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Teens and criminal law: reasons supporting a second chance

At The Law Office of John W. Noonan in Alameda County, we believe in the concept of redemption.

Especially for young people.

Most proven criminal defense practitioners do, given our deep well of experience advocating for juveniles who are in trouble because they committed acts that were, well, adolescent.

That is by its very definition understandable, right? Adolescent behavior -- by nature, often impulsive and not fully informed, and lacking due consideration of potentially adverse consequences -- is something that is logically most closely connected with juveniles.

It is, so to speak, their special province. When we hear of questionable behavior that is prominently marked by lapses in judgment or a quick surrender to reckless action, don't we most often think of a young person who simply acted before duly considering all the consequences?

That reality is firmly stamped in the criminal law realm, which is why so many reformist commentators frequently voice the need for redemption and a second chance -- rehabilitation in lieu of summary punishment -- when it seems clear that a criminal offense owed more to youthful indiscretion -- and things like peer pressure -- than to hardened criminal intent.

One recent study focusing upon the behaviors of thousands of teens across the world adds punch to the already accepted notion -- backed both anecdotally and empirically -- that teens far more often engage in risky and impulsive behavior than do older adults for the simple reason that their brains are not fully matured.

The bottom line: Teens do not one day wake up summarily and completely evolved as the fullest versions of what they will ever be. Such things take time, with some members of the juvenile demographic learning a few hard lessons along the way.

We believe that malice-free indiscretions that can be learned from should, when possible, be responded to by an understanding within the criminal justice system that seeks to promote the above-cited second chance rather than by a harsh punitive response that mutes the possibilities of further growth.

Recent Case Results

  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    John was able to get client a reduction of charge of a DUI because of being a nurse it could mean her license.

    He secured a Drunk in Public , and she would attend a 3 month program. Additionally, the dmv hearing was also set aside.

    Both being a win for the client.

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  • Domestic Violence

    A client was arrested for a Felony Domestic Violence, could have devastated her potential for future employment. John was able to get the case dismissed. Client was thrilled.

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  • Juvenile Charges

    A juvenile was arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery. After 6 months the case was dismissed.

    A juvenile was arrested for Sexual Battery. After 6 months and 80 hours of Community service, the case was dismissed.

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  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    A client with a 1st DUI arrest. Fearing she would go to jail; lose her license for a year and lose her job. Got a wet reckless and minimal fines.

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  • Drug Charges

    A client with 4 Felony charges on a Transportation Charge, a Attempt to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, (50 pounds), Conspiracy Charge all where reduced to 1 Misdemeanor. No Jail.

    Client was charged with 6 Felony drug possessions. Facing jail time. The results: Client got a deferred entry of judgment and then dismissed.

    Client charged with several felony counts of possession of Marijuana with intent to sell. Client was involved in a medical marijuana grow. Case was reduced and later dismissed.

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  • Sex Crimes

    A client with alleged 2 Felony Sex charges and he faced jail and sex registration. The case was entirely dismissed.

    Client charged with prostitution; facing jail time and sex offender registration. Result: NO JAIL TIME AND NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Deferred Entry of Judgment.

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  • Domestic Violence

    Client charged with domestic violence, with great bodily injury. Case reduced to a misdemeanor with time served.

    Read More
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Areas We Serve

Dublin Office
6379 Clark Avenue
Suite 250
Dublin, CA 94568

Phone: 925-463-3340
Fax: 925-479-0015
Dublin Law Office Map

Manteca Office
210 East Center Street
Suite 10
Manteca, CA 95336

Phone: 925-463-3340
Fax: 925-479-0015
Manteca Law Office Map

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