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Name: In re Joseph M.
Case #: B190202
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 05/10/2007

The juvenile court did not abuse its discretion when it found that it had no discretion to sentence the minor to a term lower than the minimum term an adult would receive for the same offense. The juvenile court sustained a petition charging the minor with carjacking, and using a firearm in the commission of the offense, and set the minor’s maximum confinement time at 13 years. On appeal, the minor contended that the juvenile court improperly concluded that it had no discretion to set his maximum confinement time any lower than the minimum sentence which might be imposed on an adult for the same offense. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the discretion to set the maximum confinement time at less than the lengthiest term an adult would serve does not allow for the imposition of a term less than the minimum adult term. The amendment to section 731, subdivision (b) was intended to afford the juvenile court the discretion to consider the circumstances of the minor’s case in setting a period of confinement which is less than the maximum adult term but within the sentencing triad described in Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (a)(3).