No parent wants to see their teenager arrested, but when you consider that it is possible that teen will be tried as an adult, the situation can be downright terrifying. California law is set up with the assumption that most juveniles cannot make adult decisions and should therefore not face adult consequences for crimes.
However, in some cases, the law believes that children should be tried as adults – especially when the crime is serious. There have been recent changes in favor of young offenders but there is still real danger to your child. Keep reading to find out what your options are and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free case evaluation with an experienced juvenile attorney.
Proposition 57 is a Step in the Right Direction
In 2016, California voters passed Prop 57, which holds that all cases involving children begin in the juvenile court system. However, the judge can then decide to transfer a case to the adult system. Then there is SB 1391, passed by the legislature, that takes it a step further and holds that minors aged 14 or 15 cannot be tried as adults.
The Difference is Huge
Some people may wonder: Does it really matter that much where juvenile offenders are tried? The answer is an unequivocal yes. A minor convicted in an adult court is likely to go to an adult prison, which is set up to punish. On the other hand, the juvenile court and its potential consequences are designed to help prevent future crimes.
For this reason, it is not surprising that the statistics are clear: A juvenile offender is much more likely to offend again – and become a career criminal – if they go to an adult prison rather than a juvenile program that is created to reform them.
District Attorneys Do Not Like SB 1391
For the most part, district attorneys are not fans of SB 1391 because they believe that it takes away the ability of a judge to use their own discretion. They say that it will result in fewer jail sentences. On the other hand, the state Attorney General’s office has argued in favor of it several times and stated that it supports the objectives of Prop 57 too.
Do Not Let Your Teen Fall Between the Cracks
If your teenager is being charged with a crime then you need the best attorney you can find. You have found that attorney in Law Office of Michael L. Fell. With many years of experience, specialization in juvenile court, and a total commitment to our clients, you can trust us to help you. Call now at (949) 585-9055 to request a free legal consultation.