Articles Posted in Juvenile Delinquency

Some minors have yet to gain full appreciation for the legal system. As a result, some minors this summer season will find themselves accused of crimes and in trouble with law enforcement. This article will examine some of the most common types of crimes that minors are accused of during the summer months.

The types of crimes that minors might find themselves getting into this summer include the following:

  • Assault and Battery: In an effort to crack down on bullying and rough-housing between minors, California law enforcement has begun to charge more minors with assault and battery. Under battery, a juvenile engages in physical contact, while for assault to exist an individual only need reasonably believe that there is the threat of real physical harm.

Juvenile delinquency charges are a serious matter in the state of California. Conviction can lead to confinement in security facilities surrounded by barbed-wire fences. Tens of thousands already reside in these wards, while still many more live out their youth under strict probation terms. The state aims to punish juvenile offenders severely, and for this reason a juvenile delinquency or other criminal charge must be taken seriously. Besides confinement and probation, there is the potential impact on one’s educational or career prospects. A conviction can have a lasting impact on one’s ability to attend the school or pursue the career of one’s choice. The purpose of this article is to educate juveniles and their parents or guardians of the California’s juvenile delinquency laws. If you or your child have been charged with juvenile delinquency in the state of California, contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney.

Juvenile Delinquency Court Tries Minors Charged With Crimes In the State of California

In California, minors charged with crimes are not prosecuted in the same court system as adults. The underlying philosophy to having separate court systems is the long-held belief that minors charged or convicted of wrongdoing are less culpable than adults. Culpability is synonymous with blameworthiness. In the eyes of the law, because minors are still developing intellectually – still learning right from wrong – and gaining firsthand knowledge of what constitutes ethical conduct, they should be held to different culpability standards than adults.

California’s law penalizing minors in possession of alcohol aims to discourage those under 21 from illegally consuming alcoholic beverages. Minors can be charged with this offense if they consume alcoholic beverages, purchase alcoholic beverages, or possess alcohol, including carrying an unopened container containing an alcoholic beverage. California’s minor in possession laws are governed by Business and Professions Code Section 25662.

Penalties for Violating the Minor in Possession Law

If any person under the age of 21 is caught drinking or possessing alcohol, the following penalties will result:

A study was conducted to determine drug usage among the youth booked into Juvenile Hall in San Diego. The study revealed marijuana use is at a record high among the youth coming through, with more than half of them testing positive for the drug through urinalysis; fifty-three percent to be exact. The last study, in 2000, found forty-two percent of those who were booked into Juvenile Hall tested positive for pot, an eleven percent difference. The youth were questioned along with being drug tested and were asked a series of questions to determine their level of experience with substances. According to the study, ninety-percent responded that they had tried marijuana before with an average age of 12 as the earliest they had come in contact with it. Eighty-eight percent said it was easy to come by the drug, with only sixteen-percent admitting pot was bad for them; compared to 34 percent for alcohol and 58 percent for tobacco. Not only had these kids experienced the drug, some admitted to having ridden in a vehicle driven by someone under the influence and going to class drunk or high. There is a growing belief that marijuana isn’t that bad for you and it is affecting today’s youth and their decision making process.

Sources:
“Marijuana Use Among Juvenile Hall Youth At High: Study” – NBC 7 San Diego

Escondido Police have been making a constant effort to enforce their new curfew enforcement operations since early March of this year. On Friday, August 5th, twelve juveniles were arrested for being out past curfew. Along with these curfew violation arrests, one fourteen year old boy was arrested for possession of cocaine; and a seventeen year old boy was caught in the company of a 18 year old, an adult, who was in possession of marijuana.

This was the seventh sweep by Escondido Police since the launch of the operation. Seven sweeps may seem like a small number but the sweeps have resulted in the arrest of 125 minors violating curfew or in some cases in possession of drugs, or other crime related activities. When Police arrest minors they go through a similar process as adult arrestees. They are taken to the Police Department for processing and then are released to their parents or a legal guardian and in some cases taken to the juvenile jail facility . Escondido Police Department stated that they will continue to hold frequent curfew sweeps during the summer months. The curfew times are from 11p.m. to 5a.m. anyone under the age of 18 who is outside without a parent could be arrested for violating curfew.

I’m thinking back to when I was 15, 16 and 17 during Summer vacation. Was I out with friends past 11:00p.m. playing flash light tag, kick the can, hanging out with girls, or attending High School parties? Absolutely!! I know each contact or arrest should be looked at on a case by case basis but I wonder how much money from imposed fines these arrests makes for the City of Escondido?

Crime Spike.jpgEscondido police warn citizens of Escondido and all San Diego citizens of the summer crime spike. Police aren’t exactly sure what brings up crime during the summer but there are several theories on how and why it rises. One is that during the long warm summer days many people keep windows and doors open even when leaving the house. Inviting burglars and thefts to come in with little effort. Another is that because school is out, meaning that more students have idle time and nothing to do.

Whatever the cause may be you need to be aware of the potential dangers and be prepared to protect yourself and family. Escondido Police urge people to call in 911 reports of any suspicious activity or if you witness a crime in progress. Lt. Craig Carter of Escondido police stated, “You can get involved to whatever extent you want, just get involved.” Taking an active role in your community helps to prevent crime, and make neighborhoods safer and more desirable place to live.

Many of the crimes consist of property theft of items valued under $400 dollars as well as car thefts. Many of these crimes are opportunity crimes only happen because windows, doors, and garages were left open while no one was home. One good way to deter small petty thefts is to remember to close and lock all doors, and windows to your house and car when leaving them unintended.

In Carlsbad a fourteen year old was taken to a hospital after he fell and injured his head. How did he fall? Well he was shot with a Taser gun by a California Highway Patrol officers during a dui investigation. In the early morning around 1:20a.m. CHP officers stopped a 2000 Toyota Corolla on Carlsbad Blvd. near Tamarack Ave. for suspected dui when the driver and passenger took off running.

The CHP officers shot the driver with a Taser gun near the stairs at Tamarack Beach and he fell and hit his head. The teen was later transported to Tri-city Medical Center for his injures. During the investigation, the officers learned that the car had been stolen earlier from Vista and also located alcohol and drugs in the car. beer.jpgOfficers also learned that the teenager was an at risk runaway. When the teen is released from the hospital he will be arrested and most likely be charged as a juvenile for auto theft, dui, and evading arrest when he ran after the traffic stop. This teenager will need an experienced juvenile and dui criminal lawyer to help him and his family through these tough days ahead. The passenger was not apprehended.

What’s also interesting about this case is the CHP’s comment about the use of a Taser gun in these situations. “The Tasers, the stick, the pepper spray -it’s meant to incapacitate someone so they don’t hurt themselves, hurt us or get away. It may seem extreme, but it’s what we deal with every day.” However, at the time the CHP officer tased the teen, he had only been stopped for a vehicle infraction and the officer didn’t know at that time the car had been stolen. So is it CHP’s policy to tase every driver if they flee from a traffic stop? More to come on this one.