Juvenile Justice System

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California Juvenile Justice System | Juvenile Criminal Attorney in Los Angeles

While adult prisons serve to punish convicted criminals, the Los Angeles juvenile justice system strives to treat and rehabilitate younger offenders. The treatment given depends on the severity of the offense and criminal history of the offender. Penalties for juveniles range from informal probation to incarceration. Even when a juvenile faces seemingly minor charges, the offender and his or her family have it in their best interest to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to examine their options.

County probation departments

County probation departments supervise almost all juvenile offenders. It is the responsibility of county probation departments to make recommendations to judges regarding the sentencing and placement of offenders. They also operate juvenile halls, ranches and camps. A county probation department may recommend a wide variety of rehabilitation options including community service, juvenile hall or sending the offender to a county ranch or camp.

Who plays a role in the Los Angeles juvenile justice system?

There are many parties that may play a role in the juvenile justice system.

  • Schools may choose whether or not to notify the police of criminal activity and they also hold the right to suspend or expel students who commit crimes on campus.
  • Police officers have the right to cite or simply warn and release young offenders depending on the type of offense committed.
  • The probation department books the offenders into juvenile hall. They also may decide whether to treat the offender as a child or as an adult. They even suggest where the offender should be placed and they supervise them once they get there.
  • District attorneys either file or drop charges against the defendant.
  • Youth Authority handles about 3 percent of the most serious criminal offenders. They incarcerate offenders and supervise parolees.
  • Parole Board decides when an offender is eligible for parole and holds the right to revoke parole for those not obeying the rules.

Alternatives to incarceration

There are options other than incarceration available for young offenders. First-time offenders in the Los Angeles juvenile justice system may only face a major intervention. Another option may be a work program sentencing. Examples of this type of punishment include graffiti removal and other community service projects. If your child has been charged with a crime, please contact an experienced crime defense lawyer to examine what type of legal options are available.

Youth Authority

The Youth Authority typically supervises young offenders convicted of the most serious crimes. Wards of the State Youth Authority often have multiple convictions and arrests and they serve about 21 months before going on parole. Most of the wards and parolees supervised by the Youth Authority are between the ages of 18 and 24. Crimes that may result in Youth Authority services include assault, rape, robbery, and homicide.

The Los Angeles juvenile criminal defense attorneys at Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP aggressively seek for charges to be lessened or thrown out in juvenile crime cases. Our goal is to try and keep your child out of incarceration and get them the help they need to build a bright future. Call us today to discuss your case. We have offices in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (888) 579-4844.

Related Los Angeles Juvenile Justice System Links


Juveniles Charged As Adults | Los Angeles Juvenile Crime Defense