juveniles facing gun charges. Why is it that these teens, many of whom
are not gang members or violent individuals, feel it necessary to
carry guns? Whether it is their neighborhoods, peers, family
associations, or just their naivety about the seriousness of being
caught with a firearm, I believe knowing the consequences they may
face can help lower the number of black juveniles who are inclined to
The consequences juveniles face for gun possession are often harsh and
have long-term, life changing, effects. Being charged with a felony
affects their right to attend college and to vote. Serving jail time
disrupts their schooling and personal lives, and often grooms them to
become better criminals, leading to higher rates of recidivism. For
juveniles who have family, friends, and community members willing to
advocate for lesser sentences, they may be lucky enough to be charged
with misdemeanors and sent to camps or ROTC (?) programs that accept
troubled youth and help guide them into a career path. Those who
don’t, will almost always face much harsher sentences.
For attorneys representing these youth, it is important to take the
time to investigate their background and determine what resources and
relationships they have that could assist them in receiving an
alternative (and more productive) punishment. Family, friends, and
community members willing to advocate for these youth and provide
resources to create a stable environment for these youth to complete
their programs, are a critical component to successfully advocating
for camps and other programs. I strongly believe that many of these
juveniles deserve a chance to prove that they can make better
decisions when placed in a disciplined, nurturing environment, away
from the peers and environment that encouraged their deviant behavior.
Camps and other programs that can change the attitudes and life
perspectives of these juveniles are often the key to effectively
rehabilitating them, so that they lead more productive lives.
My hope is that bringing awareness to the real consequences associated
with gun charges will help change attitudes and perspectives about
carrying guns, and lower the number of black juveniles facing gun
We are increasingly relying on electronic communications to handle even routine business transactions. Especially troubling is how often “electronic signatures” are being used in real estate transactions, which are often the largest and most complex financial commitment most consumers will make in their lifetimes. Many of my real estate litigation clients encounter problems that they later call upon me to fix because they only read the documents that they later sign electronically on their computer screen and fail to print out the documents and read the “hard copies” before signing. I don’t know about you, but I miss many important mistakes when I handle my business this way. For some reason, I miss the typos and even substantive errors when I read important documents only on my computer screen. Is it because I don’t take enough time to thoroughly read what’s on the screen? This is why I always print out important legal documents and read them on paper before I sign them. My tip (yes, you can even say this is legal advice) is that when you are entering into a big transaction, that you do the same.
- Gardner + Associates LawyersAttorney, present
- Gardner & Booth
- Law Offices of Jennifer B. Gardner
- Lavely & Singer
- McPhearson & Grossblatt
- www.LosAngelesCriminalLawDefense.com (current)
- Southwestern University School of Law
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