Minors or juveniles are persons who are less than eighteen years of age. Minors can be prosecuted for the same crimes as adults. A juvenile justice system exists to ensure that when juveniles are charged, their age, inexperience, and youth are taken into consideration. In reality, however, while the stated aim of the juvenile justice system is to help youth by providing rehabilitation and guidance, a “get tough on crime policy” means that many youthful defendants are as aggressively prosecuted as adults.
In Los Angeles, juvenile offenders qualify for the Three Strikes in California law. This means that if a juvenile is found guilty or admits to two crimes in their youth, they may face criminal prosecution for a third crime – and face a lengthy jail term – for another crime committed when they are 18 years old. A youthful mistake could lead to a lengthy incarceration.
Current California laws also allow juvenile defendants accursed of serious violent crimes to be tried as adults. This can happen without even an initial hearing before a juvenile judge.
Juvenile defendants are tried before a judge, not before a jury of peers. For this reason, it is imperative that you hire a Los Angeles juvenile crime defense lawyer who has extensive experience litigating cases specifically before juvenile judges. Litigating before juries is very different, as is litigating before a judge in an adult court, so this specific experience is vital. Your attorney must be familiar with juvenile judges to ensure that the judge does not rule against the juvenile in a biased fashion.
In juvenile crime cases, it is also important to note that a minor may qualify for informal probation. Informal probation allows charges against the minor to be dismissed after a set probationary period if the minor obeys the probation officer’s plan and supervision carefully. A qualified attorney can help ensure that this happens, allowing a minor to start over with a clean record.
Under California law, patents may be held liable for the damages and losses incurred in the crimes committed by their children. This means that parents may face fines and charges themselves in cases involving their children. This is another reason why hiring a skillful and experienced Los Angeles juvenile criminal defense attorney is vital. A good attorney can not only defend your child’s rights, but yours own as well.
Stephen Brodsky is one of most experienced criminal defense attorneys in the Los Angeles area. He can help your family develop a strong defense strategy. With more than twenty years of expertise in criminal law exclusively and hundreds of cases successfully defended, Stephen Brodsky Attorney at Law, has the experience you need to defend your case from a position of strength.
If your child has been accused of a crime in Los Angeles, contact the law offices of Stephen Brodsky today for a free consultation to discuss your defense strategy.