Juvenile Arrest in Santa Clarita
   Santa Clarita Juvenile Attorney, Toll Free 1-877-281-5010

Juvenile Court is a separate court system for those under the age of 18.  
All states have such courts to deal with youthful offenders.  The Juvenile
court in Los Angeles County serves three distinctly different groups of
children.  First, there are children who have committed an act that if
committed by an adult would be considered criminal.  These children are
often called delinquents or 602 kids.  This comes from section 602 of the
Welfare and Institution Code which deals with these offenses.  Common
criminal offenses include drug possession, weapon possession, street
racing, alcohol and DUI offenses, theft and shoplifting, assault and battery,
vandalism, among many others.  A Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney is
crucial to a positive outcome on these cases.

Second, there are children who have committed status offenses.  Status
offenses are activities that are only wrong if committed by minors.  
Examples of these offenses are truancy, violating curfew, running away
from home, possession of cigarettes, etc.  Such offenses would not be
considered criminal if committed by an adult.  Children who have violated
this section are often referred to as children in need of supervision. Lastly,  
there are kids who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, these
children are referred to the dependency Court.

With regard to children charged with delinquency offenses, under 707 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code the case can be transferred out of the
juvenile justice system and into the adult system under certain
circumstances.  Generally, the decision to transfer the case out to adult
Court is based on the following criteria:

  • The minor's degree of criminal sophistication.
  • Whether the minor can reasonably be rehabilitated
  • The child's previous delinquent history and criminal record
  • The success of previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate
    the minor
  • The circumstances and gravity of the offense

Usually, a child will only be transferred to adult court if his or her alleged
offense was extremely serious, such as murder, arson, armed robbery,
sexual assault, selling drugs to minors, battery causing great bodily injury,
carjacking and other violent felonies.  Children  who remain in the juvenile
court system may be kept until they are 21 years of age or until 25 if the
minor was over 16 at the time of the offense or arrest.

What will happen if my child is arrested for breaking the Law?

Children who are arrested by the police are entitled to the same Miranda
warnings as adults.  Once a child has asked for an attorney or their parent,
the police must cease questioning.  Law enforcement have more
discretion in whether to release a child to a parent or keep them in
custody.  If a minor is held in custody they must be housed separately from
adults.  Children who have been detained must be released within 48 hours
(excluding non-court days) unless a criminal complaint (called a petition) is
filed by the District Attorney in Santa Clarita or Valencia.

Unlike adults, children have no right to bail unless the case is transferred to
the adult system.  The minors also have no right to a jury trial, their case
will be heard by a local Santa Clarita Judge who often has a background
in criminal prosecution.

Trials are called adjudication proceedings.  A Lawyer  is essential to
ensure the minor receives a fair trial and to present any defenses that may
exonerate the child.  If found guilty a judge can grant probation or the child
may be sent to juvenile camp or the California Youth Authority which is
similar to adult prison.  A Juvenile Lawyer familiar with the system can help
level the playing field and give your son or daughter a fighting chance.

If your child has been detained, arrested or is facing criminal charges it is
important to consult with an attorney experienced with the system,
contact
us for a free consultation today.