People v. CastilleroAnnotate this Case
Castillero was charged with serious sexual offenses that occurred when he was 14-15 years old. The juvenile court found him unfit for juvenile adjudication and transferred the matter to a court of criminal jurisdiction. In adult/criminal court, Castillero pleaded guilty to four crimes and agreed to serve 40 years in prison. Before sentencing, the trial court denied Castillero’s request for transfer back to juvenile court for a hearing under the procedures set out in Proposition 57, which took effect in November 2016, after Castillero’s original juvenile court hearing. The court of appeal vacated. Proposition 57 significantly amended Welfare and Institutions Code sections 602 and 707. Now, if a prosecutor wishes to try an accused minor as an adult, the prosecutor must file a motion in the juvenile court requesting a transfer to adult/criminal court. The juvenile court must conduct a “transfer hearing.” Under prior law, the juvenile court was bound by a rebuttable presumption that the defendant was not fit for the juvenile court system; under current law, there is no such presumption. In a transfer hearing under current law, the court must consider five factors but has broad discretion in weighing them. The court noted that, because of Castillero’s age, two of the charges against him are not subject to transfer.