When children are accused of breaking the law, it may affect the entire family. All juvenile delinquency cases are heard in family court. If your child has been accused of a crime, you will be involved in the case and will need to accompany your child when the court requires. It is important to contact an Orange County juvenile crime lawyer at the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz. We can help your child and you protect your rights, using our two decades of experience as juvenile attorneys in Southern California.Advocacy When Facing Charges of Juvenile Crimes
A juvenile is defined in California as someone who is under 18 years of age. They may be charged with offenses such as shoplifting, receiving stolen property, assault, sexual assault, trespassing, drug possession, traffic violations, or vandalism, among others. Certain offenses are unique to juveniles, such as breaking curfew or truancy.
Children are generally treated differently from adult offenders. In some cases, a court may hold a “fitness hearing” to determine whether to transfer a juvenile to the adult court system. In other words, it is sometimes possible for a juvenile to be tried in adult court, depending on the age of the offender and the circumstances of the crime.
When a child is charged with a crime, the court will consider various factors, including the age of the child, the seriousness of the crime, and the child’s prior criminal record, if any. The juvenile courts are also required to consider the welfare and psychological condition of the defendant child.
If your child is convicted of a crime, the court order may require that they no longer live with you. This may vary depending on the offense that they committed. For example, the child may be removed from the residence if they were threatening parents or other children in the home. The court may order that:
- The child should reside under court supervision;
- The child should be placed on probation;
- The child must reside with a relative, safe home, or foster home;
- The child must be sent to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Division of Juvenile Justice; or
- If the child was tried as an adult, they must be sent to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
As a parent, you have certain responsibilities to your child. These responsibilities may make you liable to pay for any damage caused by your child. You may also need to compensate the victim if the court orders “restitution,” which is money that is paid to a victim to compensate for losses or harm caused by the child. For instance, you might need to pay for the medical expenses of someone whom your child assaulted.Discuss Your Situation with a Juvenile Crime Lawyer in Orange County
If your child has been charged with a crime, you should consult an Orange County juvenile crime attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, we can help you understand the potential consequences of your child’s criminal charge and work diligently to keep the case in Juvenile Court rather than adult court. We represent children and parents in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach, as well as other cities. To discuss your case in more detail with a child custody attorney, call us at 949-735-9266 or contact us online for a consultation.