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How Are Juvenile Crimes Prosecuted in CA?

How Are Juvenile Crimes Prosecuted in CA?

If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime, you cannot waste a moment—call the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed as soon as possible. Our Oakland criminal defense attorney has over decade defending the accused in the Bay Area. We offer free consultations for all clients, and our office speaks Spanish to serve our diverse community.

Call our firm today at 510-907-6600 for a free case consultation.

Criminal justice courts in California all have a shared purpose: to promote public safety by removing dangerous people from the community. However, juvenile courts differ from adult courts in that juvenile justice seeks to rehabilitate offenders, not punish them. The approach to prosecution is geared towards this purpose.

When a minor is arrested, police officers have the authority to release the child to his or her parents or detain them in juvenile hall. Juvenile hall tends to contain the most violent offenders, so most juvenile offenders will not be detained here. Instead, they may be sent home with a Notice to Appear to a probation officer, who will decide whether your child will only receive a lecture or have their case continue in the court system.

Probation officers may also give your child the option to participate in a program as a volunteer. This could include community service, therapy, or classes to help control or replace destructive behaviors. This step in particular demonstrates the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile justice system. Many other organizations are involved in the prosecution process, including schools, youth organizations, foster homes, and more.

In either case, your child’s case may be sent to the district attorney, who will decide whether or not to “file a petition” against your child. This is the minor’s equivalent of being charged with a crime. The district attorney may decide that your child should be tried as an adult due to the nature of his or her crimes or previous offenses on record.

Minors 14 and older may be tried as an adult for the following crimes:

  • Rape / sexual assault
  • Murder or attempted murder
  • Robbery with a weapon
  • Carjacking or kidnapping
  • Crimes involving firearms

Upon a child’s arrest, they have the right to two phone calls: one to a guardian, parent, or employer, and another call to a lawyer. If your child is being charged with a crime, their future is at stake. You want experienced and knowledgeable representation at this time. If you need a criminal defense attorney you can count on, contact Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed.

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