I've always read the law as quite clear that a juvenile does not have a right to a jury at disposition on an indeterminate case. I'm dealing with a juvenile drug court case in which the juvenile is on probation and has picked up a new felony possession charge. The judge is basically telling all of the parties that a jury (the voting public) will decide whether he remains in drug court or goes to tyc. He says that he reads 54.04(a) differently than we do in that just b/c the juvenile is not entitled to a jury does not mean that he cannot provide the juvenile with one. Is there any basis for his reading of the statute??????
That sounds like a silly argument. Under that reasoning, he could give him a 30-person jury, just because he can.
So, what is my recourse when he says we're picking a jury Monday morning for disposition? I don't want to dismiss.
Not sure how your county does it, but here, if the juvi is in drug court, then the criminal case is tolled. Kinda like being on Pre trial diversion. If they bust out, then the case picks up right where is was when they went into Drug court.
Sounds to me like yours is probably different since the juvi is looking at TYC placement. (Did the juvi pick up a new case ie - felony, that makes them TYC Eligible?)
I'm not sure what the judge is thinking either, in that if you are seeking indeterminate sent. it then b/c up to TYC as to how long the stay is. If a jury imposes the term, it b/c determinate sent. (I took it from your posting that the only issue is disposition which means they have already adjudicated the juvi?)
Sorry. I re-read it and you said that the juvi did indeed pick up a new felony. Should read better the first time.
Our drug court usually doesnt allow kids that are charged with felonies and like I said previously, the drug court here is pre-adjudication. Sounds like yours is different since the juvi is on probation and the judge is considering letting the juvi remain in the drug court.
I'd say proceed with the case and let the jury first find the allegations as True. After that, explain indet. sent and how that works. How once he/she is there, it is more up to them as to how long the stay is (to a certain extent).
I've got no clue whatsoever as to what happens if your paperwork says indet. sent. and the jury decides to send the juvi away for 10 years or places him/her on prob. for 10 years and then they violate that probation.... Let us know what happens.
[This message was edited by JMH on 02-26-07 at .]
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