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Name: In re A.G.
Case #: A127979
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/17/2011

The juvenile court is responsible for setting the maximum period for which a minor can be confined; the Department of Juvenile Justice determines the actual period of confinement. The juvenile court found that appellant had committed assault with a deadly weapon and attempted voluntary manslaughter. At the dispositional hearing, it declined to set the maximum term of confinement below the mitigated term for an adult offender who has committed the same offenses, explaining that it did not believe it had the authority to do so. Under rules of statutory construction, the appellate court found that under the unambiguous language of Welfare And Institutions Code section 731, subdivision (c), the juvenile court’s discretion in setting the maximum term is not confined by the adult Determinate Sentencing Law scheme, other than to establish an upper level for the maximum term of physical confinement. In other words, the DSL places a ceiling, but not a floor, on the juvenile court’s determination of a maximum term of physical confinement.