California Juvenile Court

juvenile corts in california

Juvenile crimes are defined as crimes committed by persons under the age of 18 years. The juvenile offenders are one of the most growing criminals not only in the United States but all over the world. We also call such individuals juvenile delinquents. The creation of the adequate juvenile penal system is a guarantee of stable development of further generations. The main issue of judicial system should be fight against juvenile delinquents and their rehabilitation in order to prevent and intervene future commissions of crimes.

Below, The Margarian Law Firm invites you to get to know more about juvenile courts in California as well as we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning juvenile charges in California for free.

1. The Juvenile Justice System in California
2. Juvenile Crimes
3. Penalties in Juvenile Courts

In addition, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning Juvenile Court  in California for free.

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000


1. California Juvenile Justice System

The main purpose of the juvenile justice system is to:

  • Rehabilitate


  • Treat juvenile offenders.

As we see incarceration is not considered to be an appropriate measure to boost to reinsert juvenile offenders into the society in the future. Consequently, the USA government adopted Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act which aims at assisting state and local governments in order to achieve stated result. In addition, each state, including California, has its own statute preventing and punishing juvenile delinquents. Depending on the certain circumstances of the crime and the offender criminal history (past records, seriousness of the offense etc.), a person under the age of 18 can be prosecuted as an adult or a juvenile. If the person is treated as a juvenile, his or her case will pass to the juvenile court. Juvenile courts have their unique rules and procedures which are not applicable in other instances. Mostly, the cases can be resolved informally and without trial. The penalties differ from adult criminals’ punishment.

2. Juvenile Crimes Classification

The crimes that can be committed by juveniles and adults are the same. Nonetheless, certain unlawful acts of juveniles are supposed to be delinquent basing of the age of offender. Nonetheless, certain unlawful acts of juveniles are considered to be delinquent just because of the offender’s age. Mostly, offences committed by juveniles do not require the intervention of juvenile courts. Such issues are resolved by social services agencies. Example: consumption of the alcohol by a person underage, running away from home etc.

However, more serious offenses can be charged and prosecuted depending on the circumstances as felonies or misdemeanors.
It is defined three major categories of juvenile crimes:

  • violent crimes
  • crimes against property
  • and drug-related crimes.

In general, juvenile court examines offenses committed by the persons under the age of 18 at the time of offense. If a person commits a crime at the age of 17 but it will be discovered in 3 years, he or she will be tried in juvenile court.

California Law sets forth some exceptions from this general rule. For certain crimes a 14 years old must be tried as adult for the following crimes:

  • Murder with aggravating circumstances, and the prosecutor alleges that the minor personally killed the victim
  • The following California Sex Crimes, if the prosecutor alleges that the minor personally committed

(A) Rape
(B) Spousal rape
(C) Forcible sex offenses in concert with another
(D) Forcible lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 years
(E) Forcible sexual penetration
(F) Sodomy or oral copulation
by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person
(G) Lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 years.

3. Penalties in Juvenile Courts
Taking into consideration the fact that the juvenile justice system seeks to provide rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents, the courts impose flexible penalties in order to achieve such result.

In particular, the court may impose the following penalties for delinquents:

  • placement in a rehabilitation program
  • restitutions
  • imposition of court-determined curfews
  • mandatory school attendance.

Degree of security measures at the place of juvenile detention varies depending on the threat and danger representing by the person. Even while possible danger is quite obvious, notwithstanding it, such persons benefit of more lenient penalties. However, for some crimes the juveniles can be sentenced like adults from 16 years old, i.e., California murder.

Juvenile Court can render various sentencing verdicts with different penalties which are available in the juvenile delinquency system:

Have your child been accused of committing a juvenile offense? Is he or she going to be tried by the California Juvenile Court? 

The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California.  The charges of the prosecution are only allegations. We always conduct a deep legal research on accusations to determine how we must attack their validity. Do not hesitate to contact us!

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000

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