Juvenile Disposition Hearing

At a juvenile disposition hearing the judge can order one of several things. They are:

-Your child may be ordered to stay home with you under strict supervision for up to 6 months, either formal supervision or probation supervision
-Your child might be placed on probation and must live with a relative, in an institution, in a group home with other troubled minors or sent to a probation camp/ranch
-Your child may be sent to the Juvenile Justice Division of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Foster parents and Caregivers: Testifying in Court

If you are a foster parent or a caregiver, you may be called upon to testify in court on as a witness in juvenile dependency hearings. On of the lawyers involved in the case will contact you to let you know that you may be requested to answer some questions on the stand, in some cases you may receive a subpoena which will have all the important information about when and where to appear for the court hearing.

Once you have taken the oath on the stand in court, you will be required to answer questions given by one or both of the attorneys relating to the case at hand. The following are some tips to testifying in court:

-Always tell the truth. You are under oath and may be charged with perjury if found to be lying.
-Enter the court room organized and well prepared
-Dress professionally
-Show respect
-Speak clearly and calmly, even if you are criticized or if your facts are challenged
-Be serious but polite at all times
-Listen carefully to each question, let the attorney finish each question before answering, and think before you answer
-You make ask the attorney to rephrase the question if you do not understand
-Give straight forward, concise and complete answers
-You may offer an explanation to your answer if you think it’s necessary
-Wait for the judge to make his ruling before you speak if an objection is made
-Use language you are comfortable with, for example do not try to use words you do not understand.

Juvenile Court in Orange County

July 29, 2011  |   Posted by :   |   Juvenile Court,juvenile defense law   |   0 Comments

The juvenile court is part of the superior court and there are three types of cases they deal with: Juvenile Delinquency cases, Juvenile Status Offense cases, and Juvenile Dependency cases.

Juvenile Delinquency cases involve minors that commit crimes that would be considered illegal even if they were adults.

Juvenile Status Offenses cases involve a minor that commit offenses that are only illeagel because they are children such as running away, not going to school or disobeying their parents.

Juvenile Dependency (Abuse and Neglect) cases occur when there may be abuse or neglect in the home. The juvenile court’s job is to protect the children in the family.

What hearings will my child have in juvenile court in Orange County, California?

There are 7 types of hearings in juvenile court:

Detention Hearing
If your child is locked up for more than 2 days, he or she will have a detention hearing within 3 court days. (A court day is a day the court is open.) The judge will decide if your child can go home before the next hearing.

The Pretrial or Settlement Conference
In many counties, there is a court date to try to solve the problem without a trial.

Hearings on Motions
These are court dates to work out different things. Motion hearings can come up any time during the case.

Fitness or Waiver Hearing
This is a type of hearing that decides whether your child will be tried in adult court or juvenile court. If the judge decides that your child is “unfit” for juvenile court, he/she will be tried as an adult. This won’t happen if your child is under 14.

Jurisdiction Hearing
This is the hearing when the judge will decide whether or not your child committed the crime he/she is being accused of.

Disposition Hearing
This hearing is to decide how your child will be punished for the crime he/she has committed. This verdict may be announced on the same day as the jurisdiction hearing. If the judge has ruled that your child did not committed the crime, then there will be now disposition hearing.

Review Hearings
Occasionally, there will be hearings to review your child’s progress.

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,
-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.