Know Your Rights

There's always information that's good to know. Whether it's knowing your rights about sexual assault or being able to recognize the signs of substance abuse, we hope this section provides you with the information you need to protect yourself and others.

Alcohol Laws

Drink alcohol if you are under the age of 21.
Use or possess false evidence of age (fake ID).
Possess or drink alcohol on any street, highway or public place.
Work in any place where the main business is selling alcoholic beverages.
You cannot have or allow an open or closed alcohol container in a car (even in the trunk, even if it's not yours) if you are not with a responsible adult.
Drive a car while under the influence of alcohol.
Be drunk in public.
Sell or give a false identification to someone under 21.
Little to No Tolerance
Are you between 13-21? Want to drive? Don't drink. Your driving privileges could be delayed, suspended or restricted. You might even spend time in Juvenile Hall.
If an officer asks you to take a breath test, you may not say "no" or fail to complete the test without automatically losing your license for one year. If you are under 21 and drive with a .01% blood alcohol level or higher you WILL lose your license for one year. Don't have a license? You will be prevented from getting one for one year.
Excerpts taken from Laws for youth: A Guide for Santa Cruz Youth, Parents, Teachers and Community Members. Prepared and distributed by the Criminal Justice Office of Santa Cruz County Juvenile Justice Task Force.


Drug Laws

Use, possess, transport, sell, give away or offer any narcotics or dangerous drugs.
Use or be under the influence of any dangerous drugs, unless prescribed by a doctor.
Try to sell or encourage any minor to break any of the narcotic laws.
Make or use a false or changed prescription.
Plant, grow, harvest, dry or process marijuana or other drugs.
Possess any instrument or means used to inject or some various illegal drugs (such as pipes or needles).
Use, sell or possess any narcotic or dangerous drugs at school.
Drive on any road or highway while under the influence of drugs.
Be in any room or place where any narcotic is being smoked or used, or assist someone in the smoking of or use of it.
Excerpt taken from Laws for Youth: A Guide for Santa Cruz County Youth, Parents, Teachers and Community Members. Prepared and distributed by the Criminal Justice Office of Santa Cruz County Juvenile Justice Task Force.

Getting Protection

For those of you wondering about getting some protection, don't worry about your parents having to know! You are entitled to use birth control and obtain medical care for pregnancy prevention without your parents' consent. You can also get medical treatment for sexually transmitted disease (STD) without their consent as well.

Parents and Teens

Obviously, your parents are responsible for you but you should be treated fairly all the time.
Your parents MUST:
Provide you with the necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical and other care.
Provide you with proper discipline, supervision, and protection.
Furnish support and education in the financial reach.
Your parents MUST NOT:
Desert you or abandon you.
Physically or emotionally abuse you (this doesn't mean they can't spank you-it means they cannot cause injury in the process).
Your parents have liability over you, meaning they are responsible for you and what you do until you are 18 years old. (They are responsible for damages you cause to property at school, injuries or damage to a school employee, any misconduct resulting in someone's injury or death, a car accident if you have your license and your parents signed, when you steal or when you owe money, up to $25,000)! It might be better to stay out of trouble. Your parents could be put in jail if they ask you to do something illegal or to commit a crime.

Schools: Free Speech and Attendance

Guess what? Students do have free speech rights at school. Many kinds of communication, verbal and nonverbal, are protected unless it causes a significant disruption at school. But remember, school attendance is mandatory, so if you are found away from home and absent from school without an excuse, you may be arrested.

Statutory Rape

If you are thinking about dating or having sexual relations with someone older or younger than you, here are some things to know:
Sex with a minor is against the law.
If someone is over the age of 18 and has sex with someone under the age of 18, this is considered "statutory rape." If found guilty, the older partner can be put in jail.
If someone has sex with someone who is 13 years of age or younger, this is considered "child molestation."
Your parents have the ability to post a restraining order against your partner (a legal document which binds a person to stay a certain distance away from someone else).