San Jose Inside
New Laws Attempt to Keep Youth Offenders Out of Justice System
Kids who skip out on transit payments will no longer face criminal charges under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday. Fare evasion will result in administrative fines, but won’t escalate into a misdemeanor charge or jail time once the law takes effect at the start of next year.
The bill, authored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), is part of an ongoing push by California lawmakers to dial down overly harsh penalties for youth and the working poor. Last year, Herzberg spearheaded an amnesty program to reduce traffic fines by taking into account a person’s income level.