September 29, 2014
Two recent fights at Saugus High School have resulted in much more than detention for the teenagers involved. According to a news report in The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, two 15-year-old sophomores have been arrested on suspicion of battery on school grounds after two fights occurred. Law enforcement and school administrators are working together to review the incidents.
What is less clear from the article and official release is how the future of the sophomores involved in this incident will be tarnished. Facing battery charges is a big deal even when the alleged offender is a juvenile. While assault charges can result from the threat of violence, battery charges are typically reserved for individuals who actually inflict physical injury. It is a serious offense that carries real consequences. There are more legal options available for juveniles than adults, but the court system is not kind to offenders with a history of violence.
In Santa Clarita, the majority of teenagers under the age of 18 are prosecuted in the juvenile court system. Juveniles do not have the right to jury trial. Instead, they typically face a judge in juvenile delinquency court. These specialty courts have a range of dispositional alternatives available depending upon the circumstances of the case. For example, the juvenile may be become a ward of the court and placed on probation. In some cases, the juvenile can even get placed in a group home, boot camp or youth prison.
It is crucial that the parents, guardians and lawyers of the juvenile are fighting for his or her best interests. Juvenile arrests are not made public, but social media makes anonymity a thing of the past.
If your child is facing charges for assault or battery in Santa Clarita, it is crucial that you act quickly to protect his or her future. The juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, but that doesn't mean that a conviction will not bring serious life-changing consequences for your child. If your child or teen is facing criminal charges, please contact an experienced Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer to ensure that his or her rights are protected every step of the way.