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Supposedly anything that happens in juvenile court, and as a result of a finding of guilt, or what they call jurisdiction by the court, theoretically is not considered punishment. Legally, what’s really happening is they’re declared a ward of the court, and they are supposed to be put into a plan for rehabilitation. This dates back to an old model of the theory that up to a certain age, children are not fully responsible for the things they do, and that it’s up to society to rehabilitate them if they get into some trouble.

Nowadays, and for the better part of 10 years probably, not very many juveniles get punished that bad because most of the cases are put into the diversion programs. Most of the basic auto burglaries and narcotics cases end up being diverted and various methods of low-level rehabilitative steps are taken. Whatever the case, whether it was a serious crime or a petty offense, the life of the juvenile may be at stake which may require help from an Oakland, CA juvenile crimes lawyer.

Types of Juvenile Penalties in Oakland

On the other end of the spectrum, there is something called the Division of Juvenile Justice, which is the penitentiary for juveniles. Anyone who commits a juvenile offense can be sent there, but they are not supposed to be sent there unless something really serious has gone on and usually not until after the age of 14. These juveniles have to have failed at lower levels of rehabilitation first.

It means that some other process of rehabilitation, either in this case or another case, has been undertaken – the theory is that they haven’t responded to it, so now they are just going to be warehoused in the Division of Juvenile Justice – which used to be called Gladiator School, and you can figure out what that really means. Quite honestly, they are not pleasant places. They are battle grounds for the most part. I am sure there are people, any number of them, who have been there and rehabilitate themselves and gone on to have great lives but as a general proposition, if you look at someone, for example, who is now doing their second prison term for something really serious and they are in their thirties, you are likely going to see they spent some time with the DJJ, because they’ve been institutionalized by that system. By the time they get out of there, most of them have pretty much learned how to survive in that environment. Those are not skills that translate very well to living in society, unless you’re living the same way. Unfortunately, it basically is gladiator school for the most part, the point being that most lawyers move heaven, earth, and the stars to keep their clients out of that place. I have been doing this a long time and so far, I have never had one my clients get sent to DJJ. I work really hard to prevent that, because it can be a dead-end for many.

If you get sent to DJJ, that means depending on the nature of the charge, you can actually serve out the equivalent of the years you would get on that charge as an adult until you turn 21. Let’s say you are 17 and you get convicted of something that would get you 9 years. You serve as many of them as you can until you are 21. Then they can actually petition to keep you longer, but that usually doesn’t happen because on cases of that nature, they are going to just go for an adult case to begin with. In other words, there are a very few people that stay in the Division of Juvenile Justice past the age of 21. But it happens. From there, everything else other than DJJ, what is called “rehabilitation,” is by law maxed out at one year.

Steps to Take

For more information on Penalties For Juvenile Offenses, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (510) 779-2082 today. Our criminal defense attorney also know the process of Sealing Juvenile Records in Oakland, CA. Our lawyers understand the California juvenile justice system very well and they are also familiar with all the local laws.

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