We represent young people facing prosecution in the Juvenile Court system. Although many of the same considerations apply to both juveniles and adults accused of crime, the important procedural aspects of Juvenile Law are found primarily in the Welfare and Institutions Code, rather than the Penal Code. Juvenile offenders who face lengthy incarceration are not sent to state prison, but to the Division of Juvenile Justice of the California Department of Corrections. Juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial when prosecuted in Juvenile Court. In many serious cases involving allegations of violence, the District attorney may “direct file” a juvenile case into adult court, or ask a Juvenile Court judge to rule on whether the case should remain in Juvenile Court or be brought in adult court.
For many kids and their families, the Juvenile Court system can present an opportunity to turn things around and get off the road that seems to be leading to a life of incarceration. The Juvenile Court judges have a broad range of tools and programs to help young offenders, including pre-petition programs of supervision, diversion and Victim-Offender Reconciliation.
If your child, grandchild, nephew, niece or other loved one is facing an appearance in the juvenile courts, please do not hesitate to call me for a consultation.