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San Jose CA criminal defense attorneyThe goal of the juvenile justice system is slightly different than that of the adult justice system. It is widely accepted in the legal world that juveniles have more of a capacity for change than older individuals, which is why the juvenile justice system is heavily focused on education, rehabilitation and prevention. California recently passed a law that will prevent juveniles of a certain age from being transferred to adult court for any charges.

New Law Keeps More Minors in Juvenile Court

The new law, Senate Bill 1391, states that all minors who are under the age of 16 must be tried in juvenile court - not adult court. This applies to all charges, even murder charges. This law was passed by California Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018 and will go into effect in 2019. The goal of this law is to help rehabilitate juveniles who are charged with crimes rather than just punish them.

Current Law Allows Juveniles to be Transferred to Adult Court

As the law stands right now, cases involving juveniles who are 14 or 15 years-old can be moved to adult court upon request of the District Attorney and approval by a judge. This new bill prohibits this practice and requires that all cases are heard in juvenile court. Proponents of the new law state that this greatly helps not only the juveniles but society, as well. It is known that teenagers’ cognitive capabilities are not fully developed, leading them to have a reduced ability to determine right and wrong or to realize the long-term consequences of their actions.

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Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving in California

San Jose underage DUI attorneyDrinking and driving is a deadly crime. In 2016, alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Though the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities has decreased for underage drinkers, juvenile drunk driving remains a problem. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers and about a fourth of those car crashes involved an underage drinking driver. Underage drinking and driving is a serious offense, which is why perpetrators face strict punishments. Understanding these punishments is vital if you or your child are facing juvenile DUI charges.

Laws Regarding Drinking and Driving

There are a handful of laws applicable to juvenile DUI cases, with some of them targeting underage offenders. Teens who choose to drink and drive are subject not only to the underage DUI laws but also the regular DUI laws.

“Zero Tolerance” Law - VEH 23136 

This law states that a person under the age of 21 can be charged with a civil offense if they are caught driving with a BAC over .01%. Violating this law can result in an administrative license suspension of at least one year, but up to three years if the person has a history of DUI.

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bullying, bullying at school, San Jose criminal defense attorney,  school violence, juvenile criminal offensesChildren have long found reasons for picking on one another and getting into fights at school. In light of the spate of tragic shootings, students who act out or engage in violent behavior face serious consequences. If your child has been accused of bullying or any type of violent crime on school grounds, it is a matter you need to take seriously. In addition to being expelled from the district, he or she could face criminal charges.

Bullying and other Aggressive Behaviors

According to StopBullying.gov, a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), one out of every three children experiences some sort of bullying at school or while attending school-related functions. Bullying is most prevalent among middle schoolers, but can impact both older and younger students as well. Common types of bullying include:

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San Jose criminal defense attorney, San Jose criminal defense, juvenile criminal offensesIn California, a minor—someone who is less than 18 years old—can be tried as an adult under certain circumstances. When this happens, the juvenile case is transferred from juvenile court to adult court, either automatically or upon a judge’s finding that the minor is not “fit” for the juvenile court system.

Crimes for Which Minors Must be Tried as Adults in California

According to California’s Welfare and Institutions Code section 602(b), any person who is alleged to have committed certain crimes when he or she was 14 years old or older must be tried as an adult under the general law in a court of criminal jurisdiction. These include murder, under some circumstances, rape, sodomy, and others.

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