A legislative hearing was recently packed with former youth offenders and criminal justice experts, but California legislators pushed back a bill that would keep minors who commit crimes out of those adult courts. Mandatory sentencing rules have long been a problem in California and in other states and some advocates argue that these disproportionately affect Latino and black defendants.
Allegedly, the goal of the new legislation is to acknowledge that as a society of adults, the system or the adults have failed juveniles being accused of a crime. Nine bills signed into law in California last year were in place to assist young people who are facing charges or serving time.
Those laws allowed courts to seal some juvenile records, allowed for increased parole opportunities for those who committed crimes as teens or children and required those children under age 16 to first consult with defense attorneys before waiving their rights to police interrogation. The original equity and justice package included many of these different bills in California in order to revise California’s existing approach to juvenile justice.
Many advocates of the original bill returned to voice support for the new legislation. Recent studies have debunked many of the myths that led to mandatory sentencing rules that negatively affected many youth offenders in the past.
Any serious bail or sentencing issues can be a setback in your criminal case. Thankfully, you can decide how you want to proceed at the outset by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer who cares about your future.
A teen who is accused of a crime faces an uphill battle if that person doesn’t retain a lawyer immediately. A teen should be focused on attending school and focusing on and moving forward with their life, not concerned about how a criminal record can hold them back from future opportunities. The only way to guard against problems like this is to find experienced representation immediately.