If your son or daughter has been arrested or is otherwise facing Juvenile Court you should hire someone experienced in the Juvenile Justice system. As a former juvenile corrections officer, Juvenile Probation Officer, and someone that has practiced for more than 15 years in Juvenile Law I have the experience to make sure your childs case is handled correctly.
Here I will go over the three different ways a case that is minor in nature can be handled through the Juvenile system. The case I will be talking about is something we see in the Juvenile Justice system many times a fight. In later blogs I will go through more serious cases that are handled much differently such as Homicide cases, and transfer to adult court.
Lets say your child is a first time offender or as they say in Juvenile Court a first time petition for example battery on a school ground.
There are several ways to handle the case have the case expunged and in some cases even have the records destroyed.
In some other blogs I went over what happens at detention hearings and what are the factors the court takes into consideration in deciding wether to detain a minor. Those issues are discussed in that blog.
The three main ways a case can lead to a dismissal are two before admission and one after admission. It should be noted here that under new law even if the case is not referred for one of the programs below under statutory changes such as penal code section 786 you may still be eligible for sealing and destruction of records after one year.
(CJC) or Collaberative Justice program. Here both parties have to agree to participate and the parents must agree to help. After the programs is completed then the case is dimissed. This means there is never a plea to any of the charges in the petition and the case will never be brought.
With informal probation the minor is not placed on formal probation instead before he enteres a plea to any parts of the petition the minor is given an oppurtunity to handle the matter informally. What this usually means is that the minor will complete certain orders of the court and then the matter will be dismissed. The records will also eventually be destroyed. The cases that are elibible for this programs are usually misdmemeanor cases. Although a Felony case can be handled through the informal route if there are unusual circumstances, or the interest of Justice would be served. If the minor is under 14 unusual circumstances do not have to be found.
The DEJ program is usually for first time offenders. Allthough most of these cases are more serious and Felonies if the minor gets through the court orders the case will still be dismissed. The procedure for destroying the records is different and it could be a much longer time to have the records destroyed.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to call 559-441-1418.