Domestic violence is an issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Unfortunately, teens are not immune to this problem; statistics show that about 10 percent of adolescents have been victims of dating violence. It might not necessarily be a sign of an emerging violent pattern in your child; teens tend to be impulsive and not always in control of their emotions. But unfortunately, when those impulses run up against the law–particularly domestic violence laws–the negative repercussions can last for many years. California law is strict regarding domestic violence, and while California’s juvenile process operates differently than the criminal justice system for adults, a single moment of bad judgment can still follow a teen into adulthood, making life complicated and ruining potential opportunities.
While it’s impossible to control our teen’s behaviors and choices completely, understanding how the law works can help you and your teen navigate a difficult situation and hopefully minimize the damage. If your teen has been accused of domestic violence—or if you are a teenager who has been accused—the following information may be able to help.