If you can afford to hire a private attorney, you should retain one, prior to the court date. Moreover, the attorney can likely appear on your son's behalf and enter a plea of not guilty for him, while he works on your son's case. There should be no reason that your son would be jailed that day, if he/the attorney appears. Only if the court date is missed, would a warrant be issued.
It could have a negative impact but that would be at the discretion of a potential employer if they want to use this charge against him in the hiring process.
California Penal Code § 594
§ 594. Vandalism; Punishment
(a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism:
(1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material.
Whenever a person violates this subdivision with respect to real property, vehicles, signs, fixtures, furnishings, or property belonging to any public entity, as defined by Section 811.2 of the Government Code, or the federal govern-ment, it shall be a permissive inference that the person neither owned the property nor had the permission of the owner to deface, damage, or destroy the property.
(b)(1) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is pun-ishable by imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or if the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(2)(A) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less than four hundred dollars ($400), vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(B) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less than four hundred dollars ($400), and the defen-dant has been previously convicted of vandalism or affixing graffiti or other inscribed material under Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) Upon conviction of any person under this section for acts of vandalism consisting of defacing property with graffiti or other inscribed materials, the court may, in addition to any punishment imposed under subdivision (b), order the defendant to clean up, repair, or replace the damaged property himself or herself, or order the defendant, and his or her parents or guardians if the defendant is a minor, to keep the damaged property or another specified property in the community free of graffiti for up to one year. Participation of a parent or guardian is not required under this subdivision if the court deems this participation to be detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a single parent who must care for young children.
(d) If a minor is personally unable to pay a fine levied for acts prohibited by this section, the parent of that minor shall be liable for payment of the fine. A court may waive payment of the fine, or any part thereof, by the parent upon a finding of good cause.
(e) As used in this section, the term "graffiti or other inscribed material" includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design, that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on real or personal property.
(f) The court may order any person ordered to perform community service or graffiti removal pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) to undergo counseling.
(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2002.
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