Articles Posted in Juvenile Crime

In California, the crime of Vandalism is defined under California Penal Code 594(a) as maliciously damaging, defacing with graffiti or other inscribed material, or destroying any real or personal property not his or her own. Real property can include vehicles, signs, fixtures, furnishings, or property belonging to any public entity, or the federal government. The severity of punishment for a Vandalism charge largely depends on the nature and extent of the damage caused, as well as the defendant’s prior criminal history.

Is Vandalism a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Vandalism is classified as a “wobbler” offense in California, making the offense eligible to be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. The felony versus misdemeanor determination is based on the amount of destruction or defacement, and whether the cost of repair exceeds $400. Vandalism charges resulting in over $400 in damage could be prosecuted as felony crimes at the DA’s discretion.

As the law stands now, persons under the age of 21 may have their license suspended for one year if they are found with alcohol in their system, if their license had been previously revoked in connection with a DUI conviction. Revisions to the law will make violations to the existing vehicle code a crime. Drivers who have a commercial driver’s license or who are under the age of 21 could face criminal charges for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 percent. Additionally, it would be a crime to be arrested for driving under the influence if the under-aged driver was already on probation for driving with a BAC of .01 percent or higher.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152, it is against California law to operate with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Those under the age of 21, however, have stiffer regulations. According to California Vehicle Code 23136: “It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test, to drive a vehicle.”

If you or a family member has been charged with driving under the influence, it is important that you seek legal guidance from a skilled Southern California DUI defense attorney right away. In some cases, a DUI defense lawyer can have the charges lessened or dismissed before it even goes to trial. The consequences of a Orange County underage DUI can be a lot more severe than expected, especially with these changes in the law.

Internet sex crimes in Southern California and throughout the rest of the country are becoming more and more common as Web sites such as Craigslist gain popularity. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, an 18-year-old Orange County man was arrested for possibly having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy who asked for an iPod Touch in exchange for sex on Craigslist. The 18-year-old San Clemente man apparently responded to the boy’s ad saying he wasn’t 18 yet, when he had in fact turned 18 in December. The 18-year-old is facing several charges including lewd acts with a minor, oral copulation with a person under 18 and luring a child with intent to commit a crime and possessing child pornography.

Computer records are apparently an important piece of evidence in this case. In most cases that involve child pornography or soliciting sexual acts involving children, e-mail records, text messages, and cell phone records may be used as prime evidence. In this case, the defendant is facing significant felony sex crime charges. If convicted, he faces a lengthy sentence in state prison, hefty penalties, and required registration as a sex offender, possibly, for the rest of his life. The individual is only 18, but the consequences he might face from these sex crime charges can last an entire lifetime.
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A tagging group in Los Angeles County has been blamed for more than 600 acts of vandalism and about $275,000 in damage. According to this CBS news report, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies served search warrants at six locations and made seven arrests including two adults and five juveniles. They were all charged with felony vandalism. The arrests reportedly followed a two-month investigation. Four of the five juveniles who were arrested were already on probation for vandalism-related crimes, the news article stated.

When juveniles face criminal charges, it is an extremely challenging situation. In most cases, these matters go through Juvenile Court and the California Juvenile Justice System as opposed to adult court. The goal of juvenile court is to help rehabilitate children whereas in adult court, the focus is on punishment. This of course does not mean that your child will not face severe punishment in juvenile court. In some cases, children may be charged as adults. This is particularly true with felony crimes or violent crimes such as robbery, sexual assault or murder.
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Three people, including two men and a teenage boy, were arrested in Redondo Beach for armed robbery on the pier. According to a news report in the Daily Breeze, the victim was on the pier when the 16-year-old boy approached, raised his shirt to reveal a silver-colored handgun in his waistband and told the victim, “This is a stickup.” The teen suspect then took the victim’s skateboard and baseball cap before leaving the scene, the report stated. Two others – who were allegedly lookouts for the 16-year-old – also fled the scene of the theft crime in Los Angeles.

However, the trio was pulled over by Hermosa Beach police near Pacific Coast Highway and Aviation Boulevard. The two men who were arrested were both 18 years old. The vehicle the three were in, a 1999 Toyota Tacoma, was also reported stolen. Officers found the gun, which turned out to be a BB gun along with the skateboard and the victim’scap in the vehicle.

Robbery is considered a violent crime because it involves intimidation, force or fear and in most cases a weapon such as a knife or a firearm. Robbery charges are extremely serious because they may involve physical threat and intimidation. Where victims are injured, defendants could face even more serious charges. When a Los Angeles juvenile crime is of a violent nature, it may have serious repercussions on the minor’s future. A minor has the same constitutional rights as an adult, such as having Miranda rights read to them.
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Police in Whittier arrested a teenager for theft who was reportedly carrying a small refrigerator, which officials say, he stole from a preschool. According to a news report, a witness told police that the boy was carrying the appliance from Hadley Preschool to a nearby residence. Police took the boy in to custody outside his home and returned the refrigerator. Police say other property has also been missing from the school and that they are in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the boy’s residence.

Juvenile crimes in Los Angeles are just as serious and significant as adult criminal charges. The only difference is that juvenile offenses are adjudicated in juvenile courts, which are closed to the media and the public. Juvenile proceedings are closed and the identities of the juveniles are protected. However, that does not mean juveniles are treated with kid gloves or let off easy. The penalties can be severe. Punishment for juvenile crimes could involve lengthy incarceration and can also have a significant impact on your child’s future. An adult criminal conviction could go on his or her permanent record.
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