Collateral Consequences

Many people mistakenly believe that the consequences of juvenile court end with the conclusion of the case. Unfortunately, this is not true.

When youth have contact with juvenile delinquency court, their lives may be impacted for years to come–and in significant and unexpected ways. The legal term for this is “collateral consequences.” For example, juvenile court involvement could impact a youth’s ability to obtain or retain a driver’s license or to join the military. It could negatively impact the youth’s educational and employment opportunities. It could also surface in immigration proceedings or in relation to eligibility for public benefit programs.

To help educate juvenile court professionals on these issues, PJDC published the most comprehensive book to date on the collateral consequences of delinquency court involvement in California in 2011. In 2022, this resource was updated. You can view the latest edition here.

In 2017, the National Juvenile Defender Center, in collaboration with PJDC,  developed a more simplified, youth-friendly guide to collateral consequences of juvenile court involvement in California. You can view or download the simplified guide here.

If you have any questions about how involvement in the juvenile court may specifically impact you or someone else, please contact the attorney who was involved in the case, or, if the attorney is unavailable, contact your local public defender office.