You are in shock. Your child has just been ARRESTED.

Once a child is arrested, the police have some discretion to release the child to his or her parent(s), or transport the offender to “juvy” (juvenile hall). The county probation department, the agency responsible for the juvenile hall, has the discretion to accept and “book” the offender or not, if not the disposition of the juvenile is left to the police!

Because most of the state's juvenile halls are overcrowded, mainly with teenagers being held for violent offenses, juvenile halls may accept only the most violent arrestees, turning away most other arrestees. No parent wants their child in there!

If a child is placed in juvenile hall, the probation department and/or the district attorney can choose to file a “petition” with the juvenile court, which is similar to filing charges in adult court. Or, the district attorney may request that the juvenile be “remanded” to adult court because the juvenile is “unfit” to be adjudicated as a juvenile due to the nature of his or her offense. (The more serious the offense the more likely that he/she will be tried as an adult).

Punishment

For a child who is tried and convicted in juvenile court, the child can be:

  1. placed on probation in the community;
  2. placed in a foster care or group home;
  3. incarcerated in the county's juvenile ranch or camp;
  4. sent to the Youth Authority as a “ward” of the state.

If a child is tried and convicted in adult court, the offender can be sentenced to the Department of Corrections, but can be placed in the Youth Authority through age 24.

James Devitt will fight for an innocent child or if guilt is undisputed work with the County probation departments who supervise 97 percent of all juvenile offenders.

James Devitt is able to use his 23 years of daily courtroom experience and contacts with County probation departments to get favorable recommendations to Judges on whether to put your child on probation, as well as placements and sentencing.