REHABILITATION NOT PUNISHMENT

Posted on: August 3, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County juvenile defense attorneyIf your teenager is taken into custody and accused of committing a crime, you first want to know if your child is guilty or innocent. If your teenager is in fact “guilty as charged,” you want to make sure that a lesson is learned and that the incident doesn’t follow and haunt your teenager for the rest of his or her life. If your child is accused of a crime in Orange County, arrange immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County juvenile defense attorney. A number of options are available in California to help juveniles who have been convicted of crimes in this state. Those options include:

  • Informal probation: Informal probation is frequently ordered for a nonviolent first offense. A probation officer will develop a program that includes education and counseling; upon successful completion of the program, the original charge can usually be dropped. Probation terms typically include school attendance, counseling, drug testing, a curfew, and restitution when appropriate.
  • Deferred entry of judgment (DEJ): DEJ requires an admission of guilt, but after the successful completion of the 12-to-36 month DEJ program, the original charge can be dismissed.
  • Formal probation: A California juvenile court may sentence a minor to formal probation. Sometimes probation can be completed at home. In other cases, the court will assign the ward to “suitable placement” in a relative’s home or a group home. Minors needing more discipline are sent to “probation camp” with a structured daily schedule including education and counseling for up to a year.
  • Commitment: Apart from prison, the most serious legal punishment for a minor in California is commitment to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Juveniles convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses may be committed to the DJJ, and its jurisdiction over a minor can last until that person is 25 years old.

Of course, if your child is innocent of a crime, none of these options are appropriate, and you’ll need swift, high-quality legal assistance. If your teenager is arrested in Orange County – now or in the future – and accused of any criminal offense, don’t wait. Contact an experienced Orange County juvenile defense attorney immediately.

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