Welfare and Institutions Sections 602 et. Sequential
On juvenile law matters Mr. Bruzzo oftens works with Ms. Katie Walsh, an Orange County lawyer who is experienced in juvenile law.
Juvenile criminal law is different from adult criminal law in several ways:
- the juvenile is not subject to a bail hearing; instead he (and his parents) must attend a detention hearing where the court decides whether or not the juvenile should go to juvenile hall to await disposition of his case or be returned to his parents. The court will look at the seriousness of the crime and whether or not the juvenile will appear on his court date. Mr. Bruzzo has been able to get many courts to return the children to their parents pending resolution of their case.
- the juvenile, although accused of a criminal offense is not entitled to a trial by jury. Instead the Judge alone decides whether the juvenile has committed the crime and then what his sentence will be;
- Even if the Judge finds that the juvenile committed the crime and then sentences him the juvenile is not convicted because juveniles cannot be convicted of a crime in juvenile court; instead the Petition (similar to a Complaint in adult court) is deemed sustained; this means that a juvenile found to have committed a crime in juvenile court can say he has NOT been convicted of a crime;
- Juveniles found to have committed a crime or waiting for their case to be heard are not placed in jail, instead they are placed in juvenile hall; also juveniles found to have committed a crime in juvenile court are not sentenced to prison instead they go to the California Youth Authority (CYA).
PLEASE NOTE: Some cases like Murder, Rape and Carjacking are deemed so serious that the juvenile may be subject to a special hearing where the juvenile court decides whether or not the juvenile’s matter should be heard in adult court. If the court decides that the case should go to adult court then it is transferred there and the juvenile is treated like any other adult offender.