A 15-year-old boy was arrested on a Metrolink train bound for Santa Clarita for carrying an automatic rifle. The Antelope Valley boy, whose name was withheld because he is a minor, was released from custody a week ago before being picked up on the gun charges. The Daily News reports that a train rider overheard the boy bragging about the gun and notified the conductor, who called sheriff’s deputies.
Under California law, juvenile offenders do not commit crimes–they commit “delinquent acts”– and some of these actions would constitute crimes if committed by an adult. The trial phase of a youth offender case is a “jurisdictional” hearing. This means that the judge hears the evidence and determines whether the child is delinquent. The court may then take whatever action it deems to be in the child’s best interest. This can range from community service to spending time at the California Youth Authority, which is essentially juvenile prison. The theoretical purpose of the juvenile penal code is to rehabilitate, not punish.
Comments about this post can be directed to Irvine Juvenile Criminal Lawyer William Weinberg at (949) 474-8008.