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Name: In re R.C.
Case #: A123675
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/19/2010

A court is not required to consider a minor’s eligibility where the minor, initially alleged to have committed a felony, ultimately admits a misdemeanor offense. Under Welfare and Institutions Code section 790, a minor may be eligible for deferred entry of judgment because of the commission of a felony offense. The prosecuting attorney is required to determine eligibility and if there is a determination of eligibility and the minor admits the offense, the court may grant DEJ. Here, a petition alleging felony vandalism was filed but minor ultimately admitted a misdemeanor violation of Penal Code section 594 and was adjudged a ward of the juvenile court. On appeal, minor contended that the court failed to exercise discretion to determine whether he was eligible for DEJ. However, the appellate court, looking to the language of the statute and the purposes of the law, concluded that because minor did not admit a felony violation, DEJ procedures were no longer applicable.