Helpful Terms

PC 26: all minors are capable of committing crimes except children under the age of 14, in the absence of clear proof that at the time of committing the act charged against them, they knew its wrongfulness.

Petition: report from the person (usually law enforcement) who alleges the child has committed the stated offense.

Pre-Trial Hearing: the Court and parties attempt to resolve case.  Discuss and consider any discovery issues.

Prima facie showing: evidence that suffices for the proof of a particular fact until contradicted and overcome by other evidence.

Probation Officer: a law enforcement officer who advises the court about the orders the child needs to protect and rehabilitate the child, and supervises the child as ordered by the court.

Proposition 57: see transfer hearing

Ray O. Waiver: minor has the right be sentenced by the judge that took admission.  Waiver denies that right and allows any other judge to complete sentencing.

Record Sealing: upon completion of DEJ, court records will not be available to the public, appearing as though the offenses never occurred.

Restitution: money owed to the victim of an act to make up for the damage or harm done.

Review Hearing: check-ins set by the Court to follow up on probation conditions.

Terms or terms and conditions of probation: court orders that tell a person on probation what they must and must not do.

Title IV-E Findings: the Court must make the following findings in order for the Juvenile Court to receive funding:

Transfer Hearing: Determines if minor’s matter should be transferred to adult court based on these factors:

  • The degree of criminal sophistication.
  • Whether the child can be rehabilitated during the time of juvenile court jurisdiction.
  • Previous delinquent history.
  • Success of previous attempts at rehabilitation.
  • Circumstances and gravity of offense.

 A jurisdictional hearing or trial cannot begin until a transfer ruling has been made.

  • Notice has been given as required.
  • Continuance in the home of a parent or guardian is contrary to the minor’s welfare.
  • Temporary placement and care is the responsibility of probation pending disposition or further order of the court.
  • Reasonable efforts have been made to prevent removal.

Transfer In/Out Hearing: matters are resolved in the county where crime happened.  Disposition is typically decided in county where minor resides.  Receiving county must accept transfer.  Transfer out must be in best interest of minor.

Victim: the person harmed by criminal conduct.  Includes the immediate surviving family of the actual victim or a corporation, business, trust, or other entity.

Violation of Probation Hearing: Minor is placed on wardship and is alleged to have violated those terms.  If minor enters admission, then a dispositional hearing will occur.  If minor does not admit to violating probation terms, a Contested Violation of Probation Hearing occurs, similarly to a trial, but with a “preponderance of evidence” standard.  Also known as a WIC 777 Petition.

Ward: a child whom the court has decided to supervise because the child did something against the law.

WIC 300: minor who is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court because if the child has suffered or there is a risk they may suffer physical harm from parent or guardian or parent or guardian fails to supervise, protect, or provide adequate care.

WIC 602: a person who is under 18 years of age when he or she is alleged to have violated any law is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. 

WIC 707 (b) Offenses: serious offenses that may render a minor eligible to be tried as an adult or be committed to the DJJ.

WIC 725 (a): after receiving and considering the evidence on the proper disposition of the case, the court may place the minor on informal probation for a period of no more than six months. 

WIC 725 (b): after receiving and considering the evidence on the proper disposition of the case, the court may order the minor to be a ward of the court.

Wobbler: offense punishable as either a misdemeanor of felony.