Posted in Riverside Jails Information on June 16, 2017
Having a child arrested and accused of a crime is terrifying for all parties involved- and the situation comes with many questions. How does the juvenile system work and how different is it from adult courts? Will my child have a record? What could happen to them in jail?
While your mind may never fully be at ease, our Riverside juvenile crimes attorney outlines the four most important things you need to know about the juvenile system.
Getting into legal trouble under the age of 18 will most often result in a case with the juvenile court system in California. Unless the courts decide to try the offender as an adult, the youth will stand trial in juvenile court instead of the adult criminal court system. This means different penalties, consequences, and sentencing options than in the adult courts. While your mind may never fully be at ease, our Riverside juvenile crimes attorney outlines the four most important things you need to know about the juvenile system.
The juvenile court system is fundamentally different from the adult system in that the former aims to rehabilitate minors and prepare them for life after a crime, while the latter serves to punish the convicted criminal for his/her wrongdoings. This differentiation makes for different sentencing techniques in each court system. Minors face sentences for the purposes of education and counsel, such as programs and courses. The odds of receiving a sentence like jail time are lower in the juvenile system than the adult system.
The trial, conviction, and sentencing processes differ greatly between the two court systems. In a juvenile court case, a judge or commissioner makes the final decision on the offender’s guilt or innocence – not a jury. The law does not entitle minors to jury trials. There are seven hearings that occur in the juvenile court in California:
A youth must attend all necessary hearings during his/her juvenile court case. The minor has the right to an attorney during these court processes. Learn more about going to court.
Unlike adult criminal charges, a juvenile can petition the courts to destroy or “seal” a juvenile criminal record once the youth turns 18 and his/her case has ended. Whether this is possible depends on the type of crime and how long it’s been since the youth exited the juvenile court system. This action can, in effect, clear the youth’s record.
In many juvenile cases, the courts will order probation instead of a jail sentence. Probation takes many different forms, but it always has certain terms and conditions the youth must obey at all times. Most probationary periods require the youth to stay in certain areas, attend programs, and submit to random drug and alcohol tests. A probation officer will have authority over the probation period in a juvenile case. For more information about juvenile cases, contact Graham Donath Law Offices, APC.