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Name: In re Joshua S.
Case #: A128295
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/08/2011
Summary

A minor is eligible for Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) under Welfare and Institutions Code section 790, if jurisdictional and dispositional hearings have not occurred, and he is not precluded from pursuing a suppression motion or admitting allegations of an amended petition. Under Welfare and Institutions Code section 790, assuming that specified criteria of the statute are met, in lieu of jurisdictional and dispositional hearings, a minor may admit allegations of a section 602 petition and judgment is deferred. If the minor successfully completes a term of probation, the charges are dismissed and the records of the juvenile court are sealed. Although a grant of DEJ is within the discretion of the court, the court must consider it, and denial is proper only if the court determines the minor would not benefit from education, treatment, and rehabilitation. Here, the minor litigated a suppression motion in one case and then admitted a reduced charge. In another case, he admitted the allegations. He made no attempt to litigate the allegations. The court rejected the People’s argument that pursuing a suppression motion or admitting reduced allegations prohibited the minor from being considered for DEJ. Assuming the minor meets the eligibility criteria of section 790, the critical issue as to whether he otherwise is to be considered for DEJ is whether the jurisdictional and dispositional hearings have occurred.