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.