February 02, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Due to a number of different factors coming together in a so-called "perfect storm," California has seen a record drop in the number of juveniles convicted of crimes. California's juvenile arrest record is now at the lowest rate it has been since comprehensive record-keeping began decades ago. Currently 3.5 percent of minor state residents have at least one arrest on their record, down from an all-time high of 10 percent in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Even though the numbers indicate a downward departure from years past, any conviction comes with a price, and a juvenile crime
in particular can have consequences for many years to come, resulting in lost educational, career and housing opportunities.
Why is the juvenile crime rate dropping even in times of economic unrest, something that has foreshadowed higher rates of gang activity, theft crimes and drug crimes in the past? In a word: progress.
California has taken great strides in recent years to adapt the criminal laws to the modern world, most notably in the decision to reclassify simple marijuana possession charges down from a misdemeanor to an infraction, essentially putting it on the same playing field as a speeding ticket. That single decision kept an estimated 9,000 juveniles out of correctional custody between 2010 and 2011, and was the largest determining factor in a 20 percent reduction in juvenile arrests year-over-year.
Changes have also come as a result of evolving societal mores. For example, felony-level crimes are now much more stigmatized than in years past due to an increasingly "wired" society, with the ability to uncover criminal history much easier than it has ever been before, and a news media that is better able to immediately report on arrests. Some legal experts speculate that stigma could have a chilling effect on crime rates.
A wake-up call
While California's justice system now affects fewer juveniles than ever before, criminal records
are still serious and can have an impact on a person's life for years to come. Juvenile records can be sealed or expunged in some instances, but there are certain things that will follow a person, resulting in lost opportunities for educational loans, scholarships and jobs, and could even limit housing options. Juvenile crimes should not be treated as "youthful indiscretions" or "sowing wild oats," because they have real
consequences in the real
If your son or daughter has been charged with a crime, you need to mount as aggressive a defense as possible to minimize those consequences. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the justice system while still working to ensure that your juvenile loved one's rights are fully protected.
Article provided by Jerrold M. Bodow, Attorney at Law, A.P.L.C.
Visit us at www.attorneybodow.com---
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