Rancho Cucamonga Juvenile Crimes Lawyer
Experienced Defense Against Juvenile Charges in San Bernardino County
Every parent dreads getting the phone call saying their child has been arrested. While your first instinct may be to panic or become worried for their safety and future, it’s important to remember that kids often can’t handle everything on their own and will depend on you for help. To help ensure their charges don’t have a significantly detrimental impact on their future, you must reach out to a Rancho Cucamonga juvenile crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. Retaining legal counsel from Newman & Allen can help you and your child effectively navigate their juvenile case and preserve their rights when facing the harsh criminal justice system.
At Newman & Allen, our legal team knows that your child is the most important person in any legal matter in which they have been arrested and charged with a crime. Our lawyers firmly believe in protecting their future, and we are fierce advocates for their rights when fighting against prosecution. Our criminal defense lawyers are not afraid to go the distance for our clients, and we fight to the end to help you obtain the best outcome possible for you. Whether your child is dealing with a misdemeanor or a serious felony charge, you can’t afford to take things lightly; contact us today and let us work with you and serve as a champion for you and your child throughout your juvenile case.
How California's Juvenile Court System Works
California's Juvenile Court System handles cases involving minors alleged to have violated state or federal laws or needs care and protection. Here's how the system works:
- Arrest: When a minor is suspected of committing a crime, law enforcement may arrest and take them into custody.
- Detention: After being arrested, the minor may be placed in a juvenile detention center, where they stay until their court hearing.
- Initial hearing: Within two business days of being detained, the minor must appear before a judge for an initial hearing, also known as a detention hearing. At this hearing, the judge will determine if the minor should be released or remain in custody.
- Formal charges: If the judge decides to continue the case, formal charges will be filed against the minor.
- Adjudication hearing: This is similar to a trial in adult court. During the adjudication hearing, the judge will hear evidence and testimony from witnesses and decide whether the minor is guilty or not guilty of the charges.
- Disposition hearing: If the minor is found guilty, they will attend a disposition hearing, where the judge will decide what type of punishment or rehabilitation program is appropriate.
- Probation: In many cases, the judge will order the minor to serve a probation period. This can involve various conditions, such as attending school, staying away from certain people, or participating in counseling.
- Rehabilitation programs: Sometimes, the judge may order the minor to attend a rehabilitation program, such as drug or alcohol treatment, counseling, or community service.
- Appeal: If the minor or their legal guardian is unsatisfied with the case's outcome, they may have the right to appeal the decision.
It's important to note that California's juvenile court system aims to rehabilitate minors and help them become productive members of society rather than simply punishing them for their actions.
Common Types of Juvenile Crimes
Common juvenile offenses often include:
- Shoplifting & theft crimes
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Public intoxication
- Driving under the influence
- Drug crimes
What are the Penalties for Juvenile Crimes in California?
In California, juvenile crime penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense, the minor's age, and criminal history. Here are some common penalties for juvenile offenses:
- Informal probation: This is the most common penalty for minor offenses. The minor is released to the custody of their parents or legal guardians and must meet with a probation officer regularly.
- Community service: The minor may be required to perform a certain number of hours of community service, such as picking up trash or volunteering at a nonprofit organization.
- Restitution: If the minor caused damage or harm to someone else, they may be required to pay restitution to the victim.
- Juvenile hall or other secure facility: The minor may be sentenced to a juvenile detention center or other secure facility for more serious offenses. The length of the stay depends on the offense and the minor's behavior while in custody.
- Counseling or therapy: The minor may be required to attend counseling or therapy sessions to address underlying issues that contributed to their behavior.
- Probation camp: This is a longer-term program that involves living in a structured environment and receiving counseling and other services.
- Incarceration in a youth prison: For the most serious offenses, the minor may be sentenced to a youth prison, where they will remain until they turn 25 or complete their sentence, whichever comes first.
When Will a Child be Tried as an Adult?
Certain serious crimes committed by minors in California can result in the minor being tried as an adult. Here are some factors that may lead to a minor being tried as an adult:
- Age: Generally, minors under 14 cannot be tried as adults in California. However, there are exceptions for certain serious crimes, such as murder, rape, and certain types of assault.
- Type of crime: Certain crimes are more likely to result in a minor being tried as an adult, such as murder, aggravated sexual assault, and certain types of violent crimes.
- Criminal history: If the minor has a history of committing serious crimes, this may be considered when determining whether they should be tried as adults.
- Level of sophistication: If the crime was planned and carried out with a high level of sophistication, the minor may be more likely to be tried as an adult.
- Public safety: If the prosecution believes that trying the minor as an adult is necessary to protect the public, this may be a factor in the decision.
- Discretion of the prosecutor: In some cases, the decision to try a minor as an adult is left up to the prosecutor's discretion.
If a minor is tried as an adult and found guilty, they may face the same penalties as an adult, including long-term imprisonment or even the death penalty in some instances. It's important to note that the decision to try a minor as an adult is a serious one that requires careful consideration of all the relevant factors.
Sealing a Child’s Criminal Record
In California, it is possible to seal a minor's criminal record, which means that the records are hidden from public view and can only be accessed by certain authorized parties. Here's what you need to know about sealing a minor's criminal record in California:
- Eligibility: A minor is generally eligible to have their criminal record sealed if they were not tried as an adult and their offense was not a serious or violent felony.
- Waiting period: The minor must wait a certain period of time after the case is closed before they can apply to have their record sealed. The waiting period varies depending on the offense, but usually one to five years.
- Petition for record sealing: A petition must be filed with the court to seal a minor's record. The petition must include information about the offense, the minor's age, and any rehabilitation or community service they have completed.
- Court hearing: A judge will review the petition and may hold a hearing to determine whether the record should be sealed. The judge will consider factors such as the nature of the offense, the minor's age, and their behavior since the offense.
- Effect of record sealing: Once a minor's record is sealed, it is hidden from public view and can only be accessed by certain authorized parties, such as law enforcement agencies. The minor can legally state that they have not been arrested or convicted of the sealed offense.
Contact Our Rancho Cucamonga Juvenile Crimes Attorney Today
At Newman & Allen, our dedicated team is committed to helping you achieve the best possible solution to your child’s situation. Our criminal defense lawyers have substantial experience with all types of charges. They can utilize all available evidence to apply the law to protect your child fully.
Our criminal defense attorneys also have experience with more serious matters, including felony charges for violent crimes, major thefts, internet crimes, and much more. You can’t afford to try and face your charges on your own: even as a child, prosecutors will often pursue heavy penalties for those accused and fight to earn a conviction. When your child has a powerful ally on your side, you can rest assured that their best interests are being fought for and their rights are being protected.
Contact Newman & Allen today to schedule a case evaluation with our juvenile crimes lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga!
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