Juvenile Crimes


Juvenile crimes are committed by minors who are under the age of 18. In most cases, juvenile crimes are handled differently than those committed by a legal adult. For infractions such as shoplifting or a traffic offense, a juvenile offender will be sent home under surveillance until their court date. If their charges are more severe, such as a violent crime or major felony, they may be placed in a juvenile detention center instead of a county jail or state prison. This way, they are not housed in the same place as adult offenders, who may present a physical danger.

There are extreme circumstances, however, where a juvenile might be tried as an adult. If their offense is severe enough-such as first degree murder-the prosecution may make a motion to the court to have the juvenile tried as an adult. Trying a child as an adult means that his or her sentencing could be the same as it would be for an adult defendant. Whereas average juvenile offenders are sent to juvenile homes and rehabilitation centers, juvenile offenders who are tried and convicted as adults are instead sent to jail or prison.


After a minor has been arrested, they can either be cited for their offense and released from custody, or they will remain detained at a juvenile detention facility. In the even that your child is held in custody, a detention hearing will be called where a juvenile judge will determine whether or not you or your child should continue to detain them for pending adjudication of his or her charges.

There are four criteria that they judge will look at as he or she decides, including:

  • If you or your child violated a prior court order
  • Keeping you or your child detained will help protect the persons or property of others
  • You or your child must remain detained immediately for your own protection purposes
  • There is a risk of you or your child not appearing in court

At this hearing, the juvenile attorney will have a chance to propose a case defense on behalf of the minor. If detained, you or your child has the right to a speedy trial within 15 days of the hearing. When not held in custody, an arraignment date must be set up to set up a pretrial and court date. During a pretrial, the lawyers on both sides of the case have the chance to come to a resolution. Typically the juvenile judge will also participate in these discussions in private with the attorneys.

After this point, if the judge set the case for adjudication it essentially is the same as going to trial; however, there is no jury involved in the trial. A judge or commissioner will perform the duties of both the judge and juror, which makes it especially important that you have a qualified Ventura County criminal defense lawyer at your side.


If you are a parent of a child who has been arrested for a crime, don't take chances regarding their defense. A wrongful conviction could ruin your son or daughter's chances of a successful future. Contact Ridley Defense right away to discuss their case with a caring and skilled Ventura County criminal defense attorney who has more than 13 years of experience. Attorney Douglas H. Ridley has five years of former experience as a Ventura County Deputy District Attorney. This means that he knows what the prosecution needs in order to press charges and he could defend your child accordingly. Our criminal defense firm understands the serious nature of your child's situation and we will give use all of our resources to fight their charges and protect their future.

Call now to schedule a free case evaluation and learn what could be done for you. We serve juveniles and their families in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, L.A. County, and Southern California.