Category Archives:California juvenile criminal record


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12-Year-Old Charged In Murder of Neo-Nazi Father

A judge ruled Monday a 12-year-old Riverside boy was found responsible for the second-degree murder of his father, a regional director of a neo-Nazi organization. Along with the murder count, Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard found true sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations. A “true” or “not true” verdict is the juvenile-court equivalent of guilty. The case was heard without a jury.

Leonard acknowledged the boy’s “long history of abuse and neglect.” Leonard agreed with a psychologist who testified during trial that for the boy, “the potential for violence could have been predicted” based on prenatal substance abuse by the mother, domestic violence between parents and the father’s neo-Nazi philosophy. Leonard said she considered the boy’s age, the circumstance of the crime, the boy’s experience, including family and mental condition, and his understanding of the crime.

The judge laid out the morning of the crime: Before dawn on May 1, 2011, the boy got the family’s .357 Magnum out of his parents’ room while everyone was asleep. He walked downstairs to where his father, 32-year-old Jeff Hall, was sleeping on the couch. He put the gun to his father’s head and pulled the trigger with both hands. The boy then went up to his room and hid the gun under the bed.

Through the course of the trial the young boy admitted that he knew what he was doing wrong at the time of the crime, and that he knew about hate. Leonard said the boy’s statements made within the first 24 hours following the crime were “the most believable.” Those statements gave “a clear picture of whether he understood whether what he did was wrong,” the judge said. The judge said after the crime, the boy – who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity – told police, “if you want to kill someone, you shoot them in the head.”

Prosecutors maintained Hall’s white supremacist beliefs had nothing to do with the crime. The father was a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement, which promotes white separatism. His other children have been taken into protective custody. Prosecutors noted the boy had a history of violence that dated back to kindergarten when he stabbed a teacher with a pencil. The boy was expelled from approximately eight schools, Leonard said. Prosecutors also said the boy told his younger sister two days before the shooting that he planned to kill his father.
The young boy’s defense attorney said his client grew up in an abusive and violent environment and learned it was acceptable to kill people who were a threat. Hardy contended the boy thought if he shot his dad, the violence would end.

“He was kept in an environment where he was conditioned to use violence. He learned that from his dad,” Hardy said, referring to Hall’s neo-Nazi activities and alleged penchant for “slapping, hitting and yelling” at his oldest child. “This young man never had a chance,” the attorney said. “He was genetically programmed to commit violence.”

A dispositional hearing was scheduled for Feb. 15. The county Department of Probation was directed to draw up a pre-sentencing report listing options for the 12-year-old’s placement. The boy is expected to be incarcerated to age 23. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights! Call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715.


Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.

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Sealing Juvenile Records in California

Grafitti
Grafitti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are prospective employers, state licensing agencies, lenders, landlords, and school officials discriminating against you based on your indiscretion as a youth?

If you have a juvenile criminal record, now is the time to have it sealed.  Despite common misperception, juvenile records are not automatically sealed once you turn 18.  In fact, these records will remain accessible until you obtain a judicial order to seal and destroy them.

We can help you seal your California juvenile criminal record so that you may proudly present yourself as the most qualified candidate. 

What’s in a California Arrest Record?
Your California juvenile record includes every report and court record having to do with any criminal activity you were involved in as a minor (that is, while you were under 18). This includes: arrest reports, judge’s findings and rulings, exhibits, and probation reports.

Cleaning up your Criminal Record – Sealing Juvenile Records

When the court grants your petition to “seal” these records, it closes your file so that these documents essentially cease to exist. They are no longer public records.

The whole point of the process is to alleviate further stigmatization of a former juvenile offender. So, after you seal your juvenile records, you can answer “no” if you are ever asked:

  1. if you were ever arrested,
  2. if you have a criminal record, or
  3. even if you have a sealed record.
Under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 781, you have the legal right to seal your juvenile records. This right is available in most juvenile cases, with certain exceptions. In order to seal your juvenile record, your juvenile law attorney must petition the court and your probation officer to have your record sealed.
How to Qualify to Have Your Juvenile Records Sealed
Typically, your attorney is entitled to petition the juvenile court to seal your records once you turn 18 years old. However, some courts require a period of “good behavior” between the end of juvenile probation and the filing of a petition. You must also pay in full all previous fines or restitution owed to the court as an adult or juvenile, including any traffic fines.
You must not have been convicted as an adult of any felony or misdemeanor crimes involving “moral turpitude.” Crimes of moral turpitudeare those that demonstrate a depravity of moral character in violation of the accepted moral standards of the community. Such crimes include theft, fraud, sex, or drugs.
Your attorney must be able to demonstrate to the court:
  1. That you have been rehabilitated;
  2. That your case started and ended in juvenile court; AND
  3. That you do not have an ongoing civil suit regarding the underlying actions of your juvenile record.
If you were convicted for offenses such as murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, arson, robbery, certain sex offenses, kidnapping, certain types of assault, or any other violent felony, you may not qualify to have your criminal record sealed.
Having a juvenile record may affect your life even once you have completed your juvenile probation. It may make it more difficult for you to get a job or to go to the college of your choice.  Sealing your juvenile records can help you move on with your life.

If you have a juvenile record and wish to seal them so that you can be free to pursue certain opportunities, contact the Orange County defense firm of Don Ho, LLP who can help you restore your record to a time prior to any juvenile adjudication.

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