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Juvenile Crime

San Jose juvenile crime defense attorneyThere are many slang terms to describe a young person heading down the wrong side of a long, hard road. Dependent upon your age, misguided youths may have been branded as greasers, hippies, punks, hoodlums or slackers, but what exactly describes the life of a juvenile delinquent?

Joseph A. Wickliffe, course developer and instructor of several units instituted by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute studied and later shared, in lesson format, the reasons why many juveniles commit crimes.

Looking for Answers


b2ap3_thumbnail_teen-handcuffs-juvenile-justice.jpgCalifornia has long had one of the strictest policies against juvenile crime in the country, but this has begun to change. As recently as 2010, more than 200 of the state’s youth were locked up, serving life prison terms with no possibility of parole, for crimes that they had committed before they were 18 years old. In contrast, the rest of the world—not the U.S., the world—had only seven people who were under 18 serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Gang Violence Influences Laws

When looking at recent social history, it is hardly surprising that this would be the case. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the rate of gang-related criminal activity reached new highs in California, a type of crime specifically perpetrated by and targeting young people. In an effort to curb this dramatic and devastating gang violence, the state passed an anti-crime measure in 1990 that made life sentences without the possibility of parole the norm for any murder charge. This law was in effect until 2012, when it was changed to allow youth offenders who had served at least 15 years of their sentence to be eligible for a parole hearing. It was not until just last year, three years after the monumental bill was passed, that the first youth serving a life sentence was released from prison.


juvenile crime, accused child, San Jose criminal defense attorneyIf your child has been accused of a crime, it can be a difficult time for everyone. Most families will be faced with tough questions regarding where the accused will be tried, and how to proceed. Most families will also be worried about the future for their child, regarding his or her future criminal record and what such a mark on the record could do for his or her future.

Following the arrest of a juvenile, he or she will first likely be taken in for questioning, and then be allowed, in most cases, to return home. A probation officer will then be in touch about the next steps, and both the custodial parent or parents and the accused will be required to meet with a probation officer to discuss possible outcomes of the situation.

It is the probation officer who will decide whether or not the child will be assigned to juvenile detention (juvenile hall) or whether he or she will be allowed to return home to await the trial. If your child is assigned to juvenile hall, he or she will have to remain there until the case is decided. This can often be several months, depending on the severity of the case and the complexity of the ruling. The probation officer will also determine visitations rights of the parents while the child is in custody.


b2ap3_thumbnail_juvenile-crime.jpgAny parent wants to know the whereabouts and activities of their children. As children grow older, however, constant supervision becomes unrealistic, and parents can simply hope that their children are making smart choices. While only a relatively small number of children commit crimes, juvenile crimes do happen, even under the care of responsible parents. Studies point to a few key identifiers that may indicate if a child is committing criminal acts.

Lets start by stating that, for the most part, children that do commit crimes typically only commit two or less offenses. For most children, the experience of getting caught, dealing with legal and parental consequences, and potentially spending time in juvenile hall is enough to discourage any more misbehavior. Repeat juvenile crime offenders are responsible for the largest majority of juvenile crime. These offenders tend to display similar behaviors that may indicate to parents that they are juvenile criminals. Children like this tend to start committing crimes at a young age, around 10 or 11 years old, and will continue to display signs that point to trouble. There are certain signs, described below, which parents should watch for.

Problems at School


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