Juvenile Deliquency

Pomona Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer

Facing the possible consequences of a juvenile crime can be trying for youth and their parents or guardians. Although no legal process is easy to navigate, the justice system for juveniles is especially complex, and the stakes are always high. Juvenile criminal records can follow people long into their adulthood, making it difficult to do essential things like finding employment or housing. With outcomes that are this serious, you need a proven attorney who can work determinedly for your child. When you hire Lucero, PC, you get just that. We treat cases with the seriousness they deserve and fight tirelessly for the futures of the youth we defend.

Call (213) 668-7779 or connect with us online today to get the help of our Pomona juvenile crimes attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions About Juvenile Crimes

If your child has been detained by police for committing an offense in California or New York, you might find yourself asking numerous pressing questions. How does your state pursue juvenile crimes compared to adult crimes? What does the justice process look like? How long can a potential conviction stay on your child’s record? 

Below are answers to these important questions and more:

When Are Cases Handled in California and New York Juvenile Courts?

When California police detain someone under the age of 18 for an alleged offense, a juvenile court will typically handle their case. In New York, minors between the ages of 7 and 15 go to these dedicated courts when they have been arrested for an offense. The state also treats children who are 16 and 17 years old as juveniles in the family court system when they have been charged with misdemeanor offenses. The state can treat individuals of this same age as juveniles when they charge them with felony offenses, but whether this happens depends on the discretion of the court. 

What Are Common Juvenile Crimes?

Juvenile crimes typically fall under two categories:

  • Status offenses are crimes that would be legal if the minor had been of age. Examples include possession of alcohol, truancy (missing school), or running away.
  • Delinquency crimes are crimes that are illegal for anyone to commit at any age.

What Is the Criminal Process for Juveniles?

The juvenile justice systems in California and New York generally try to rehabilitate a youth who have been arrested for an offense. Both the courts and your attorney can work together to settle a case informally and provide a minor with resources that could help them address the root cause of their offense. For example, a court could order a youth to participate in a drug or alcohol program that helps prevent further abuse and mitigate issues from addiction. 

For more serious offenses, the state agencies that handle juveniles who have been arrested can recommend that the state prosecute them. In California, a youth who has been formally charged with an offense will appear before a juvenile court judge, who will hear their case and determine a verdict. The process is similar in New York, where the state’s family court handles the child’s case.

How Are Juveniles Treated in Court, Compared to Adults?

Unlike criminal cases for adults, juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial. They are also unable to post bail, and instead judges or representatives of the state agencies that handle these specific cases decide whether to detain or release them to the custody of their parents or guardians.

The burden of proof in juvenile cases is the same as for adult cases, meaning the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the youth had committed the alleged offense. Similar also to adult cases, they can retain an attorney. Because the consequences of a guilty verdict can have serious effects on your child’s adult life, it is crucial to have representation from our juvenile crimes lawyer in Pomona, who can advocate aggressively for their best interests. 

Can Minors Be Tried as Adults?

In general, California law prohibits minors under the age of 16 from being tried as an adult. There are cases where this happens, however. In these cases, the youth must face charges for a serious crime such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, sex crimes, kidnapping, or assault with a firearm. The same is true in New York, where the law allows the state to try juveniles who are 13, 14, or 15 as adults for these offenses.

How Long do Crimes Stay on a Youth’s Record?

Should your child have a juvenile offense on their record, it could stay there long after they become an adult. All hope is not lost though, as there are many avenues that both California and New York provide for offenders to have their records sealed. For example, when a minor turns 18 in California, they can petition the state to seal their criminal record, which would prevent future employers, student loan officers, landlords, and others from being able to see their offense when performing a criminal background check. Similarly, New York allows guilty minors to file a motion to seal their record in adulthood. 

Before your child ever must navigate the complex process of sealing their record, let our skilled legal team at Lucero, PC fight for them in juvenile court. Throughout our years of experience, we have become widely respected for our aggressive defenses and the individualized support we provide clients who trust us with their cases. 

To schedule a free consultation to discuss what we can do for you, call us at (213) 668-7779 or contact us online.

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We know that a criminal case can be trying for defendants, their families, and their loved ones. Trust us to be the advocate you need.
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