A Blog for California Lawyers

Adolescent Brain Development as a Defense

Torrance Criminal Court lawyerCan an adolescent’s brain development or lack thereof be a defense?

Three general differences between juveniles under 18 and adults demonstrate that juvenile offenders cannot reliabl be classified among the worst offenders.  First, any parent knows…juveniles lack maturity and have an underdeveolped sense of responsibility much more so than adults.  Moreover, juveniles are overrepresented statistically in virtually every category of reckless behavior.  Secondly, juveniles are more vulnerable to negative influences and outside pressure, including peer pressure.  As such, all juvenile defense attorneys who also represent adults in criminal court must make a conscious effort to acknowledge and educate the juvenile court about relative brain development as a possible defense and mitigation in sentencing.

Errol Cook, Esq. (Torrance Criminal Defense)


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