The Fresno County District Attorney’s Juvenile Delinquency Unit is responsible for the criminal prosecution of minors who commit criminal offenses within the County of Fresno. A minor is defined as an individual who is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense.
In a Juvenile Court hearing, the prosecuting attorney appears on behalf of the People of the State of California. The proceedings are not generally open to the public and information regarding the proceedings is considered confidential.
Juvenile trials are called “jurisdictional hearings” and verdicts are called “adjudications.” The proceedings are conducted by a superior court judge or commissioner. A minor adjudicated in the juvenile court is entitled to a court trial conducted by a superior court judge or court commissioner, not a jury trial.
The purpose of the Juvenile Court is to provide rehabilitation and services for the minor as well as the protection and safety of the minor and the public. The Juvenile Delinquency Unit is actively involved in complying with the law to rehabilitate our juvenile offenders. In addition to prosecuting juvenile cases, the Juvenile Unit is involved with many prevention programs. The Juvenile Unit developed a reading program with a local school district. The reading program consists of Juvenile Deputy District Attorney’s reading to students, mentoring students, and participating in the schools on site reading programs and activities. Also, the Juvenile Unit is working closely with our local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in developing a special lunch time school based mentoring program. The new program matches law enforcement volunteers with elementary aged children. The goal of the program is to mentor youths while educating them on law enforcements role in the community. The Juvenile Unit continually participates in speaking engagements at elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. These engagements have included participating in a DUI program called “Every 15 Minutes” and serving as an ambassador to a Coder Girls Club. The numerous outreaches the Juvenile Unit participates in continues to help kids stay in school and further prevents kids from becoming a part of the juvenile justice system.