If a minor (someone under the age of 18) is arrested in Orange County,
California, a petition will be filed, asking the court to get involved
in the matter. The petition will say what the state thinks the minor did
wrong; however, it will be up to the judge to decide if the state’s
petition is actually true.
There are two different types of petitions that are filed in
juvenile cases: 1) a
601 petition filed by the probation department, and 2) the
602 petition, which is filed by the District Attorney’s Office. The 601 petition
is filed when a child breaks curfew, skips school, runs away from home,
or disobeys his or her parents.
On the other hand, a 601 petition is filed when the minor does something
that would be considered a criminal offense if he or she was 18 or older.
For example, the minor sells a prescription drug to another minor, or they
assault someone at school, or they
sexually assault someone, or they
break into a house and steal valuables from the home.
Setting the Disposition Hearing
If the case goes to trial, you can count on the district attorney bringing
a case against your son or daughter. Then, your child’s attorney
would defend your child. Once the judge hears both sides, he or she will
decide if your child is guilty as charged. If the judge believes there’s
sufficient evidence against your child, he or she will schedule a disposition hearing.
During this hearing, the judge will decide on the punishment to be imposed
upon your child. However, if there is not enough evidence against your
child, the case will be dismissed, and your child will be released from
lockup and allowed to go home.
What can a judge order at the disposition hearing?
- Your child can be required to stay home with up to six months’ probation
- Your child may be allowed to go home, but with formal probation.
- Your child may be placed on probation and ordered to move in to a foster
home, a group home, an institution, or they may be sent to live with a relative.
- Your child can be sentenced to probation camp or ranch.
- Your child could be sentenced to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
Division of Juvenile Justice.
- If your child was tried as an adult, he or she may be sent to the Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation (for adults).
We hope this information sheds light on juvenile court hearings. If your
son or daughter is facing criminal charges, we urge you to
contact our firm to schedule a
free consultation with an
Orange County criminal defense attorney.