Juvenile cases come in two forms, delinquency or dependency. Delinquency cases involve criminal conduct by the minor, while dependency cases involve situations where the minor is taken from the home by social services due to concerns for a child’s well-being.
The Law Firm of Sean F. Leslie, Attorney at Law, provides aggressive criminal defense representation by an experienced criminal lawyer for those clients charged with juvenile delinquency offenses. Juveniles, persons under the age of 18, can be charged with same the crimes as adults; however, the goal of the juvenile justice system, procedures, and consequences differ dramatically!
The goal of the criminal adult system is to punish defendants, while the goal of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate youthful offenders. Therefore, several alternatives may be available to rehabilitate juveniles without being formally “convicted” of crime.
If a juvenile petition is filed against the minor, he or she may be eligible for informal supervision pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section, 654 depending on the charge Informal supervision can result in the charges being DISMISSED after the probationary period if the juvenile complies with a probation officer's plan of supervision.
At my Firm we have been successful in obtaining 654 dismissals for juvenile clients charged with driving under the influence with Blood Alcohol Concentration over .20% and other crimes.
A minor may be eligible for a program of informal supervision set forth in Section 654 or 654.2 unless he or she has had the benefit of a prior 654 dismissal and has not previously been adjudicated a “ward” of the court. In addition, the minor may not be eligible if the petition:
- Alleges that the minor has violated specific violent, sexual and or serious crimes;
- Alleges that the minor has sold or possessed drugs for sale;
- Alleges that the minor has possessed drugs where the violation took place at a public or private elementary, vocational, junior high school, or high school; or
- Alleges that the minor has violated a gang crime and or allegations.
Likewise, a minor charged with more serious crimes may also be eligible for a similar, but more intense, program called Deferred Entry of Judgment under Welfare and Institutions Code section 790. The minors’ petition will be DISMISSED if successfully completed.
Again, my firm has successfully handled many juvenile clients’ cases resulting in 790 dismissals even with charges of assault with a deadly weapon and other crimes. A minor who is charged with the commission of a felony offense, may also be eligible for Deferred Entry of Judgment if they meet certain requirements.
Court procedures also differ in juvenile from adult cases. Unlike adult criminal cases that go to jury trial, juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial except in rare cases. A judge will hear the evidence and decide the fate of the minor!
It is important to have an attorney experienced in the Juvenile Court system who can navigate through the complex juvenile delinquency process. Simple steps such as challenging a particular judge who may be biased against the minor can have a big impact on the ultimate outcome of the case.
The consequences in a juvenile delinquency matter also differ from an adult criminal case. For example, a child may be deemed a ward of the court, removed from his or her parents home, placed in juvenile hall, or even be committed to the California Youth Authority (CYA) now called the Division of Juvenile Justice.Call My Law Firm to Speak with a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney Not a Paralegal or Case Manager
At my firm we have competent criminal lawyers with vast experience in juvenile delinquency criminal defense cases. A knowledgeable and experienced juvenile criminal lawyer can make the difference your child’s future.
I take personal responsibility in my firm's "commitment to excellence" in obtaining a favorable result on you or your child’s case whether it's in San Diego County or elsewhere. I look forward to hearing from and meeting you soon. Once again, thank you for consulting with a criminal lawyer in my law firm for your legal representation.