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New California Law Brings Changes to Juvenile Justice

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose CA criminal defense attorneyThe goal of the juvenile justice system is slightly different than that of the adult justice system. It is widely accepted in the legal world that juveniles have more of a capacity for change than older individuals, which is why the juvenile justice system is heavily focused on education, rehabilitation and prevention. California recently passed a law that will prevent juveniles of a certain age from being transferred to adult court for any charges.

New Law Keeps More Minors in Juvenile Court

The new law, Senate Bill 1391, states that all minors who are under the age of 16 must be tried in juvenile court - not adult court. This applies to all charges, even murder charges. This law was passed by California Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018 and will go into effect in 2019. The goal of this law is to help rehabilitate juveniles who are charged with crimes rather than just punish them.

Current Law Allows Juveniles to be Transferred to Adult Court

As the law stands right now, cases involving juveniles who are 14 or 15 years-old can be moved to adult court upon request of the District Attorney and approval by a judge. This new bill prohibits this practice and requires that all cases are heard in juvenile court. Proponents of the new law state that this greatly helps not only the juveniles but society, as well. It is known that teenagers’ cognitive capabilities are not fully developed, leading them to have a reduced ability to determine right and wrong or to realize the long-term consequences of their actions.

A San Jose, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You and Your Child

It can be devastating to any family when a child is charged with a crime. While it is not the goal for juvenile offenders to go unpunished, it is the goal to make sure that they are educated about the error of their ways and point them in the right direction. If juveniles are tried in adult court, it makes that goal difficult to accomplish. This new California law does not go into effect until 2019, which means that 14 and 15 year-olds tried for crimes in 2018 are still able to be transferred to adult court. If you or your child has been charged with a crime, you need help from an experienced San Jose, CA criminal defense attorney. Call our office today at 408-246-5500 to schedule a free consultation.




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