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If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime in Juvenile court you need experienced counsel that has practiced in  Juvenile Court.  There are differences between adult and Juvenile Court that only an experienced Attorney that is used to practicing in Juvenile Court will know.  As a former Juvenile Probation Officer and an Attorney that has practiced in Juvenile Court for more than 15 years I can help your child out.  If you have questions after reading this article give our office a call.  559-441-1418. 


One difference is there is no bail in the Juvenile Court.  Instead there is what is referrred to as  a Detention hearing there the Distsrict Attorney must show there is a prima facia case and that the minor should be detained in Juvenile detention pending the outcome. The minor could be released to parents or placed on the gps system to ensure that he is going to school 


There is no right to a jury trial in the Juvenile court the court will hear any evidence that there is in what is called a dispoition hearing.  At that hearing most of the rules of a trial are in play except for a few.  And a Judge is the sole decision maker rather than picking 12 jurors.  


In Juvenile Court the time limits are much different 15 day limits on in custody minors and thirty day limits on out of custody minors.  This is unless there is some kind of time waiver.  


The short answer to that is yes but only if certain criteria are met.  The minor has to be 16 or older. And the minor has to go through a transfere hearing where the court will decide by a preponderance of evidence if the minor is emenable to treatment at the Juvenile level.  

The court will look at several factors including the level of sophistication shown by the minor how involved in the underlying crime the minor was and if the minor can be rehabilitated before the age of 25 when the juvenile court jurisdiction terminates.  If the minor is being tried as an adult this is a very serious matter the minor if tried as an adult could be subjected to much more time.  For example if the minor is charged with a homicide and is currenlty 17 he could be held until 25 if in Juvenile Court.  whereas if he is tried as a juvenile then he will be subject to first or second degree murder which could subject him to the rest of his life in prison.  

There is no changes to this law above that made many more minors able to be in juvenile court.  We have had success under these new guidelines keeping the minor in Juvenile court and stoping them from being subjected to life in prison.  This gives the minor the chance to be rehabilitated at the local level and can help minors turn there lives around.  Many minors are being held in Juvenlie Court now instead of being transferred due to the changes in this law.  There the juenile court judges that are more experienced with juvenile matters can find alteranatives to decades long imprisonments for even first time offenders and better serve the needs of the minor and the community.  In the past other Judges would get the cases that may not have the experience with more youthful offenders.  


So as you can see this can be a complex area of the law if you have any questions give us a call at 559-441-1418.



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Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704
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Phone: 559.441.1418