DNA Profiling in California: Juvenile Offenders

This is the third post in a series on the use of DNA profiling by law enforcement in California. The focus here is on the DNA collection of juvenile offenders.

Sometimes referred to as “Section 602 proceedings,” after the California law governing delinquency proceedings, juvenile court is not a part of California’s criminal justice system. Instead, juvenile court is considered a civil proceeding where cases get “adjudicated.” Most juvenile offenders are housed in county facilities close to their home where they can keep in contact with their family and have access to social services. These juvenile offenders, depending on their charges, may be required to submit a DNA sample as part of the resolution of their juvenile delinquency case.

Whose DNA Gets Collected?

Juveniles who have been adjudicated (meaning petition sustained) of a felony are required to submit a DNA sample for inclusion in the state DNA registry. This requirement exists whether the person is made or ward of the court or not. Similarly, juveniles convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for a sex crime under PC 290 are required to register as sex offenders and submit DNA samples for inclusion in the state registry. Lastly, any juvenile convicted of an arson charge, whether misdemeanor or felony, is required to submit a sample of his or her DNA for inclusion in the state DNA registry.

Whose DNA Does Not Get Collected?

Juveniles who are on deferred entry of judgment (DEOJ) or informal probation are not required to submit a DNA sample for inclusion in the state registry. The reason behind this exception is that DEOJ cases are provisional. If the juvenile satisfies the DEOJ conditions, the underlying charge is deleted and submission of DNA is not required.

Particularly for a first-time offender, some misdemeanor offenses carry with them an optional 290 registration – at the discretion of the court. A juvenile would only have to submit a DNA sample if the court requires it, not by operation of law as all other juveniles. This exception is only available to individuals with no prior records.

Has Your Child Been Charged With a Crime in California?

It is important to seek legal representation if your child is charged with a juvenile crime or criminal charges in San Diego. The juvenile courts in California exist to adjudicate minors and offer an opportunity for education and rehabilitation outside of the California prison system.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney David M. Boertje handles juvenile cases, including misdemeanor and felony charges, throughout Southern California. Serving San Diego County and the surrounding communities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, La Jolla, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Spring Valley, and Vista, the Boertje Law Firm is available 24 hours a day, seven days of week to discuss your child’s case. San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney David Boertje is available to talk to you. Call us toll free at (888) 476-0901 or contact us on the web to schedule your consultation.