The standard justice system is not employed when a young person gets into trouble with the law in California. Juvenile courts are different from the regular courts most people in the state know. They have different guidelines and structures which can leave parents feeling unsure whether their child will be properly protected or not.
Protect the Rights of Your Child
Did you know that Californian police are allowed to question a child without the parent's presence, knowledge, or consent? Police can use lies or deception to solicit information from any suspect, regardless of their age. Many innocent young adults have walked their way into a confession because of this particular practice.
Children are usually not equipped with the tools for facing such challenges on their own. It is easier for the police to manipulate them towards an outcome. It's vital for parents, guardians, and other adults in the child's life to ensure that their child has proper legal representation.
Juvenile Delinquency Courts in California
Felony and misdemeanor charges against minors are handled by the Juvenile Delinquency Court. The ultimate decision rests with the judge since there are no jury trials in a juvenile court. Dispositions are used instead of sentences, which can range from a stay in the California Youth Facility with other young offenders to probation.
Juvenile court convictions can be counted under California's Three Strikes Law. Parents should recognize the need to protect their child from prosecution given the fact that any criminal conviction will remain for an entire lifetime. It is serious matter if an underage defendant is listed on the Juvenile Justice Facility.
Difference Between Juvenile and Adult Courts
There is no guarantee that a defendant will be released to the custody of parents or on bail in the juvenile court system. This is true even if the charges are not serious. Minors face delinquent acts while adults get prosecuted for committing crimes. Children have the right to be represented in juvenile court by a private attorney. Correlating with this, it is the parent's responsibility for making such arrangements.
Defense attorneys will also make requests for sealing any records on the matter since it is not automatically applied to underage cases in some cases. Parents have several responsibilities in case their child is facing juvenile court. You should refrain from allowing your child to simply ‘face the music.' This can be an incredibly risky proposition as the stakes are high.
In some cases, depending on the charge or charges, a good defense attorney will try to ensure that their juvenile client be afforded an opportunity to take part in California juvenile diversion programs, which can result in a juvenile's case being fully dismissed and the record sealed so that it will not adversely affect the child later in life.
Do Not Trust the Police
It is recommended that you speak with an attorney before you trust the police. Police officers and prosecutors are not on your side, even if they seem well-meaning. They are officers of the court and are sworn to uphold their duty at all times. They will use anything said by your child to further the prosecution.
It may not be in your best interests to wholeheartedly cooperate with the law enforcement. Many good kids have been swept up by circumstance, association, or misidentification. The juveniel justice system is ill-equipped for distinguishing between seriously at risk kids and kids who may just be going through a brief rough patch in their youth.
Legal Help is Here from a Knowledgeable and Experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal convictions, whether wrongful or not, can impact your child's future, college choices, and career options. We here at the Kann California Law Group can help if your child is being investigated or charged with a criminal offense. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call (888) 744-7730 or contact us through our confidential online contact form. An attorney will call you right away.