If your child has been arrested and facing a Detention Hearing, your child needs an attorney to protect his or her rights and liberty. We will work with you, your child and the Juvenile Court so your child will be back home as soon as possible. We will vigorously advocate for your child to get the best results possible.
- If the cause of the child’s problems is substance abuse, we will give you referrals to professionals you can trust and get your child into treatment, and
- We can help address parents’ concerns about the impact a conviction can have on the child’s future,
- First time offenders may qualify for diversion options that can lessen the future negative impact for your child, and
- We will make sure the child and parents understand probation conditions, so they can be fulfilled and the child’s record sealed.
Our Juvenile Delinquency Attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experience in representing the juvenile client. For a complimentary review of your case profile contact us by e-mail using the quick form on the side of this page, or call us at 760-722-7669
Juvenile Court process
After your child has been arrested and taken to the nearest Juvenile Hall, one of the following could occur:
- The arresting officer may release your child back to your custody,
- Your child may be referred to a community agency providing shelter, care, diversion, or counseling,
- Your child may be required to return to the police station rather than to the probation department,
- You and your child may be given a Notice to Appear, telling you what you and your child must do and when you must do it, or
- Your child could be detained in Juvenile Hall. Your child will be able to make two telephone calls no later than one hour after arrest. If your child is detained, the intake probation officer must take immediate steps to notify you.
- The Probation Officer may let your child go home without asking the district attorney to file a petition.
- Or, your child may go home and the probation officer will refer the case to the district attorney who will decide whether or not to file a petition. In this instance, restrictions will be placed on your child as a condition of being allowed to go home. If your child does not return home, the law requires that a petition be filed very quickly.
- There will be a court hearing, called a Detention Hearing, the next day that the court is in session.
Juvenile Court hearings
You and your child will be required to attend all hearings, unless your appearance is specifically waived by your child’s attorney. The hearings include:
- Detention Hearing or Arraignment Hearing: If your child is detained in Juvenile Hall for more than 48 hours, there will be a detention hearing in no more than 72 hours. The judge will decide if your child should go home before the next hearing and to read the charges against your child. If your child was arrested, but never detained in the Juvenile Hall, you will receive notice of an arraignment hearing. The purpose of the arraignment hearing is to read the petition containing the charges against your child.
- Pre-trial Hearing: This will occur the day before the trial to allow the parties in the matter to either resolve the case or to advise the court that they are ready to proceed to trial.
- Jurisdiction Hearing: The judge will decide whether or not your child committed the offense.
- Disposition Hearing: If the judge rules that your child committed the offense, the judge will decide what orders should be made about your child.
In addition to the above hearings, you and your child may be required to attend any of the following hearings:
- Early Resolution Hearing: an attempt to resolve the matter prior to trial.
- Hearings on Motions: court appearances for the judge to decide procedural matters.
- Fitness Hearing: if your child is at least 14 years old and is charged with committing certain serious crimes, the district attorney may ask the juvenile court to decide whether your child should be tried as an adult or not. The district attorney has authority in some instances to directly file in adult court against minors 14 years and older who commit certain serious crimes.
- Review Hearings: the judge reviews your child’s progress and performance under probation supervision.
- Restitution Hearing: you and your child may have to pay restitution (money to pay for the victim’s losses caused by your child’s illegal conduct) to the victim.