By September 22, 2016 August 31st, 2020 Criminal Defense

RULE CHECK in the beginning of the year or semester–As the new school year begins, Fiumara & Milligan Law highly recommends that parents carefully review the school rules or rule book that is sent home in the form of a booklet with their minor school enrollees before the start of each semester. 

We can’t impress enough upon the parents that they should carefully review the school rules and regulations. We suggest that if the parents have any questions or concerns they should make their voices heard sooner rather than later. 


PLACEMENT OF LETTER INTO STUDENT FILE—The Law Firm of Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC has been representing minor students and their parents in California Schools since 1992.  We highly recommend that parents take a very proactive stance and send a letter to the school administrators where their children are enrolled directed to the school vice or assistant principal, or the principal clearly stating:

If their minor child is questioned about any violation of school rules or the law by any school administrator or law enforcement you, the parent, must be present before the commencement of questioning.  Further, make it clear in the letter that your child has been instructed to request his or her parents and attorney be present as well.

A letter like this on file (to be placed into your child’s CUM file) really makes the school district take notice and think twice before trampling on your child’s constitutional and due process rights!

WE DRAFT the letter of protection for FREE- because our firm feels so strongly that school districts and law enforcement often over-reach and collude to expeditiously expel pupils who are often innocent, we draft a letter for any parent who asks us for FREE and it has made a difference!  In that letter we also include a non-consent to a search of your child’s cell phone unless the school district gets a warrant for good cause. 

The letter is clearly focused on not having your minor child questioned or interviewed by a school administrator, or employee or any member of any law enforcement without the parent present.  The parent has the option of stating whether their lawyers should also be present.

The following areas often come up the most frequently regarding suspensions and expulsions. So we recommend that parents take a moment along with their minor student enrollees to review these areas:


AGAIN, please instruct your minor child to always request your presence, the parent, whenever an administrator or the police question your child/pupil at school.  Again, your minor pupil must request that you be present before questioning. This request must come from them, but, again, we think it is a good idea for you to put your request in writing to the school district as stated above.


Your request must be clear and emphatic that you must be summoned immediately prior to any questioning by the authorities at the school and the police.  Again, you as the parent, have a right to be present if your minor pupil is questioned about a violation of the law by school or police personnel but, again, the minor must request that you be present before being questioned. 


The California Supreme Court and other courts around the country have ruled now that school personnel, including the administrators and the police, cannot just search your minor’s cell phone without having the minor’s consent or permission to do so.  Otherwise, they must obtain a warrant to search the cell phone and this is not always something that they are willing to do. 

Please instruct your child/minor to never consent to a search of their cell phones no matter how harmless it may appear!  However, please note that they should not physically resist an attempt by either an administrator or the school authorities, including the police, to search their phone. 

If they do, then they will be charged with resisting arrest under Penal Code 148(a) and possibly several Welfare and Institution Codes which will subject them to juvenile court prosecution and expulsion from the school. WE recommend that you instruct your child to firmly, but politely voice their non-consent objection to have their cell phone searched without their permission. 



We strongly urge all parents to request a copy of your student’s school behavior/discipline and CUM record/ file at the end of each school semester.  This is something that you will not regret later because this way you can see firsthand how your minor student is behaving in the classroom.  If your minor student is misbehaving, being disrespectful to teachers and administrators or not doing what they are supposed to be doing, it should get reported and written on their Discipline Behavior Report. 

It should be noted that these reports follow your student while they are in the school district and will be assessed and carefully scrutinized by school administrative panels when they are assessing their recommendation of either a suspension or an expulsion for student violations later on. 

So, why wait until there is a cumulative effect which will certainly guarantee that your child will end up expelled from the school district!  Please understand that tardies, unexcused absences and skipping class and the like all add up and will reflect poorly on your student’s record for any  school expulsion that may be considered down the line. 

The school administrative expulsion panel, probation officers, juvenile judges, and others who may hold the fate of your minor pupil in an expulsion hearing or juvenile justice detention hearing will consider your child’s entire record.  Hence, we challenge parents to Act affirmatively


If you need further guidance, you may contact us at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC at either of our centrally located offices in Marin County at (415) 592-4507 or at our Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County at (707) 571-8600—“The right attorney makes all the difference.”


The offenses that require mandatory suspension and recommendation for expulsion are:

1.            Committing or attempting to commit a sexual battery or committing a sexual battery;

2.            Possession of an explosive or weapon.

3.            Possessing, selling or otherwise furnishing a firearm. 

4.            Brandishing a knife at another person.

5.            The unlawful selling of a controlled substance, usually it is on campus. 


CANDID Conversation–It is important that you sit down with your minor children and speak candidly about sexual assault.  The rules are changing and sexting and bullying are playing an important role now in having these kinds of charges filed by the district attorney.  Unfortunately, boys are still the most vulnerable because even if they believe they are engaging in sexual contact with a consenting female, most females if caught face suspension and expulsion and will more than likely allege that they were forced to participate.  It is a very dangerous cycle to have your son or daughter exposed to in today’s challenging times.

Your son will most likely face an expulsion hearing if everything else is equal– unless the female admits to having made false statements, but that is highly unlikely.  Even participating in consensual sexual activity with one another can lead to suspensions and expulsions and worse especially if the age difference between the minor is 4 years or greater! 

SEXUAL CONTENT/ CELL PHONES–It is most important that you counsel your minors about not having sexual content on their cell phones.  Again, “sexting” is more common than you think among younger students. 


Unfortunately, we have handled cases where photographs and/or videos that minors have shared among themselves engaging in private sexual activity or just mere possession of photographs in their cell phones subjects them to very serious “possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography charges,” under numerous California Penal Code Sections: 311.1; 311.2; 311.3; 311.10 and 311.11. 

These types of serious charges lead to expulsion and, in some cases, jail!  It is not worth it so it is most important to become very proactive with very high tech savvy youth.


As we know, many students like to experiment, pull pranks among themselves and talk about creating some sort of destructive device at school or at home.  Some chemistry classes now allow or encourage talk about the making of explosive devices and that sometimes fascinates some students.  These kinds of explosion devices are not real difficult to reproduce and there are many videos on YouTube, and other social media that show step-by-step how to create bombs and incendiary devices—this is common knowledge. 


Even discussing these steps or the desire to make a weapon in text messages can be threatening and can get the attention of authorities which can cause a great deal of fear and panic– enough grounds for an expulsion hearing.  However, we have successfully defended scientific free speech on First Amendment grounds where some school districts have gone too far–but why risk having this from happening?  Common Sense should prevail and students need to be spoken to like adults about all possible consequences. 


There is a major trend where minors are becoming more and more addicted to prescription pain/opiates that are left unguarded in medicine cabinets.  Another disturbing trend is the increased use of heroin and resultant fatal overdoses. Add to that the fact that many minors today are using marijuana in greater numbers since there is a liberalization in the sale and use of marijuana and their peers are doing the same.  The many California propositions and ballot initiatives which have liberalized its use over the years has had an effect. 


Sales and Distribution considered much more serious by school officials–Unfortunately, a number of students sell and furnish marijuana to their friends to support their habit.  If the minor sells or furnishes marijuana in any amount while going to and from school or while on school property and there is evidence to support that they did distribute or sell, even a first offense, they will be immediately suspended and then recommended for expulsion

In these cases, expulsion is extremely likely for your student minor.  The same goes for the prescription medication and other pills that they bring to school.  The district will see this as a sale of a dangerous drug even though it was prescribed legally and by a doctor.  It is just that your child did not have the legal drug prescribed to them but to another family member.  GUARD your medicine Cabinet!


Today’s social and political climate is far different than when many parents grew up.  Unfortunately, even innocently possessing a 3 inch or longer blade that your son or daughter inadvertently placed in their backpack while they went fishing with Mom or Dad, will place them in harm’s way for a weapons possession charge!  Weapons charges even now will apply to metal knuckles, billy clubs and other items deemed to be weapons when they were used to play around in the yard or at home. 

Even air soft guns can look like and be taken for dangerous weapons. Hence, possession of such a gun while going to and from school can lead to an expulsion, especially if exhibited or brandished at others!  It is our recommendation that you do not allow your minor to have access to guns around the house, but only under very strict conditions of responsible adult supervision, training and care. 


We know some children learn to hunt with their mother or father and we are in the business of taking away anybody’s 2nd Amendment Rights! 

However, it is strongly advised that when guns and ammunition is not in proper use they should be placed under lock and key in an approved and secured locked safe; otherwise, parents will face their own charges of child endangerment and the like. 

We have grown up in a very punitive and criminalizing society with a great deal of fear based anxiety, especially nowadays with terrorism and police shootings.  Why risk having your child shot because their toy gun looked so real or did not have the orange tip indicating that it was a replica? 


We have been successfully defending juvenile clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.
The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Don’t bargain with your minor child’s freedom or future! 
“The right attorney makes all the difference”– between your freedom and incarceration!
Please CLICK HERE to visit our dedicated page on sex crimes charges for more information

Michael A. Fiumara

About Michael A. Fiumara

Leave a Reply

Call Now
Text Us