If your child has been arrested or in custody at one of the local juvenile halls you need experienced representation for him or her. Juvenile Law is much different than adult criminal defense and obtaining a lawyer that does not have extensive experience in the Juvenile Courts is not optimal.
As an Attorney that has practiced criminal defense in Juvenile Court for more than 14 years and was a Juvenile Probaiton Officer, before becoming an Attorney I have the knowlege to help your child. Below I will discuss the Juvenile court process and will continue with further blogs about some of the programs in Juvenile Court.
The first appearance a minor will make will be a detention hearing. At that hearing the court will read the charges to the minor and determine if the minor should be detained in the juvenile Hall or released to the parents or placed on some sort of supervision such as the global positioning system. This hearing is similiar to an arraignment in adult court.
WHAT FACTORS DOES THE COURT CONSIDER IN WHETHER TO RELEAS THE MINOR
The court will consider several factors as to whether to release the minor including:
seriousness of offense
whether there are gang allegations or membership
past juvenile petitions
possible substnce abuse
minors school performance
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE MINOR IS DETAINED
If the minor is detained an adjudication hearing must be set whithin 15 days unless there is a time waiver. A time waiver may be necessary depending on the complexity of the case.
IF THE MINOR IS RELEASED
If the minor is released then the District Attorneys office has up to 30 days to bring the minor to trial absent a time waiver.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF MY SON OR DAUGHTER TAKES A PLEA OR IS PLACED IN DIVERSION PROGRAM
There are several diversion programs available for minors I will discuss some of them below.
COLLABERATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAM (CJC) a program where the minor could meet with the victim face to face pay any resitution and if he or she successfully completes the program have the matter dismised and the record destroyed
Informal probation is a program where a minor usually with little or no prior history and where the interest of justice would be furthered can before plea enter a program with probation to perform certain taskes i.e. community service etc. and the case will be dismissed and the records eventually destroyed
This is a more stringent program for felonies there are different statutes that deal with the destruction of records in dej cases. Usually these cases have more serious charges attached to them. The prosecution will actually provide a sheet that states is the minor is eligible. The minor will have to enter into an admission to the charge. And then there will be a report from probation as to whether probation believes the minor is suitable for the DEJ program and the court will make a determiniation. If found both eligible and suitable then the minor will be given certain things that he must do to have the matter dismissed and later expunged with a possibility of destruction of those records. If the minor is not suitable then he or she can take back there plea and have the case set for trial or enter into a plea. These destruction of records statutes are different from the statutes for informal or cjc program.
These are just some of the programs availabe there is also juvenile drug court, behavioral health court, and many other options available to the minor. If you have any qeustions give us a call 559-441-1418.