Juvenile Law

A Juvenile cases involves individuals under the age 18 through 21. In these instances the cases are references as a Status Offense.

Status Offense– Individuals under the age of majority (minors) may be charges with a crime because of their status as minors. A specific example of Status Offenses is drinking alcohol, which is illegal for individuals under the age of 21. Another example is smoking Tobacco which is illegal for individuals under the age of 18.

Additional Status Offenses:

School Truancy– A minor is considered truant if the individual skips school without a valid excuse or knowledge of a parent or guardian. According to the California Department of Education, “The California Legislature defined a truant in a very precise language. In summary, it states that a student missing more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year must be classified as a truant and reported to the proper school authority.”

Curfew Violation– The most common curfew for minors is from 11pm to 6 a.m. Penalties vary from city to city. In some jurisdictions, police bring curfew violators to a center where they must wait to be picked up by a parent or guardian. Often, the police officer is given discretion to issue a warning or simply take the minor home. Sometimes the curfew violator faces fines, mandatory community service, enrollment in after-school programs, or the loss of driver’s license privileges. In extreme cases, a curfew violator might end up in juvenile hall. In some jurisdictions, parents who knowingly allow curfew violations could also be subject to fines.

Crimes minors may be charged with penal code violation just as adults are: 

  • Assault & Battery
  • Robbery
  • Larceny
  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
  • PC459 Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Rape

Attorney David Brown is a former Deputy District Attorney and can help you negotiate the very complex obstacles if your child is charged with a crime.

References: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/juvenile-law-status-offenses-32227.html, http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ai/tr/