Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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California curfew sweep results in juvenile arrests

A recent California curfew sweep resulted in the arrest of 16 juveniles. This would have included a 14-year old girl who was considered intoxicated, another juvenile in possession of marijuana, and a third for allegedly interfering with a peace officer. Motivation for the sweep stemmed from a fatal car accident earlier in the week involving area teenagers and the demand for stronger enforcement of curfew violations.

What is remarkable is that so many drug possession charges come about during such stings and so many individuals arrested are juveniles with no criminal past. Many of these juveniles are arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana that were only for personal use or having too much to drink.

Many drug arrests involve individuals in their teenage years or early twenties that may or may not have harmed anyone else other than their self. Many have never been arrested before with the possible exception of petty misdemeanors. Nevertheless these same individuals are often facing criminal sentences for drug possession.

Each drug arrest is unique, and drug offenders should not be tried in court according to sentencing standards. For every violent felony publicized in the media, there are a hundred minor crimes committed by first time offenders who also happen to be confused or troubled youths.

Most of these individuals should not receive jail time. What they do need is assistance and good advice so that they will not have to face additional arrests in the future. Lawyers that have worked with such drug offenders in the past can provide that advice and also provide resources for individuals that may be struggling with substance abuse, depression or the prospects of living in a broken home.

Source: San Diego News, "16 Juveniles Caught in Curfew Sweep," April 6, 2012

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