Monday, 31 October 2011

Juvenile Crimes
The juvenile justice system has a different goal than the adult justice system: treatment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. Because of this, the state's juvenile justice system has a broad array of methods and programs for addressing juvenile crime, taking into account the severity of the offense and the background of the offender. These include fines, treatment programs, detention, incarceration, and community supervision. Generally, the system provides for escalating responses to offenses of increasing severity, such as informal probation, formal probation, detention, and incarceration. Additionally, because the system has a goal of rehabilitation, many more agencies have a role to play in California's Juvenile Justice System than in the adult system, including schools, social service agencies, and community-based organizations.
The Juvenile Justice Court gives police, probation officials, and the District Attorney broad discretion over the treatment of juvenile offenders. Upon arrest, the police can release the juvenile to his or her parents or take the alleged offender to juvenile hall.
The state legislature has recently modified the juvenile law (Proposition 21) so that a minor can be transferred from juvenile court to the adult court and tried as adult in specified serious or violent felony cases, even if the minor is as young as 14. In most juvenile crime cases a judge will determine when it is appropriate to make such a transfer, however, in certain serious juvenile criminal cases the prosecutor may directly charge a minor in adult court.
A minor accused of a juvenile crime should retain an attorney for all proceedings in the juvenile court. And a minor is not entitled to a jury trial in juvenile court, only to an "Adjudication" (trial) in front of a judge. Though the burden of proof is the same for a minor in juvenile court as it is in adult court, that is, proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the minor committed the crime; the family of a minor accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney as the consequences can be serious and life-lasting.

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