Thank you, friend.OVERVIEW
Here, technically, he is facing up to a year in jail, or a fine, and/or probation
. However, that is unlikely
Unlike California's criminal court which sees punishment as its primary goal, California's juvenile justice system sees treatment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders as its primary goal. As such, unless the minor is convicted for a dangerous criminal activity that poses a threat to others, the chances of him being incarcerated are slim to none. The Court normally decides on treatment programs, "shock therapy" (i.e. a trip to a prison), and community supervision as ways to treat and rehabilitate (and to scare straight) a minor.
To this extent, even the terms "guilty" and "not guilty" are replaced by "admission" and "denial." In other words, the criminality of the matter is reduced significantly.
Even if one is convicted of anything, upon turning 18, the record is sealed.WHAT TO EXPECT
Since he has no prior criminal history, the chances of maximum punishment is unlikely. This will likely end in a plea deal, as close to 95% such cases do.
This will not be over on the first hearing, typically. The first setting is the arraignment where a plea is entered (NOT GUILTY/DENIAL). Then this will be reset for "trial" which would really give his attorney and the prosecutor (DA) to discuss a plea deal. He may also plead NOT GUILTY/DENIAL himself and then get an attorney later, or, already have an attorney the first time in Court.
Essentially, he has a choice.
1) plead guilty (admission) and simply hope that the Court takes pity on hi (not recommended, and the Judge will likely not);
2) take the matter to trial and risk either being convicted, or, acquitted of charges (risky); or
3) make a plea deal with the DA.
The DA's leverage is that possible certainty that he would be found guilty if he takes this to trial.
His leverage is not only possibility of being found not guilty if taken to trial, but also the pressure exerted unto the DA if the defense pushes for trial, which means man hours, preparation, and a lot of court time.
Because these are relatively minor charges when all is said, and he has no criminal record, the DA may and likely will be willing to negotiate a plea bargain
including some counseling, possibly community hours, and possibly no conviction even upon end of agreed actions for him to do. He can always choose to go to trial, of course, but this is recommended only if he is confident that his attorney will find him not guilty.COUNSEL
May I recommend the CA Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
If finances are an issue, let me know, and I can provide links to possible pro bono attorneys in the state.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
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