Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Attorney

Archive for the ‘Burglary’ Category

Juvenile Residential Burglary in Adult Cases

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Residential burglary is one of the many controversial aspects of California’s three strikes law, especially how it is used in juvenile offenses.  Many attorneys believe that since residential burglary is not a “juvenile strike” under Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b), that there is no danger in allowing their minor clients to plead to the charge.  This is not entirely true and both lawyers, minors, and their families need to be very careful before agreeing to admit a burglary charge.  Here’s how it works:

How A Juvenile Residential Burglary Offense Can Be Used In Adult Court

If a minor has a sustained petition for residential burglary in juvenile court AND if the minor also has a sustained petition for a “serious or violent offense” under WIC 707(b), then and only then can a juvie strike be used in adult court.   If a minor only sustains a petition for a residential burglary and there’s no other juvenile offense under WIC 707(b), then the juvenile residential burglary  “conviction” cannot be used in adult court to enhance a strike.

With that said, do not take a juvenile residential burglary charge lightly.  One never knows when the California legislature or California voters will enact new laws toughening up the three strikes law and it could very well turn even juvenile burglary into a strike offense whether there’s a 707(b) charge or not.

Contact a qualified Los Angeles County juvenile defense attorney to discuss you or your child’s case.  Please call attorney Jerod Gunsberg at 310-210-0744 for a free consultation.

Teen Charged With Burglary in Pasadena

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Pasadena Star News is reporting that a teen was caught in a suspected residential burglary in Pasadena last night.  While it is entirely possible that he may be charged as an adult, even if his case stays in Pasadena juvenile court and the crime is charged as a strike–  under recent California law, it could haunt him for the rest of his life under California’s three strikes rule.

In July of last year (2009), in People v. Nguyen, The California Supreme Court ruled that if a minor is “convicted” of a strike offense as a juvenile, that strike can be used against him or her as an adult to enhance a future sentence.  Here’s what this means:

Let’s say this kid in Pasadena is convicted of a residential burglary, which in California is a strike.   Let’s say down the road, 10, 20, 30 years later the kid is convicted of a felony, even a non-violent felony,  the juvenile strike can be used against him to enhance the sentence.

In Los Angeles County, juvenile court prosecutors have discretion as to whether or not to file an offense as a “strike” under Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b) and relevant sections of the Penal Code.  But it can be helpful if an attorney intervenes with the Police and  District Attorney before a case is filed.  This is why it is important that a child or parent of a child charged with a juvenile offense contact a qualified juvenile criminal defense attorney to discuss the case.

You may contact the author of this blog, Attorney Jerod Gunsberg at 310-210-0744 for a free consultation about you or your child’s juvenile case.