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I am 15 years old ,and i was charged with being out past curfew, trespassing, and running from the police. What can happen?

Lodi, CA |
Attorney answers 4

Posted

You could be brought into a Family Court on a series of semi-criminal charges, however, due to your age, the court will usually ask your parents what they want done as well and they can assist you. Usually, they will place you on some sort of supervision such as probation until you reach a certain age, usually 16-18 and then if you've done well, the record of it will be expunged.

Good luck. and go home at night on time and avoid these type of problems.

Posted

Mr. Robinson -- a New York attorney -- is DEAD WRONG again. He apparently pulls advice from a place where the sun never shines.

In California, juvenile cases are heard in the Juvenile Division of the Superior Court, not family court.

If you don't have a prior record, you most likely won't go to court at all. The police reports will go to the Probation Department, which will decide whether to refer you to the court or handle the matter informally. That could mean a scolding, or informal supervision. If you stay out of trouble for six months to a year, the matter will be dropped.

In California, the so-called "expungement" process only applies to adult criminal convictions, and it doesn't actually seal or destroy your records.

If you have a juvenile record, you can apply to have it sealed and destroyed, unless you have serious felony offenses as a juvenile. This doesn't happen automatically; you have to file a petition with the court. Remember, juvenile records aren't available to the general public, anyway.

Posted

You will be brought to a juvenile court not a family court; the charges are criminal not quasi-criminal. However they are not terribly serious and with a good lawyer you should be able to resolve this with some time on probation.

Posted

In case you haven't noted the other answers, please, please, please don't listen to the "advice" of the New York attorney. If you do, you'll be horribly misled, as he appears to know absolutely nothing about California law. Despite this, he routinely answers questions with incorrect information as he has in your case.

If you were cited or got a letter to appear in court, it will be in the juvenile court facing criminal charges. From what very little you wrote, it doesn't sound like the most serious of offenses. Depending on the specific facts, you may have defenses to the "running from the police" [a.k.a. resisting arrest, Penal Code section 148(a)] charge.

Discuss this with your folks - they will have to accompany you to court - and talk about finding a lawyer before your court date or requesting the public defender on the day you go to court.

Good luck.

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