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Disposition Hearing

Skilled Riverside Defense Lawyer Helping Juveniles and Families in Southern California

Disposition hearings in juvenile court are similar to adult court sentencing hearings. If a minor committed a probation violation or a criminal offense, a judge makes a decision on how to discipline the minor, assessing all sentencing options. These may include probation at home, placement in foster care, custody at a probation camp, or commitment to the Division of Juvenile Justice. If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, Riverside juvenile crimes defense attorney Gregory H. Comings is ready to provide efficient and compassionate legal representation. We understand that minors need discipline as well as opportunities to receive tools that help them become productive citizens.

Disposition Hearings in Juvenile Cases

California juvenile delinquency court includes procedures specific to minors. A probation officer or a prosecutor decides whether to bring formal charges against a youth. They may consider the strength of their evidence, the minor’s age and past record, as well as the severity of the offense. The trial is called an adjudication hearing.

There may be informal resolutions to juvenile matters, in which the prosecutor does not file a formal charge. Instead, the minor may be ordered to appear before a judge or a probation officer. Their punishment may include paying a fine or performing community service. For example, if the juvenile is convicted of vandalism, and it is their fist offense, the judge may determine that they are subject to informal probation.

A disposition or sentencing hearing occurs if the youth loses at trial, their adjudication hearing.The judge plays a large role at the disposition hearing. Certain factors considered during this hearing include the age of the minor, their previous delinquent history and the seriousness of their offense. Sentencing in juvenile court rests on rehabilitation, not punishment.

It is important to note that during a disposition hearing, a judge cannot penalize a minor for failing to confess. They cannot penalize a minor for refusing to plead guilty. However, if the minor testified untruthfully at their adjudication hearing, the judge may take this into account.

In setting forth penalties for the juvenile, the judge will have the following options: restitution, probation, counseling or treatment, or a term in a juvenile detention facility. In some situations, a juvenile will make later appearances before a judge in order to show their improved behavior. This is called a post-disposition hearing.

Timing of Disposition Hearing

A disposition hearing may occur immediately after trial concludes. If the judge is in possession of the information they need to make a sentencing decision, this is likely. If the judge needs more information from the probation officer, for example, or the minor’s parents intent to provide material, the disposition hearing may take place at another time.

During a disposition hearing, a probation officer may have a recommended sentence that the judge will read and consider. The minor’s parents may submit information that portrays their minor in a positive light. Additionally, if the minor is in need of a psychological evaluation, this may postpone the disposition hearing.

A sentencing hearing must occur within a certain short period following trial. If the child is imprisoned in a juvenile facility, the disposition hearing should be shortly after trial ends. The juvenile has a right to attend and either testify or submit a written impact statement at their disposition hearing.

An attorney can file a petition, a Notice of Appeal, if the juvenile wishes to dispute the outcome of the disposition hearing. A juvenile may request the court decree be modified. If new evidence surfaced, or if the minor has changed circumstances, this may be appropriate.

Discuss the Details of Your Case With a Riverside Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer

The consequences of a delinquency finding depend upon the best interests of the minor. At the Law Offices of Gregory H. Coming, we understand the stress that accompanies a minor’s arrest and sentencing. Juvenile cases are different from adult criminal cases, and they require an experienced and compassionate defense attorney. Riverside youth crimes Attorney Comings is prepared to handle your child’s criminal matter. Our office can be reached by calling (951) 686-3457 or through our online form.

Client Reviews
"Amazing attorney. Kind, compassionate man. Look no further...this is your guy!" D.F.
"Gregory Comings IS THE MOST AMAZING CRIMINAL ATTORNEY IN ALL OF RIVERSIDE COUNTY OR ANY COUNTY! Never have I met anyone that was so passionate and so involved with not only their clients but with their clients family as well!... S.A.
"Being in the business, I have access to hundreds of criminal defense attorneys. When a family member ran into legal problems, I sent them to Mr. Comings. Mr. Comings provided a passionate and aggressive defense... K.L.