Juvenile Crimes

In California, it’s not uncommon for minors to get into trouble with the law. Juvenile crimes can range from minor infractions, like staying out after curfew, to serious felony crimes like murder, robbery, and rape. For the most part, juvenile offenders under the age of 18  are charged as minors. However, if a juvenile commits a serious offense such as rape, murder, or kidnapping, they could find themselves tried as adults.

Juvenile Crimes

California has a separate juvenile court system. The focus of the juvenile court system is rehabilitation rather than punishment and incarceration. Its rules and regulations and much different than the adult court system. For instance, the juvenile system does not conduct jury trials, nor can juvenile offenders be bailed out of jail.

Juveniles Have the Same Legal Rights as Adults

Whatever their age at the time of arrest, juveniles have the same legal rights as adults. This includes the right to a disclosure of the charges against as well as the right to decline to answer questions without their lawyer being present. And while they are not entitled to a jury trial, the state is still required to prove a juvenile offender is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact Orange County CA Juvenile Defense Attorney Jim Tanizaki

If your child has been arrested on juvenile delinquency charges in Orange County, CA, it’s important to take steps to protect their rights. Contact the law offices of Orange County CA juvenile defense attorney Jim Tanizaki without delay.

Jim Tanizaki is a former Orange County DA turned juvenile defense attorney. This experience gives him an edge most criminal defense attorneys simply don’t possess. He applies this unique knowledge and expertise on behalf of his clients; his effective legal defense strategies often result in reduced charges or even dismissal of the charges for his clients.

The Juvenile Justice System in California

The state’s juvenile justice system classifies juvenile offenders into two categories: status offenders and delinquents. Status offenders are juveniles charged with offenses that can only be committed by a minor, such as running away from home, purchasing cigarettes or alcohol, etc. Delinquents are juveniles who have been charged with offenses that are crimes when committed at any age, including robbery, murder, drug possession, etc.

Each juvenile criminal case is different. Depending on the charges, your child could be facing 7 types of juvenile court hearings:

Detention hearing. If your child is locked up for more than 2 days, they’ll have a detention hearing within 3 court days. At the detention hearing, the judge will decide if your child can go home or must remain in detention.

Pretrial or settlement conference. This is an attempt to resolve the case without having to go to trial.

Hearings on motions. These are court dates to work out various legal issues that may arise.

Transfer hearing. If the crime your child is alleged to have committed is serious enough, a transfer hearing may be ordered to determine if they should stand trial as an adult. (In California, minors under the age of 14 are not eligible to be charged as adults, regardless of the offense.)

Jurisdiction hearing. This is when the judge decides if your child committed the crime(s) they’re accused of.

Disposition hearing. If the judge finds your child guilty during the jurisdiction hearing, a disposition hearing will be scheduled to decide their punishment and can be conducted on the same day as the jurisdiction hearing. (There’s no deposition hearing if the judge finds your child not guilty.)

During the deposition hearing, the judge can order 1 of 6 things:

  • Your child may be ordered to stay at home with probation supervision for up to 6 months.
  • Your child may be ordered to go home with formal supervision from a probation officer.
  • Your child may be put on probation and ordered to live with a relative, in a foster home or group home, or in an institution.
  • Your child may be put on probation and sent to a probation camp or ranch.
  • Your child may be sent to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s juvenile justice division. (If your child is tried in adult court, they may be sent to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.)
  • As a parent, You may be ordered to do things like go to counseling or parent training.

Review hearings. These are hearings to see how a child is doing in their placement.

Speak With an Experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney in Orange County CA

The last call any parent wants to receive is that their child has been arrested and charged with a crime. The actions you take immediately following their arrest will have a big impact on your child’s future. To protect your child from the possibility of being removed from your home, sent to prison, or having an arrest and conviction on their public record, you need to get legal help fast.

It’s important to have experienced, dedicated legal representation during each phase of the California juvenile court process. If your child has been arrested in Orange County, CA, and faces juvenile charges, contact the law offices Orange County CA juvenile defense lawyer Jim Tanizaki using our website or call us at (714) 655-7633 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your child’s case.