Trying Minors in Adult Court in Orange County, California

Occasionally a child can be tried as an adult, even if their previous records are sealed because the three-stirkes law says that most serious and violent crimes that are committed by minors can count against them in the future.

A child who is 14 years old can be tried in adult court for some serious crimes.

Here are some examples of some serious crimes that will count as strikes against a minor:

-Murder and attempted murder,
-Setting fire to a building with people in it,
-Robbery with a weapon,
-Rape,
-Kidnapping or carjacking,
-Crimes with guns,
-Drug crimes, and
-Escaping from a juvenile detention facility.

There are big differences between juvenile court and adult court. If your child as an adult, he/she can be sent to adult prison (CDCR). If your child is tried in adult court, talk to a lawyer.


Even if your child is sentenced to adult prison, he/she will stay at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) until he/she is at least 16.

If your child is at least 16, the judge can send him/her directly to adult prison but the judge may let him/her complete their entire sentence in DJJ if your child’s sentence ends before he/she turns 21. If the sentence is longer, your child will go to the CDCR on his/her 18th birthday.


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