The Difference Between Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice
The state of California treats adult and juvenile criminals very differently. While both the adult justice system and the juvenile justice system have a similar goal in mind- to correct criminal behavior and protect the safety of the general public- juvenile offenders have more access to a wider array of treatment programs and correctional actions. The juvenile justice system’s main goal is to release minors back into society as a well-rounded and beneficial member to society.
After an arrest, the arresting officer will determine if the juvenile (anyone who is under the age of 18) will be released back to their parents or be taken to juvenile hall. If the crime committed requires that the offender be taken to juvenile hall, the probation department will take over. Most juvenile correctional facilities in California are particularly overcrowded with violent offenders, and most arrested individuals are turned away before being booked and placed directly on probation. Only the most violent criminals will be booked into a correctional facility.
What do I do if my child has been arrested?
After an arrest, a district attorney (D.A.) will either place your child on probation or file a “petition” to the juvenile court. Petitions are similar to filing charges against an adult criminal. If the court accepts the petition, the juvenile may be placed on probation, sent to a group home, spend time on a county correctional ranch or face imprisonment. Some offenses are considered violent enough to have a minor tried in adult court, though. Sometimes, persecuting attorneys will do everything in their power to try a minor at the adult court level, just to make an example out of them.
The moment you discover that your child has been arrested for a crime, it is important that you contact an experienced San Jose criminal attorney. A San Jose juvenile crimes lawyer, such as myself, can help you build a strong defense to make sure that your child receives a fighting chance. Criminal records will follow a juvenile throughout their adult life, making it difficult for them to receive jobs, educations and even housing in the future. Make sure that your child’s future is bright and defend their rights. Contact my firm as soon as possible if your child is facing juvenile charges.