Authority to Arrest a Minor During School Hours In California

All children age six to 18 must attend school full-time unless exempted. ( 48200, 48220-48232; In re James D. (1987) 43 Cal. 3d 903, 918 239 Cal. Rptr. 663, 741 P.2d 161, cert. den. sub nom. James D. v. California (1988) 485 U.S. 959 108 S. Ct. 1222, 99 L. Ed. 2d 422.) Under section 48264, "a peace officer . . . may arrest or assume temporary custody, during school hours, of any minor subject to compulsory full-time education . . . found away from his or her home and who is absent from school without valid excuse within the county, city, or city and county, or school district." (Italics added; see also 48265.) Section 48265 delineates what a peace officer may do with a truant in his or her custody. "Any person arresting or assuming temporary custody of a minor pursuant to Section 48264 shall forthwith deliver the minor either to the parent, guardian, or other person having control, or charge of the minor, or to the school from which the minor is absent, or to a nonsecure youth service or community center designated by the school or district for counseling prior to returning such minor to his home or school, or to a school counselor or pupil services and attendance officer located at a police station for the purpose of obtaining immediate counseling from the counselor or officer prior to returning or being returned to his home or school, or, if the minor is found to have been declared an habitual truant, he shall cause the minor to be brought before the probation officer of the county having jurisdiction over minors." "It is settled Fourth Amendment doctrine that a police officer may, incident to a lawful arrest, conduct a contemporaneous warrantless search of the arrestee's person and of the area into which the arrestee might reach to retrieve a weapon or destroy evidence." (People v. Ingham (1992) 5 Cal. App. 4th 326, 330 6 Cal. Rptr. 2d 756.) The People contend that the search of the backpack was incident to defendant's arrest for truancy.