Juvenile Detention for Truancy In California

Teenage truancy arrest cases in california: A "detention to investigate whether a person is a truant is justified when there are specific and articulable facts causing an officer to suspect, reasonably, that a truancy violation is occurring, and that the person he intends to detain is a truant." (In re James D., supra, 43 Cal. 3d at p. 916, fn. omitted, italics in original.) Such articulable, relevant, and objectively verifiable facts justifying a truancy detention include the minor's youthful appearance, carrying a book bag, while walking at least three miles from the nearest school when school is in session. (Id. at pp. 916-918.) If the minor is in fact a truant, and fails to provide an excuse or note for his or her absence from school during school hours, the police have probable cause to make a section 48264 arrest. (In re Miguel G. (1980) 111 Cal. App. 3d 345, 350 168 Cal. Rptr. 688; see also In re James D., supra, 43 Cal. 3d at pp. 915-916 if minor is in fact truant, he or she is placed under 48264 arrest..) In Miguel G., the minor, who was one day shy of 17 years old, was found by the police walking 10 blocks from school while school was in session. Although the minor indicated he was late, he gave no excuse and had no note. The appellate court explained, "under this set of circumstances, the officers had probable cause to arrest appellant for not being in school and take him to the counseling center as provided for in sections 48264 and 48265." (In re Miguel G., supra, at p. 350, italics added.) Later, when the minor began acting strangely, the officers determined he was under the influence of a narcotic and found PCP in his possession. the appellate court held there was no abuse of arrest procedures. (Ibid.)