October 13, 2010 • Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
Residential burglary is one of the many controversial aspects of California’s three strikes law, especially how it is used in juvenile offenses. Many attorneys believe that since residential burglary is not a “juvenile strike” under Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b), that there is no danger in allowing their minor clients to plead to the charge. This is not entirely true and both lawyers, minors, and their families need to be very careful before agreeing to admit a burglary charge. Here’s how it works:
How A Juvenile Residential Burglary Offense Can Be Used In Adult Court
If a minor has a sustained petition for residential burglary in juvenile court AND if the minor also has a sustained petition for a “serious or violent offense” under WIC 707(b), then and only then can a juvie strike be used in adult court. If a minor only sustains a petition for a residential burglary and there’s no other juvenile offense under WIC 707(b), then the juvenile residential burglary “conviction” cannot be used in adult court to enhance a strike.
With that said, do not take a juvenile residential burglary charge lightly. One never knows when the California legislature or California voters will enact new laws toughening up the three strikes law and it could very well turn even juvenile burglary into a strike offense whether there’s a 707(b) charge or not.
Contact a qualified Los Angeles County juvenile defense attorney to discuss you or your child’s case. Please call attorney Jerod Gunsberg at 310-210-0744 for a free consultation.