1. #1
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    Juvenile Felony Question

    Hi, my name is Grant. I was sent to California Youth Authority when I was 17(1997) for involvement in a felony. I was granted early parole at 21(2001) and have wanted to do something positive in my life since.

    I wanted to give something back so I set my sights on the Army. The recruiter told me I didn't have a chance. But here I am proudly serving as an infantryman. For those ex-military my PT score is 276. I do 97 pushups in two minutes, 67 situps in two minutes and I run the two-mile in 13:57. I have 2 more years in my contract. I am one year away from receiving a bachelor's in business. I have only had one contact with law enforcement and that was when I was 17. I have done everything in my power to be a more model type citizen even when everyone said that I had screwed up too bad. The violation was 209.5(a) I did not commit the crime, but I was there with the person who did.

    I have done the research and have found that I can not own/posess a firearm until the age of 30(excluding military service). I am positive that if any chance at all it would come after my 30th birthday. So my question is what are the hiring procedures regarding a case like mine? I really want to do something to help people out. It would really mean a lot to me if anyone could get back to me with as much info as possible. I am interested in police or sheriff's departments in the bay area of northern california.

    Thanks for reading this and thanks for your service.

  2. #2
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    Taken from the California POST website
    www.post.ca.gov

    1002. Minimum Standards for Peace Officer Employment.

    (1) Felony Conviction. Government Code section 1029(a) (1). Employment of convicted felons is prohibited.

    Were you tried as an adult? I dont know how or if that plays into it. I think a felony is a felony no matter your age. I dont want to tell you yes or no, but it sounds like you made a mistake and have really improved yourself since then. Thanks for your service by the way.

    The Standards and Evaluation Bureau can be reached at (916) 227-4820. They can give you a definitive answer.
    Last edited by syphon157; 01-01-2008 at 11:46 PM.

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    I was tried as a juvenile and I do think it may make a difference. In california juveniles cannot be convicted of a felony, only commited of a felony. I can still vote and I know for a fact I can be a peace officer(youth correctional officer),but I'm just not sure about a police officer. I am not too sure on the textbook definitions of the differences between the two.

    thanks for the info

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    Quote Originally Posted by grantltaylor View Post
    I was tried as a juvenile and I do think it may make a difference. In california juveniles cannot be convicted of a felony, only commited of a felony. I can still vote and I know for a fact I can be a peace officer(youth correctional officer),but I'm just not sure about a police officer. I am not too sure on the textbook definitions of the differences between the two.

    thanks for the info
    Ok, well a police officer is a peace officer.

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    Grant, I can't specifically address the California requirements. However, my gut tells me you're going to have an uphill battle in any attempt to become a Peace Officer. In regards to the offense for which you were committed to CYA, the law makes no real distinction as to whether you were the actual offender or not. Example: Three guys are in a vehicle. One guy goes inside and robs a liquor store. One guy drives the car. One guy is just "along for the ride" . Car get's stopped. All three guys get charged. All three guys end up doing time. ( Maybe differing amounts) I don't think too many agencies are going to make a distinction,especially on a felony, as to whether or not you were granted Youthful Offender Status, or tried /convicted as an adult. An Alabama LE agency would treat you as a former felon.OK, California is not Alabama. Should you apply? I'd suggest you contact a Recruiter/Background Investigator and run your situation by them. We have several California Officers, both active and retired,on the forums. Possibly, hopefully, they could provide you with some additional insights. All of that said, and for what it's worth. You're to be commended for your Military service. Maybe a dumb question, and not to discourage you, but have you considered the Army as a career? You could do worse.

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    Thanks again for the reply with insight. Several of the youth correctional officers in CYA were former juvenile offenders there. I had thought about a career in the army, but my wife isn't too crazy about me deploying for 15 months at a time. Oh, well, I guess I will just have to see.

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    Okay Grant. Understand your situation. Re: Youth Correctional Officers. I'm not certain that they have status as Peace Officers. Officers employed by the Calif Dept of Corrections have status as "Correctional Peace Officers". You could do some research on that. Thanks again for your service. and good luck in future endeavors.

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    Grant,
    A juvenile definitely cannot be "convicted" of a crime in California, unless they are tried as an adult. Technically they are "adjudicated." For that matter, a juvenile cannot be "arrested," only "detained;" they cannot be "sentenced," they go to "Disposition." There are many safeguards, at least in California, that allow a person to move on with their life after they make mistakes as a juvenile. Thanks to Proposition 21 (2001), your Court file can never be sealed however, as your adjudicated offense is listed in 707(b) W&I, so there is no way to get rid of your case entirely.
    Juvenile Correctional Officers in California are limited sworn peace officers, meaning they are sworn but have the status and powers of a peace officer only while on duty.
    I have done background investigations for Probation Officers (who have 24 hour sworn status) and Juvenile Correctional Officers, and we use POST standards when we do them. A juvenile felony adjudication is not an automatic disqualifyer like a felony conviction, but depending on what type of person and/or agency is doing the background, you might get papered out in the early stages due to the charge and CYA commitment? Personally, I would not DQ you with what you have told us about you, and commend you for what you have done and are trying to do. I actually think a peace officer with some real life experience and insight is often much more effective than one who got it all out of textbooks.
    Good luck!

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