When a juvenile has committed a status or criminal offense, they will become part of the juvenile justice system. A prosecutor or the probation department can file a petition with the juvenile justice court. Once the petition has been filed, the juvenile can be subject to several different disposition or sentencing options. The disposition and sentencing in your child’s case will depend on multiple factors, including:
- The prior record of the juvenile offender
- The gravity of the offense
- Whether the juvenile Inflicted serious bodily harm on the victim
- The victim status
- Other factors
Read on as the California juvenile defense attorney at the Law Office of Katie Walsh discusses juvenile sentencing.
- Informal Juvenile Probation
Welfare and Institutions Code Section 554 or 725 allows for informal juvenile probation as a sentencing option when a petition is filed. Informal juvenile probation usually involves a period of supervision for six months or less. The minor will usually enter a drug or alcohol treatment program with the participation of the parents. The minor can be subjected to a curfew, may have to make restitution, and be subjected to drug testing. Informal juvenile probation is usually used for first-time offenses such as trespass, vandalism, and some drug-related charges.
After a petition has been filed, the parties may agree to a diversion program. The probation office can formulate a unique plan for the child that may include the participation of the parents in a treatment or education program for up to 6 months. The parents may have to attend parenting programs, and the juvenile could be sheltered within a community facility for up to 90 days. When the diversion program is successfully finished, no petition will be filed, and the matter will be dismissed.
- Deferred Entry of Judgement
When a juvenile admits to the allegations against him or her, the disposition could be that of deferred entry of judgment (DEJ). A deferred entry of judgment is for a low-level offense. It doesn’t include violent felonies, sexual assaults, crimes involving firearms, or gang-related crimes other than the 30 specific crimes mentioned in W&I Section 707(b).
- Formal Juvenile Probation
When the child is declared a word of the court, he or she can be sentenced to formal probation. Formal probation can be at the child’s home, a group home, a relative’s home, or a camp if the minor needs more structure. The court can require any terms that the minor must comply with during the probationary period, including mandatory School attendance, curfew restriction, community service, and more.
- California Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Commitment
Another disposition involves a commitment to the California Division Of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Commitment to the division of Juvenile Justice usually happens when juveniles have committed serious felonies or crimes for which Sex Offender Registration is required.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Juvenile Justice Attorney
Has your child been arrested and charged with a criminal offense or status offense in Orange County? If so, you may have concerns about your child’s future and the disposition of his or her case. Attorney Katie Walsh is an empathetic Orange County juvenile attorney with extensive experience representing clients in the juvenile. Contact the Law Office of Katie Walsh to schedule a free initial case evaluation and learn more.