A 13-year-old student was booked into Juvenile Hall for allegedly bringing
a handgun to his Garden Grove school.
The boy, a student at Jordan Intermediate School, was taken into custody
after law enforcement officers responded to a report that a student had
a loaded gun in his backpack. Upon searching the student's backpack,
Garden Grove Police Department officers said they discovered a Colt Mark
IV .38-caliber handgun. A loaded magazine was also reportedly discovered
in the student's front pants pocket.
According to the police, the gun was registered to one of the student's
family members. Officers searched the family home and discovered a .22-caliber
Ruger rifle that was not properly registered. The rifle was seized and
the family member who claimed to own the rifle was cited for a misdemeanor
gun registration violation.
Investigators are still working to determine why the student brought the
handgun to school in the first place.
Weapons offenses like the ones discussed here can have serious consequences for minors
and adults alike. California law sets forth strict regulations when it
comes to owning and possessing firearms, specifically pertaining to minors.
Any person under the age of 21 may not buy a handgun, and minors under
the age of 18 may not purchase other types of firearms or possess handguns
or ammunition. Parents may also face criminal liability if their children
gain access to firearms that are not properly stored.
Understanding Juvenile Weapons Charges
Because minors are prohibited from possessing handguns or ammunition, there
are various instances where a minor may face weapons charges. California
Penal Code § 25850, for example, prohibits carrying a loaded firearm
in a vehicle or public place. § 25400 prohibits carrying a concealed
firearm, and § 417 prohibits "drawing, exhibiting, or using
a firearm or deadly weapon." These offenses may vary in severity
depending on the specific type of weapon and other circumstances surrounding
the case. A minor may even face trial as an adult in certain weapon-related
charges, though this will vary on a case by case basis.
In the situation involving the Garden Grove student, it appears that the
handgun was not brandished and that no one was threatened or injured.
This should reduce the severity of any charges that the student faces.
Irrespective of the particular charges filed in this case or any weapons-related
matter, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Minors may face informal probation, formal probation, community service,
restitution or confinement in a juvenile detention center. Though the
juvenile justice system is meant to be geared toward rehabilitation in
lieu of punishment, some minors may be tried as adults or may face maximum
penalties allowed in the juvenile system. Having a juvenile record can
affect educational and employment opportunities and other areas of a minor's future.
Orange County criminal defense lawyer who understands the California Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and
how it operates can provide a hard-hitting defense in even the most complex
juvenile crime cases. Involving a lawyer is helpful even before formal charges are filed,
as this may be a crucial time to ensure the case does not proceed or that
the minor is not tried as an adult. Prosecutors, judges and law enforcement
officers are more likely to cooperate with a legal professional who knows
how to assert a client's constitutional rights – as a minor
or an adult.
For a confidential case review and more information about our firm, contact
The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman today. We represent clients throughout
Orange County and the surrounding areas in Southern California.