Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/California - constitutional rights question


A friend of mine who is a minor, licensed and fully insured was in an a recent automobile accident. He hit a pedestrian who was in fact jaywalking (and the pedestrian was not cited for jaywalking), the minor who was in shocked and scared fled the scene only to turn himself in 12 hours later with his parents. The minor as no criminal history only a DMV report with an infraction (dated latest year btw) for driving while using a cellphone.

He his currently being held in a juvenile detention facility (for 10 days now) as if he is the perpetrator. Yes the minor fled the scene and should be punished for his actions accordingly, but the accident was not legally his fault, arguably we can argue it was the pedestrians fault who violated the law and it was the pedestrians fault who put the minor in harms way and furthermore why is the minor being detained for an accident that was not legally at fault?

What are the minors constitutional rights?


Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense, regardless of whose fault the accident was.  Someone accused of such a crime may be held in pre-trial detention.  However, if it has really been ten days, there should have been a bail hearing by now.  If he cannot make bail, he can continue to be held until trial.  But the Constitution guarantees the right to be presumed innocent until trial and to be free of excessive bail.  It sounds like this friend needs a lawyer right away. A reasonable bail should be set.  He should be able to post bail and be free until trial.

- Mike

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.


Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.    I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

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