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Name: In re K.M.
Case #: A168834
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/20/2024

Reversal required where there was no substantial evidence that 13-year-old minor K.M. understood the “wrongfulness” (PC 26) of possessing a folding knife on school grounds (PC 626.10(a)(1)). Section 26 creates a presumption that a child under the age of 14 is incapable of committing a crime unless the prosecution can show by “clear and convincing evidence that the child understood the wrongfulness of the charged act at the time of its commission.” This statutory presumption was not overcome where: (1) there was no evidence the minor was previously informed that the knife was illegal; (2) the minor’s father told the minor knife was legal; and (3) the minor’s statement that he didn’t “have anything” prior to the search of his backpack was insufficient, by itself, to establish knowledge of wrongfulness.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: