A 17 year old boy has been arrested in Anaheim, California, and is being accused of driving while intoxicated and hitting and killing two homeless women. This young man is facing serious charges that will effect the rest of his life. An aggressive Orange County California criminal defense attorney can mitigate the ultimate outcome to lessen the effect it will have on his life going forward.
In this case, this young man’s sentence exposure depends upon whether he pleads guilty to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter or felony vehicular manslaughter. Facts that will be taken into consideration are whether or not he has any prior DUI convictions. Prior convictions of DUI can result in a charge of Second Degree Murder due to the fact that the individual knew the dangers of drunk-driving. Another fact to take into consideration is whether or not he committed an additional wrongful act and reckless driving such as speeding and/or running a red light. All of these issues play a role in determining how the case will be filed. Speeding and/or reckless driving can allow the District Attorney to add sentence enhancements to the charges, which makes penalty exposure more serious.
The juvenile justice system is different from the adult justice system. In Orange County Juvenile Court, the focus is on treatment and rehabilitation for the juvenile while the adult justice system focuses on punishment. However, depending upon the charge, a juvenile can be prosecuted as an adult and be subject to the same penalties as an adult. In a situation where a juvenile is tried as an adult, it usually involves crimes of violence. Juveniles 16 or 17, who commit serious felonies, can be tried as an adult. Also, a juvenile 14 or older being charged with murder can be tried as an adult. However, even if a juvenile is tried as an adult, they are still treated different. There are more options in terms of how and where they are prosecuted and how and where they will serve their sentence.
It is extremely important that an experienced Orange County Juvenile Defense Attorney be retained to represent this young man and further that, the attorney be familiar with the Orange County Juvenile Court. Being familiar with the Judges, District Attorneys, Court Clerks and Probation Department, will help facilitate the best possible outcome for your child. The question parents should ask themselves is what do I do to protect my child. Juveniles make mistakes and most have never known, or been exposed to legal consequences. Preserving your child’s record, so that their college goals and future employment are not affected negatively should be the goal of a good juvenile criminal defense attorney.
If you would like to know more about Juvenile Law, contact Orange County California Criminal Defense Attorney at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.