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Proposition 57 made several changes to the law for Juvenile Hearings in Fresno Ca and the rest of the State of California.  One of the biggest changes is what were called "fitness hearings" these are the hearings that were done to determine if a minor will be charged as a Juvenile or an Adult.  This obviously is a very big decision for the Court to make and now this important decision will be left in the hands of a Juvenile Court Judge rather than a Deputy District Attorney.

If your child has been charged with a crime you should contact an experienced Attorney right away.  This Attorney must be experienced in Juvenil Defense.  As a Former  Juvenile Probation Officer and Deputy District Attorney, and Adjunct Criminology Instructor I know the ins and outs of the Juvenil Justice system.  Call me and we can set an appointment for a case evaluation.

I wil outline below some of the new areas of law that deal with "fitness hearings" first these hearings are no longer called fitness hearings.  the way it used to work if a minor was charged with certain crimes a hearing would be held to determine if the minor would be tried in Juvenile or Adult Court.  The way the law worked before is that the minor was presumed unfit and must overcome that presumption by a preponderance of evidence on each and every element in order to stay in Juvenile Court.  Also if a minor was charged with certain listed offenses such as Murder and several others a Prosecutor could make the decision to directly file the case in Juvenile Court. 

 

THERE HAVE BEEN FIVE IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE LAW IN CALIFORNIA AS A RESULT OF PROP 57 IN RELATION TO JUVENILES

 

1. The hearing is no longer a "fitness" hearing the are transfer hearings.

2. There is no presumption that a minor should be transferrred to adult court.  This was not the case under previous law.

3. The standard: "Preponderance of the Evidence" remains unchanged. 

4. Because there is no presumption for or against the Juvenile, the prosecutor bears the burden to show why your client should be transferred to adult court.

5. The Court determines whether to transfer  the minor or have the minor remain in Juvenile Court by a totality of the circumstantes analysis.  Although prop 57 did not change the criteria the criteria were changed so that with additional language effective January, 2016, with much greater focus on indicia of youthfulness.

These changes mean there is much more oppurtunity to argue for cases to stay in the Juvenile Court that would have, in the past been transferred to adult court.   

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & DUI ATTORNEY SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

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Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
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Fresno, CA 93704
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