If someone under the age of 18 is arrested and charged with a crime in California, their case is heard in juvenile court, which is a division of the Orange County Superior Court. On some occasions, juveniles can be tried in adult court if they are close to the age of 18 or if their alleged offense is particularly egregious (such as murder). As opposed to adult court, the primary goal of juvenile court is to rehabilitate the delinquent, rather than punish them. If a child is convicted, they will serve a sentence in a juvenile delinquency center.
Cases handled in Orange County juvenile court can involve regular criminal offenses, "status offender" cases and relatively minor offenses such as motor vehicle offenses and vandalism. This court has the power to place a juvenile delinquent in a detention center for any length of time it determines is reasonable punishment for the offense. The court can even remove a child from their home or terminate/reestablish custody.
The juvenile court hears cases of delinquency as well as dependency. Delinquency involves criminal activity while dependency focuses on issues of custody, child abuse, neglect and the like. If the juvenile was accused of a minor offense such as a traffic offense, loitering, etc. then these cases are not typically considered cases of delinquency. The penalty for minor juvenile offenses can include simple reprimanding, fines, community service or special projects. Orange County juvenile cases are heard at the Lamoreaux Justice Center which is located in the city of Orange, California.
The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs not only handles adult cases, but juvenile cases as well. Minors face different issues than adult offenders do, and this law firm is sensitive to those needs. Visit the Orange County Juvenile Court website or
contact the firm today to discuss your juvenile case and what options are available to you.