Friday, July 26, 2013

Sex In Juvenile Hall?

In March 2013, six probation department employees were fired, and seven more suspended after an internal investigation of Orange County Juvenile Hall found serious monitoring lapses in a high-security unit.

What sparked the investigation, was teenagers discovered having sex in one of the dormitories of OC Juvenile Hall a month prior. In February 2013, a 17 year old male juvenile snuck into a 17 year old female juvenile’s room and remained unnoticed for hours. Both juveniles were in custody for very serious and violent offenses.

The internal investigation revealed that regular safety checks of minors were skipped and logs were inaccurate. Believe it or not, before June 2013, Orange County was the only county in Southern California with coed juvenile hall units. (In June this changed, largely because of the February 2013 incident). There are 319 male minors in Juvenile Hall, and 29 female juveniles. Probation Officials at the time cited limited resources, and a low number of female juvenile offenders as the reason behind their coed practice.

Routine checks are supposed to be performed every 15 minutes, and were found to be frequently skipped in the high-security unit, where the most serious underage offenders were housed. (Thus two minors engaging in sex acts for hours. If the checks were happening as they were supposed to the minors would have been caught much sooner). The internal investigation also revealed the electronic logs used to keep track of the checks had been filled out inaccurately to cover up this lack of due diligence.

The incident and investigation has been noticed by several oversight agencies including the Orange County Juvenile Justice Committee, the grand jury, and the Board of Supervisors. Chief Duty Probation Officer for the department’s Support Bureau, Bryan Prieto said the investigation was still ongoing and probation is looking into a new check system that includes all of juvenile hall, not just the one unit of this investigation.

If your child is detained in juvenile hall and you need help with getting them released from custody, please contact The Law Office of Katie Walsh at (714) 619-9355.
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Have You Been Charged With A Probation Violation?

In Orange County or Los Angeles County, if you have been convicted of a crime Misdemeanor or Felony, you were most likely assigned a probationary period of three (3) years. During this time there are a number of rules, which if violated, could result in you being charged with a Probation Violation.

There are two (2) types of Probation: Formal and Informal.

Examples of some of the terms required while on Probation are:

  • Violate no laws 
  • Obey all orders, rules, regulations, and directives of the Court, Jail and Probation 
  • Submit your person and property to search and seizure at any time of the day or night by any law enforcement officer probation officer, or mandatory supervision officer without a warrant, probably cause or reasonable suspicion. 
  • Submit to drug testing 
  • Use your true name and date of birth at all times 
  • Disclose terms and conditions of probation when asked by law enforcement 

Formal Probation is generally ordered when someone has been convicted of a Felony. On Formal Probation you must report to a probation officer, and if you are violated on probation a judge can sentence you to state prison.

Informal Probation does not require you to report to a probation officer, and is relatively easy to complete without much effort.

A probation violation can stem from a new law violation. But often times Probation Violations consist of:
  • Failure to appear in court 
  • Failure to check in with your probation officer. (there are several defenses for this like school, work, or medical appointments) 
  • Missing court ordered payments (often times this comes down to an inability to pay with no communication. An attorney can get a payment play set up, and may not cause to you to be violated)
  • Associating with the Wrong People ( you can’t always help who shows up where you go- especially as a juvenile. A skilled attorney can speak to probation and the judge about this accusation without you having to admit the violation). 

If you or your child have been charged with a Probation Violation you should contact the Law Office of Katie Walsh (714) 619-9355. The sooner you are off probation, the sooner you can Expunge or Seal your Records.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sealing A Juvenile Record

Why go through life with a criminal history when you don’t have to? Your juvenile record does appear on your criminal record. However, there are steps available to make sure your juvenile records are sealed.
  1. If you are 18 years old, or 5 years has passed since the jurisdiction of the juvenile court have been terminated;
  2. Since becoming an adult you have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
  3. The juvenile crime is not listed under 707(b) (a serious or violent offense);
  4. There is no pending civil litigation, fines, fees, or warrants;
  5. And the court has deemed you rehabilitated.
Juvenile records ARE NOT automatically sealed on your 18th birthday. There is a process to getting your records sealed which the Law Office of Katie Walsh can help you with. A petition needs to be requested, application completed and background investigation needs to be completed by probation. An interview will be conducted with probation, and then a court hearing. Aside from the interview, an attorney can complete the entire process for you.

You want to seal your juvenile records because you can truthfully state to employers and universities that you have no criminal history. Employers will not see you record, and you will not be discriminated against for job because of your past. You want to seal your records so the mistakes you made as a kid do not follow you around.

Should your first request not be granted by the court, you can always reapply to have your records sealed.

If you need help with your case please contact the Law Office of Katie Walsh at (714) 619-9355.
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