At the Law Office of Robert Landheer, we are passionate about defending youth in juvenile court. We understand the difficulty and confusion that our clients and their families go through during this process, and we are here to provide them with the support system they need. We are dedicated to taking care of our clients and helping them navigate the legal system. Our team of experienced lawyers and legal professionals is here to ensure that your rights are protected.
3 Reasons Your Child Could End Up In Juvenile Court
a. Criminal charges
b. Gang Association
2. Ward of the Court proceedings - Adjudications resulting in juvenal hall commitments or probation supervision
3. Dependency proceedings - children may become wards of the court and placed in foster care and in some cases involving child abuse and neglect, their mother and father may permanently lose their parental rights
The juvenile court process can be a frightening experience.
Your Child's future is at stake.
Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
If your child is involved in a juvenile delinquency case that means he or she is accused of breaking the law.
The court will consider how old your child is, how serious the crime is, and the child’s criminal record if any. The court can order that:
Your child lives with you under court supervision.
Your child be put on probation. He or she may have to live with a relative, in a foster home or group home, or in an institution.
Your child be put on probation and sent to a probation camp or ranch.
Your child can be sent to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice (also called “DJJ”). If your child is tried in adult court, he or she will be sent to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Operations (also called “CDCR”).
Proposition 57, The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 removed the prosecutor's authority to decide whether juveniles charged with certain crimes should be charged in juvenile or adult court. That decision is now made by judges.
If your child is sent to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), he or she will go to a “reception center” for the first 30 to 90 days. The center will find out what education and treatment your child needs. Then your child will go a correctional facility or youth camp.
Juvenile court is governed by the Welfare and Institutions Code and specific PC Sections.
Our experienced attorneys practice in this specialized area of law.
If your child is arrested, the police can:
Make a record of the arrest and let your child go home.
Send your child to an agency that will shelter, care for, or counsel your child.
Make your child come back to the police station. This is called being “cited back.”
Give you and your child a Notice to Appear. Read the notice and do what it says.
Put your child in juvenile hall (this is called “detention”). Your child can make at least 2 phone calls within 1 hour of being arrested. One call must be to a parent, guardian, relative, or boss. The other call must be to a lawyer.
If the police want to talk to your child about what happened, the police must tell your child about his or her legal rights (called “Miranda rights”), which are:
Your child has the right to remain silent.
Anything your child says will be used against him or her in court.
Your child has the right to a lawyer. If you or your child cannot pay for one, the court will appoint one.
Your child has the right to a lawyer who is effective and prepared. If you cannot pay for a lawyer, the court will get a lawyer for your child. If your child does not have a lawyer, talk to the public defender or another lawyer for advice.
You have rights, too. The police must also tell you as soon as your child is locked up. They have to tell you where your child is and what rights he or she has. But you probably will not need your own lawyer.
Getting A Notice To Appear
Read the Notice to Appear carefully. It will probably tell you to go to the probation department to meet with a probation officer. Click here to find the local probation department.
Four things can happen at the meeting. The probation officer may:
Lecture your child and let him or her go home.
Let your child do a voluntary program instead of going to court. The program could be special classes, counseling, community service, or other activities. If your child finishes the program, he or she will not have to go to court. You may have to sign a contract that says what the child has to do. The contract can last 6 months.
Send your child home and send the case to the district attorney. The district attorney will decide to file a petition (papers that mean that your child will have to go to court) or not.
Keep your child locked up and send the case to the district attorney. The district attorney will then file a petition, usually within 2 days after the arrest. Your child will have a detention hearing on the next day the court is open. The court is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
If a petition is filed in court, your child’s case will be filed in the juvenile delinquency court.