Prior juvenile adjudications can be relied on to aggravate a defendant’s sentence to an upper term.
Following a grant of certiorari and vacating of the judgment in light of Cunningham v. California (2007) 549 U.S. __ [127 S.Ct. 856], the U. S. Supreme Court remanded this case back to the state court. Appellant had been sentenced to upper, consecutive terms for various offenses. In selecting the upper terms, the trial court relied, in part, on appellant’s prior sustained petitions in juvenile court. Appellant argued that the juvenile adjudications did not fall within the Almendarez-Torres exception as he had no right to a jury trial in the juvenile matters. (Almendarez-Torres v. U. S. (1998) 523 U.S. 224.) The appellate court disagreed and affirmed the sentence, finding that despite the absence of the right to a jury trial, the rights and protections otherwise extended to juveniles in California infuse sufficient reliability into the process to satisfy constitutional criteria. (See Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466; Jones v. United States (1999) 526 U.S. 227.)