WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR COMMITS A CRIME?
There are a number of significant differences when a minor is charged with a crime rather than an adult. These include:
- Maximum age to be tried as a minor is generally 17
- Not entitled to a jury trial except in rare instances
- Can be prosecuted for the same crimes as adults and some additional laws that apply only to minors
- Crimes committed as a minor can count towards the “3 Strikes” law
- Certain violent crimes can be tried as adults
- Informal probation possibility (charges will be dismissed after probation period)
- Parents can be held liable for monetary losses
- No right to bail except in rare instances
- Detention hearing to determine if minor should be held in jail or released to custody of the minor’s family
- Court records can be sealed generally
- Held in a juvenile detention facility rather than the regular jail
- Juvenile probation camps
- California Youth Authority (prison for minors) is the worst possible result. Your child would be mixed in with violent gang members, sex offenders and repeat offenders.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD IS BEING CHARGED OR HAS BEEN ARRESTED?
It is extremely important not to take chances with your child’s future. I have handled hundreds of these cases and most of the time charges are avoided entirely. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney, well versed in juvenile law, who has argued successfully in front of the juvenile court judge on numerous occasions. That attorney is Peter Duarte.
Give your child every opportunity to avoid charges and minimize the risks of incurring the worst possible outcome.