Deferred Entry of Judgement
The good news is that most felony juvenile crimes are eligible for a deferred entry of judgement (DEJ). The purpose of DEJ is to provide first time, non-violent juvenile felony offenders an opportunity to have their record expunged through good conduct (Welf & Inst Code § 790). This means if the juvenile does what the court orders and does not get into any additional trouble, the court will dismiss the charges and the records of the arrest and the court proceedings will be sealed.
Eligibility for DEJ
To be eligible for a DEJ the following requirements must be met:
- Minor not previous ward of court for felony
- No WI code section 707(b) offenses
- Never committed to CYA
- No previous probation revocations
- At least 14 years of age
- Must be eligible for probation
- Not an enumerated sex crime
DEJ Probation Conditions
As a condition of the DEJ, the court can impose conditions of probation designed to rehabilitate the minor. Including warrantless search and seizure of the probationer’s person, residence, or property, and random drug or alcohol testing. The judge will also order the minor to comply with school attendance and curfew requirements and may order any other conditions that would assist in the education, treatment, and rehabilitation of the minor (Welf & Inst Code § 794).
Benefit of DEJ Disposition
On the successful completion of the a 1 to 3-year DEJ probation term, the court will dismiss the charges and the arrest will be deemed to never have occurred. If charges are dismissed, records of the arrest and the court proceedings must be sealed (Welf & Inst Code § 790).
Violating DEJ Probation
If the juvenile doesn’t perform satisfactorily on probation, commits another felony, or commits two separate misdemeanors, the court will schedule a dispositional hearing on the original petition. At the dispositional hearing, the juvenile will be sentenced on the original petition.