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Prosecutors Now Must Seek Permission to Try Juveniles as Adults

Jan 31, 2017 by Mike McKneely in Criminal Defense, Juvenile Charges

It should not come as a shock that California’s prison system is overcrowded. According to a United States Supreme Court ruling in 2011 affirming a federal court ruling, the living conditions caused by overcrowding in these facilities was said to violate the eighth amendment. Proposition 47 was introduced to lessen the strain put on state-run prisons and other holding facilities. This measure acted to lessen the severity of certain crimes, reducing many felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 57, which was passed by voters in November of 2016, aims to achieve the same ends through a number of new rules and regulations. Among them is a way to ensure that children are only charged as adults with judicial permission.

If you are a juvenile or the parent of a child that might be charged as an adult, it is important to understand the laws that have recently been instated. With the very recent passing of Proposition 57, many prosecutors may be unaware of the new restrictions on juvenile cases. A Fresno criminal defense attorney from McKneely Law can be your or your loved one’s advocate, ensuring that the new rules are appropriately applied. Do not be taken advantage of by those who wish to see you or your child behind bars.

Call (559) 443-7442 today to see if your charges can be dramatically reduced or eliminated.

What Does Proposition 57 Achieve?

In essence, Proposition 57 works to reduce California’s prison population by targeting those who were convicted of nonviolent felonies and have served the full term for their primary offense. Another requirement for leniency is being labeled as a non-threating through a security screening. Those that qualify for the benefits of Proposition 57 have the chance to gain parole or early release. In addition, prisoners now have the opportunity to earn additional credits for good behavior, educational accomplishments, and other approved activities. Early numbers indicate that over 25,000 prisoners may ultimately qualify for early release.

The Changes to Juvenile Cases

When Proposition 21 was approved in the year 2000, juveniles as young as 14 were able to be tried as adults. Before the passing of Proposition 57, how a juvenile’s case should be handled was up to the discretion of the prosecutor. Since the most recent measure passed, this decision now lies in the hands of judges across California. Prosecutors often have the goal of arriving at a guilty verdict and assigning the worst possible sentence. With judges now in control of how juvenile cases should be tried, it is likely that fewer people as young as 14 will receive adult penalties upon conviction.

Defend Your Freedom with McKneely Law

Whether a juvenile is being charged with a drug crime or something more serious, they typically do not deserve to be tried as an adult. When people are young, they are far more likely to make mistakes. A momentary lapse in judgment does not deserve to be punished with harsh prison sentences and massive fines.

Fresno criminal defense attorney Michael McKneely realizes how hard it can be for a juvenile and his or her family to deal with criminal charges. With extensive experience as both a prosecutor and a defender, attorney McKneely can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy in order to craft an effective defense so a youthful mistake does not limit the rest of a young person’s life. However, the first step is for you to take action.

Call (559) 443-7442 now for a free and confidential consultation to see how your case can reach the best possible outcome.

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