Attorney Gregory H. Comings
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Sentencing in Juvenile Court

Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Representing Juveniles in Riverside and Nearby Communities

The emphasis of California’s juvenile justice system is on rehabilitation, preventing youth from committing more crimes. Juvenile delinquency cases involve young people who have been accused of crimes that, if committed by an adult, would be considered criminal. If your child has been accused of a crime in California, securing strong legal advocacy is critical. At the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings we handle juvenile matters ranging from petty theft to violent crimes. Riverside juvenile crimes defense attorney Gregory H. Comings will fight to get the matter resolved quickly and without lasting consequences.

Sentencing in Juvenile Court

In juvenile court, the judge decides whether a youth has committed a crime. If they have, they are classified as a delinquent and become a “ward” of the court. This means the state takes an active role in supervising the youth. California maintains county-wide probation departments responsible for directly overseeing juvenile delinquents.

Procedurally, a disposition hearing is when the judge decides the punishment. The disposition hearing may occur on the same day as the jurisdiction hearing, which is the hearing that determines if your child committed the crime. Judges issue a disposition order for juveniles determined to have committed the crime.

For juvenile offenders, the court must impose sanctions that are in line with the severity of the offense. At a disposition hearing, the youth may be sentenced to incarceration, but most commonly, the judge orders probation or formal supervision from a probation officer. Probation camps or ranches also exist, intended to foster rehabilitation in a group setting. Probation camps are different from informal probation, which is ordered before a petition filing in a juvenile case.

Sentencing in juvenile court may include committing the youth to facilities in their home communities. This provides the juvenile the ability to interact with their families and local services that help support rehabilitation. Other sanctions that may be imposed include paying restitution to the victim of a crime. Community service performed by the youth, and limitations set on the youth’s liberty as a part of their probation.

If the juvenile is sentenced to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, it is often in the Division of Juvenile Justice. The California Division of Juvenile Justice serves youthful offenders up to age 25. These youth typically have criminal backgrounds and are in need of intense treatment. There are some circumstances in which a child between the age window of 14 to 17 may be tried as an adult and sentenced to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In certain counties, youth crimes are always handled in the juvenile system, and never transferred to adult court.

Offenses for which a juvenile may be tried as an adult include murder and attempted murder, rape if committed with violence, and arson that caused great bodily harm, in addition to other crimes. The prosecutor may also use their discretion and file criminal charges in adult court directly. Finally, the prosecutor may petition the juvenile court for a fitness hearing and if the youth is found unfit for juvenile rehabilitation, they may be transferred to the adult system.

Youth offenders have the right to appeal a disposition order. For example, if their situation changes they may ask the judge to modify their order. There are procedural requirements for filing appeals, and they change based on the type of order you are challenging.

Consult a Riverside Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer to Understand Sentencing and Options

As a dedicated Riverside criminal defense juvenile crimes attorney, Gregory H. Comings knows the role of a strong defense serves for your child’s future. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your loved ones. We can be reached by calling (951) 686-3457 or online. Our office proudly represents people in San Bernardino County, as well as Palm Desert, Indio, Temecula, and Victorville.

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.