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Two Southern California teenagers are in custody after being arrested last Friday for robbing a 7-11 convenience store. After being arrested, the pair of teens were linked to four prior robberies at the exact same location as well as a few other robberies nearby.
The two seventeen year olds were attempting to make their getaway when they were pulled over by an officer who had been keeping the area under surveillance and was able to respond in under a minute. When the officer pulled the teens over, she discovered a loaded handgun, as well as two BB guns and masks and clothing fitting the description.
Prior Robberies Escalate the Potential Charges
While the arrestees here may be juveniles, the fact that they are connected to five prior robberies at the same location, as well as a few other robberies, means that they may not face juvenile charges. Under California law, robbery is a crime that prosecutors may charge juveniles as adults for.
Additionally, the teens will likely face multiple counts and individual charges for each robbery, which could compound the time each will have to serve in prison if convicted.
When Do Juveniles Get Charged as Adults?
Under California law, juveniles can be charged as adults if they are at least 14 years old and either commit a serious crime listed out in Welfare and Institution Code section 707(b), or have a prior criminal record. Additionally, prosecutors can opt in their discretion to file charges against minors aged 16 and over as adults. For each of the above circumstances, the court must approve the decision to try the minor as an adult.
Generally, prosecutors have the discretion to file charges against juveniles in their best judgment. However under some states' laws, a statute may authorize or require a juvenile be charged as an adult for a particular crime.