If your child was arrested, you are likely nervous about what could happen in court. It is important that you work with an attorney experienced in juvenile defense work, as juvenile and adult criminal work are different in many important ways. Your child needs an attorney who knows juvenile law, not a criminal defense attorney who occasionally handles juvenile cases. San Bernardino juvenile delinquency attorney Marcie Gardner has that experience.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS
After your child is arrested or receives a citation for court, law enforcement will send their investigative reports to the District Attorney’s Office. That office will review the reports and decide whether or not to file a “petition” charging your child with a crime. If your child was detained when arrested, the Probation Department will notify you of the court date. Otherwise, your child’s court date is listed on the citation.
At the first hearing, your child’s attorney will receive a copy of the police report. If your child is detained, an attorney can ask the judge to release your child. This is called a “detention hearing,” and the judge can keep your child detained, release him on house arrest, or release her outright. If the case is not filed within 48 court hours of your child’s detention, your child is entitled to be released. If the case was timely filed, only a judge has the power to release a juvenile. Juveniles are not entitled to bail. If the judge does not release your child at the detention hearing, an attorney can request it later only if a “change of circumstance” exists which the judge did not realize earlier. Hiring an experienced juvenile attorney such as Marcie Gardner before your child’s first appearance may make all the difference in whether your child is released at this hearing.
Your child either “admits” or “denies” the charges in a petition. The safest course of action at the first hearing is to deny the petition. This gives an attorney time to work on the best outcome for your child’s case.
Your child may have a series of court dates depending on the strategy for his/her case. Juvenile court has many options for resolving cases depending on the age of the child and the type of offense involved. Your child also has the right to have a trial. Unlike adult court, your child is not entitled to a jury trial. The juvenile judge decides whether your child committed the crime(s) charged. Juveniles are not “convicted” of crimes. They suffer “adjudications” instead.
Juveniles are not given “sentences” in court. Instead, a judge decides on a “disposition” for them after reviewing a report prepared by the Probation Department. This report will summarize the circumstances surrounding the crime as well your child’s educational, criminal and family background. The report will include the Probation Department’s opinions about your child (including any remorse expressed about the crime), the family structure, and the types of services it believes your child needs in order to succeed.
Once your child turns 18, you need to take steps to seal your child’s juvenile court records.
If your child has a citation to appear in juvenile delinquency court, call San Bernardino delinquency attorney Marcie Gardner. She has handled all types of juvenile delinquency cases throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties, from minor theft cases to cases involving murder. When working with her, your initial consultation is always free of charge. No fee whatsoever. To contact San Bernardino juvenile delinquency attorney Gardner, please call 909.635.2047.
Please call today.