Juveniles are treated very similarly when it comes to a domestic violence charge in that they will be arrested and given a court date in juvenile court and charged with a domestic violence offense if that's what they did.
Typically, if it's not a serious injury they'll be charged with a misdemeanor. If there is a serious injury they'll be charged with a felony. To give readers a better understanding of the juvenile court process for domestic violence charges, our criminal defense attorneys are providing an overview below.
Court Process for Juvenile Domestic Violence Offenses
One thing that may be a little different is that typically most adults who are charged with domestic violence cases are going to have a $50,000 bail and a full protective order issued at the time of their arrest or at the time they appear in court.
Whereas, with the juvenile, a lot of times if the injury wasn't that bad and they don't have much of a criminal record, they can get out without having to post the $50,000 bail.
There will typically be a protective order issued at the time they appear in court and then it's just a matter of whether they have a defense to the crime or whether or not the police can provide the proof to the prosecutors that they committed the domestic violence offense.
If they can, a lot of times defense attorneys can work out resolutions in these cases that are much better for juveniles than they would be for an adult. This is because depending on the circumstances, in the end if the person reforms and doesn't have any other problems, their whole record can be sealed and destroyed.
Whereas, in an adult case, they're typically not going to be able to get their case sealed and destroyed.
Penalties for Juveniles Domestic Violence Offense
Probation will usually be longer than in a juvenile case and sometimes the punishment is harsher. Here are some of the common things that I see related to juvenile cases involved in adult court and juvenile court.
Most times the offenders, if they're convicted or they plead guilty or no contest are going to be ordered to complete a 52-week domestic violence program and go once a week for this program.
Then at the end obviously show proof to the court that they completed the 52-week domestic violence program. Also, there were will be some sort of protective order put in place to protect the victim in the case in both juvenile and adult domestic violence cases.
Sometimes that will be a full stay away where the juvenile and the adult cannot go near the alleged victim; other times there will be a Level 1 protective order where the person can have peaceful contact. It depends on the circumstances of the case, the injuries and what your defense attorney is able to work out on your behalf.
Juvenile Probation in California
Juveniles are going to be given the benefit of the doubt much more readily than an adult will and there's programs like Welfare & Institution Code Section 725 where the juvenile can get a misdemeanor and have it ultimately dismissed or even get some sort of informal diversion where the case isn't filed.
It's continued for six months if the person does certain things the court orders, the domestic violence case can be dismissed. Other times, they can get what's called a Welfare & Institution Code Section 790 resolution where they plead or they admit the petition.
The case is put over for one year. They're ordered to do certain things. If after that one year is up they do those things, the case will be dismissed and their record will be sealed and destroyed so nobody can find it.
So, that's probably the one biggest difference between juvenile domestic violence cases and adult domestic violence cases, and that is, the juvenile can usually get the better end result than the adult can.
This crucial because nobody wants to have any type of criminal record on their plate as they try to get into college, try to get a job and do various things that they want to in their life. Getting that record sealed and destroyed is crucial, especially if you're a young person who wants to have a successful future.