1145 N California St 1st Floor
Stockton, CA 95202
Office: (209) 546-7411
Fax: (209) 546-7412
There are many differences between juveniles who are prosecuted for crimes and adults who are prosecuted for the same offenses. The most notable difference is the type and length of sentence. Juveniles are punished for only a fraction of the time associated with their adult counter parts. Also, a juvenile's Juvenile Record is confidential and privileged (except for probation officers, law enforcement, court personnel, the minor, and parents of the minor.) Records may be sealed five years or more after juvenile court jurisdiction has ended, or after a person has reached 18 years of age, whichever occurs first.
How long will the Juvenile Delinquency Process take?
The answer to this question is anywhere from 3 weeks to more than 8 months. It can take a very short amount of time if the minor wants to plea guilty or take a deal immediately. If the juvenile wants a trial, that takes time. The other factors that adds to the amount of time is whether the crimes charged are misdemeanors or felonies and whether or not the minor is in custody or whether the minor has been released to his parents.
Also note, that a minor may has several opportunities to ask the judge to release him/her from custody and to be sent home to his/her parents. I try to raise the issue of "release" at every hearing if possible.
Juvenile Delinquency Sentencing Options
Sentences for juveniles may include the following:
Hold 6 months for dismissal and finding of non wardship
Electronically Monitor House Arrest
Placement in a Foster Home or Group Home
CYA (the California Youth Authority). CYA may keep a juvenile until the age of 25, and once this age is reached, the person may then be transferred to State Prison.
Fitness Hearings "Adult Court" The prosecutor may attempt to charge a juvenile as an adult rather than as a juvenile. This means the court will go to adult court (and adult confinement) rather than juvenile court (juvenile confinement). (Yes, some kids do get sentenced to adult prison!) At a fitness hearing there is evidence and testimony concerning whether the minor is a fit and proper subject to be tried as an adult. If the minor is found to be fit, proceedings against the minor could be tried in adult court.
Here is a wonderful video that summarizes juvenile delinquency hearings.