We have already discussed some of the most common crimes committed in California, but juvenile offenders tend to violate different laws than their adult counterparts. Here are some of the most common charges San Diego juvenile defense lawyers are asked to fight in court.
Teens have always resorted to violence and threats to handle conflicts, but with increasing anti-bully awareness, the number of arrests for assault and battery have gone up over the last few years.
Many teens shoplift whether to prove themselves to friends, feel a thrill or to actually just get their hands on something they can’t afford. Like all forms of theft and fraud, shoplifting can be charged as petty theft or grand theft based on the value of the merchandise stolen. If a minor steals over $950 worth of property, he or she can face felony or misdemeanor charges and a San Diego juvenile defense attorney may be able to help you get the charges reduced to a misdemeanor.
It is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol and the two most common alcohol-related charges faced by minors are minor in possession and drinking and driving. California has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21, which means that a minor with a BAC of only .01 can still be charged with drunk driving and face a mandatory one-year license suspension. If you are the parent of a minor charged with drinking and driving, it is critical you hire a juvenile DUI attorney in San Diego as soon as possible.
While California just legalized marijuana use and possession, it is still illegal for minors under 21 to use or purchase. Of course, all other illegal drugs are still illegal for minors to use as well.
Destruction of property can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, generally based on how much money it costs to repair the damage. If the crime is believed to be a hate crime or gang crime, or if the juvenile already has a felony vandalism charge on his or her record, it will always be charged as a felony.
Aside from the weapons charges adults may be charged with, minors can also be charged with certain crimes related to their age. For example, a juvenile cannot possess a handgun that can be hidden on his or her body.
Juveniles often send nude photos of themselves to each other. This can be a crime for both the sender and receiver as the images are considered child pornography. It is also potentially very serious and can result in felony charges and sex registration.
If your child has been charged with any of the crimes listed above, or with any other crime, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with top San Diego juvenile crime lawyer Peter M. Liss.
Creative Commons Image by Chris Yarzab