What is the Difference Between Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Dependence?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2018 | Blog |

When facing juvenile dependency courts, the results can seem quite grim. It’s not easy deciding the future of families whose children have been removed from the home. In California, judges are handling hundreds of cases a day that involve families and children. If you’re facing juvenile dependency court, there are two terms you may want to review with your attorney: juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependence. Make sure you clear up any confusion, so you make the right decisions regarding your case.

Juvenile Delinquency

A minor between 10 and 18 years old who committed a crime is considered a juvenile delinquent in California. Instead of a standard trial, the minor will go through an adjudication process where they will get a disposition and a sentence. If the court decides that the minor is a delinquent, the court will be able to rule on what is in the best interest of the minor. Juvenile court in California, however, does not always lead to incarceration. Other sentences for juvenile delinquents can include:

  • Spending time in a traditional juvenile detention facility
  • Placing the minor under house arrest
  • Counseling
  • Enforcement of curfews
  • Probation

Juvenile Dependency

When the court is handling a juvenile dependency case, children go to court not because they committed a crime but because their parent or guardian has not taken care of them. Juvenile dependency cases are heard in juvenile court just like delinquency cases. These cases are very serious as the court will have to decide if the child needs to be removed from a problematic home. The court does not have an end goal of separating a child from their home. There is a possibility of reunification, where the judge and social worker assigned to the child will require parents to better themselves, so the child can return to a safe place.

If your child is facing juvenile court due to a crime they committed, or if you are facing juvenile court regarding juvenile dependency, contact our attorneys at Hoover ♦ Krepelka, LLP. We have experience helping families through juvenile court and work to reunite them with their children. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.