required actions on the part of the teen and because of this, the amount of time it could take to get a loan may be longer. Similarly, if aid was dispensed before the conviction happened, the teen may have to pay that money back.

A conviction for a drug offense may result in being denied acceptance to a particular institution of higher learning. If a teen is already enrolled in a course and they are arrested and convicted of a drug crime, disciplinary action by the school may take place. For teens already in college, access to a mentorship, work-study slot, internship, or other type of employment opportunity could be limited and extremely challenging to obtain.

It might not seem fair that one mistake can have such vast implications for the rest of a person’s life, but the reality is that in many cases, it does. This is especially true when it comes to errors in judgment that result in criminal convictions. Continue reading

As the result of a fight at Lincoln High School in San Diego, the 16-year-old son of local rap artist Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan faces four felony juvenile charges: assault on a police officer, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, violent resisting of a police officer and assault on a school officer. Another student faces a felony assault charge against a police officer.  A third one faces an additional misdemeanor theft charge for allegedly taking the officer’s police radio and keys during the scuffle. The fight was started when the boys started play fighting during lunch period.  That led to a real fight.

Bashir Abdi of El Cerrito, the cop on campus was reported to be ‘seriously injured.‘ He tased and pepper sprayed the students, and is now suing the students for over $25,000 in damages in medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.

None of the students will be expelled, and the judge allowed all the students to go home instead of staying in ‘juvie.’ They will have electronic monitoring for the time being. While some have called the punishment against the students fair because it was not as strict as it could have been, some in the community, including the NAACP, have called for the District Attorney’s Office to drop all charges and stop over-policing Lincoln High.

Juvenile Felonies

Juvenile delinquency court is a court dedicated to adjudicating felony and misdemeanor crimes allegedly committed by minors, and it ranges from small charges like truancy to more serious ones like felony charges. The goal is to rehabilitate children and not to imprison them.   

Under certain circumstances however, minors alleged to have committed one of 30 crimes listed in California Code § 707(b) also can be tried in adult court. These include: murder, arson causing great bodily injury, assault with great bodily injury, rape, robbery, kidnapping for ransom, etc.

Prosecutors have the sole discretion as to how to prosecute 707(b) offenses. They can either file directly in adult court, file in juvenile court, or they can initiate a “fitness hearing” and have a judge decide the issue.

In these situations, prosecutors tend to file  charges as adults if the minor has both allegedly committed a 707(b) crime and previously committed another felony or used a firearm during the crime. Continue reading

Contact Information