Los Angeles Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer
Is Your Minor Son or Daughter Facing Criminal Charges?
When your child is charged with a crime, it is one of the scariest and most devastating times for a family. These days, a juvenile crime does not just get a slap on the wrist. Depending on the severity of the crime, the age of your child, and other circumstances, your child may even be tried as an adult. If your child is facing charges in the juvenile court system, contact a Los Angeles juvenile criminal defense attorney from our firm today.
What Makes Juvenile Cases Unique?
Many people may be unaware of how the juvenile courts work. They function very differently from regular state or federal courts. For example:
- In juvenile court, there is no jury. Cases are decided by a judge only.
- Minors may not be freed on bail, but a detention hearing will be held to determine if he or she will be released.
- A prosecutor will decide if the charge will be tried as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Juvenile crimes fall under one of two classifications: status offense, which are crimes because the individual is a minor, such as truancy, or curfew violation; and juvenile delinquency crimes, which are illegal for all citizens, such as drug crimes, assault and battery, and traffic offenses. However, in some cases, these crimes may lead the prosecutors to request that your child be tried as an adult, which can lead to serious punishments, such as lengthy jail time and huge monetary fines.
FAQs About Juvenile Cases
If my child was out past curfew because of his job, can he still be charged with violating curfew?
- Curfew laws are set by each city, and they establish what time a minor can no longer be out in public late at night. However, there are exceptions which make it legal for your child to be out past curfew in one of the following scenarios: participation in a religious, educational or political activity, running an errand for a parent or guardian, going to and from work, responding to an emergency, coming home from a school activity, or if accompanied by an adult.
Can my child lose his driver’s license for skipping school?
- If your child has skipped school more than three times, the juvenile court system may find him to be a “habitual truant” after holding a conference with you and your child. Habitual truants may lose driving privileges for up to one year.
Can my child’s juvenile record be sealed when she is an adult?
- You can request to have your child’s juvenile record sealed once she is 18 years old – or, five years after the last arrest or discharge from probation. The exception is that juvenile sustained petitions for crimes considered “strikes” under California’s three strike law generally cannot be sealed.
Can I seal my child’s record for speeding or parking tickets, so that her insurance premiums will not increase?
- No, juvenile records cannot be sealed for traffic or parking violations.
How can my teenager be charged with DUI if her blood alcohol content was under .08%?
- The DUI requirements are different for minors – if your minor child had a BAC of .01% or higher, she can be charged with DUI.
If my child is arrested, when will he be released? If your child is arrested, he will be either released with a citation or held in juvenile detention. In order to hold your child, the District Attorney must file a petition within 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) – and if the petition isn’t filed in time, your child has to be released regardless.
Defending Your Child's Future
The impact the a criminal record will have on your child's future cannot be overstated, as well, as it can prevent them from graduating high school, getting into college, and holding down a job for the rest of their lives. It is essential that you hire the best attorney you can for your child's defense.
Contact our firm immediately if your son or daughter is facing juvenile crime charges. These charges can have a devastating effect on their future!
Juvenile Crimes Lawyer Serving Los Angeles
When looking for a criminal defense attorney for your child, you need an attorney who handles each case aggressively, efficiently, and with compassion. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we understand the sensitivities of a juvenile crimes case, and how extremely important it is to provide your child with the best defense possible. We have over 50 years of combined experience handling juvenile cases, and attorney Mark Lessem in particular has specialized experience in juvenile defense.
“We are blessed to have you for our lawyer and will highly recommend you with your professional and educated advice!”
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