In all states, separate laws govern how juveniles and adults are treated in the criminal justice system. In California, prosecutors file juvenile criminal cases for children who are over 12 but under 18. In certain cases, a district attorney may charge a juvenile as an adult.
Judges may use home supervision and probation for juveniles before or after court proceedings. If you or a loved one faces the prospect of home supervision for juveniles, we’ll explore what that process entails below. Probation usually comes with significant restrictions and rules that defendants must follow.
Why Are Juveniles Placed on Home Supervision?
Judges place juveniles on home supervision after they have committed a criminal act or violated a court order. Judges also place minors on home supervision when the minors are not a threat to the community.
In addition, a judge may sentence a juvenile to home supervision following sentencing. Home supervision is preferable to a jail sentence or another form of forced detention. A judge may also mandate home supervision while the juvenile awaits sentencing.
What Happens During Home Supervision for Juveniles?
Juvenile home supervision, which may relate to a dependency case, could involve a wide range of restrictions. On the lighter end, the minors can leave their homes, usually between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Adult Supervision When Not at Home
When they leave to attend church, counseling, or school, an adult or guardian must accompany the minor. They are often required to notify their probation officer before they leave.
House arrest generally refers to a more restrictive form of home supervision where the juvenile is not allowed to attend social events. If a judge allows the juvenile to attend something outside of school or church, it is generally at the sole discretion of the probation officer.
Electronic Monitoring System
Depending on the minor’s case, a judge may require that he or she wear an electronic monitor. An electronic monitoring program is one of the most restrictive forms of juvenile supervision.
The device is often worn on the ankle, and the juvenile cannot remove it. If the child leaves the home, the monitor notifies probation staff.
As tough as those conditions are, they are far preferable to juvenile detention in jail or another system like a juvenile hall. Because the judge allows the minor to remain at home, they are generally not considered a serious threat to the community or themselves.
An ankle transmitter ensures that the minor remains where the probation terms require them to be — at home.
How Does Probation for Juveniles Work?
A judge places a juvenile on probation either ahead of a court proceeding or following a court proceeding. On the front end of sentencing, a judge can order probation to prevent the need for a minor to be in detention. Following sentencing, a judge can order youth probation in lieu of time in detention.
More than half of cases brought before a juvenile court result in a minor being placed on probation. Juveniles who are on probation are assigned a probation officer who meets regularly with the juvenile, handles minor disciplinary issues, and ensures that the minor abides by the ruling of the court.
Terms of Probation
Judges expect minors who are on probation to remain on good behavior. They continue to attend school, participate in school activities, and complete their homework. Some minors who are on probation hold jobs, while others volunteer as part of their probation.
Drug tests may be required as part of probation terms. Failure to pass a drug test usually has immediate consequences. A child who is on home supervision may be given an ankle monitor if they fail a drug test.
Counseling may be another term of probation for a minor.
Curfews and Random Searches
Juvenile probation comes with serious restrictions. The minors are subject to random searches, and their movements may be significantly limited. Curfews are often part of a probation program, and juveniles may be prohibited from communicating with certain individuals.
Once the probation period has passed, the juvenile may be placed off probation as long as they fulfilled the requirements of probation and did not commit further crimes during that period.
Throughout the probation period, the probation officer monitors and records the juvenile’s compliance. Probation terms require the minor to attend court dates where the probation officer updates the judge on the minor’s compliance.
When Does Probation End?
Laws vary by state, but misdemeanor charges generally require a minimum of six months of probation while a felony requires a year of juvenile probation. Judges can require lengthier probations.
Juvenile probation can last until an adult turns 21. If the juvenile complies with every term of their probation, the probation terminates at the end of the period set out by a judge when the probation was first set.
Home on Probation? Give Us a Call
Home supervision and probation for juveniles are intended to encourage good behavior on the part of the minor. Counseling, drug testing, and other requirements work to redirect minors to become productive citizens who follow the law. During the probation period, it is vital that juveniles comply with the rules set out in their probation.
Are you or your child home on probation? Without proper legal advice from a juvenile dependency attorney, you may end up with terms that aren’t favorable, like a permanent criminal record.
The attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers handle thousands of cases throughout Southern California. Call us today so we can help discuss how home supervision for juveniles works.
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