If you are a parent whose son or daughter has been accused of breaking
the law, you will have a lot of questions, and that’s only natural.
Once your child’s case ends up in court, the court will have several
factors to consider, such as your child’s age, how serious their
crime was, and whether your child has a criminal record.
Once the court evaluates the above factors, the court can make an order,
for example, the court may order that your child goes on probation, or
that your child has to move out of your home and go live in a foster home.
Essentially, the court can order that any of the following occur:
- Your child continues living with you, but under the court’s supervision.
- Your child goes on probation, but he or she may have to live someplace
else, such as with a family member, in a group home, in a foster home,
or in an institution.
- Your child may be put on probation and instead of living at home they are
sent to a probation camp or ranch.
- Your child may have to go to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
If your child committed a serious crime, or if they have a history of criminal
behavior and they are tried in adult court, they
will go to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult
What if my child is sent to the DJJ?
If the court decides to send your son or daughter to the California Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of
Juvenile Justice (DJJ), then your child will spend the first 30 to 90 days at the
While your child is at the reception center, the center will take a closer
look into the circumstances of your child’s case and will decide
what types of education and treatment would help. After that first 30
to 90 days, your child will be sent to either a youth camp or a correctional facility.
Will my child be tried in adult criminal court?
While the answer depends on the facts of the case, yes, it is possible
that your child will be tried in adult criminal court. If your child is
tried as an adult, this means that he or she will be subject to adult
punishment if they are found guilty.
Under California’s three-strikes law, when minors commit certain
serious and violent crimes, they can be counted against the minor as a
“strike” down the road, even if the juvenile’s records
In California, children as young as 14 years of age can be tried as an
adult when they commit serious crimes. One of the reasons this age has
been set so low is because gangs have been recruiting youth to commit
serious violent crimes.
By lowering the minimum age for adult court, youth are deterred from committing
gang-related crimes. Examples of crimes that can cause a minor to be tried
as an adult:
Arson (with people inside the building)
- Drug crimes
- Crimes involving guns
- Carjacking and kidnapping
- Armed robbery
murder and murder
Parents, please understand that there are big differences between juvenile
court and adult court. If the prosecutor wants to try your child in the
adult criminal court and your child is convicted, they can be sent to
Looking for an Orange County criminal defense lawyer to defend your child’s charges?
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation