Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Juvenile crimes could be sealed if new California bill passes

Juvenile law and crimes associated with younger people can be complicated. On the one hand, teenagers and younger people who are not yet adults are more prone to making mistakes. They simply don't have the life experience, and teens often choose to do things in the heat of the moment that they not only regret later, but that don't represent them as a person. One incident becomes their defining persona, even though that moment is the outlier as opposed to the norm.

These juvenile crimes can ruin a young person's life. The crime may haunt them well into their adult years, making it difficult to obtain work or to finish critical pieces of education. Even though juvenile crimes are often thought of as less serious than crimes perpetuated by adults, they can still be life-changing -- and that's why it's critical to defend charges against a juvenile, no matter how trivial or light they may seem.

California looks like they are trying to change the culture of juvenile crimes in the state, as lawmakers have introduced a bill that will seal certain crimes performed by people under the age of 18, but only upon completion of their probation. Violent and more serious crimes are excluded from the bill.

Even though it may only target minor crimes or offenses, that's exactly the point. Those are the crimes that should be targeted. Teens should not have to carry the burden of an underage drinking charge, a petty theft charge or a trespassing charge into their adulthood.

Source: Liberty Voice, "California Bill to Help Young Offenders," Nicholas Grabe, May 27, 2014

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