"Alisha and her firm were heaven sent! I liked them all, however, Ms Wood managed my case. And she was incredible. She is a true genius and had a strategy for my case that was both hard charging' and unexpectedI won when they dismissed the case. Thank You So Much!"
At the Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood, we are especially equipped to deal with cases involving juvenile delinquency. Often, minors are not aware of their rights when dealing with criminal charges; that is where we come in. Our experienced team is dedicated to fighting for your freedom, or that of your child.
If you are or your child is under the age of 18 and in need of reliable legal representation for criminal charges, call us today to learn how we can help you through this very difficult time.
What is Juvenile Delinquency?
Juvenile delinquency basically describes criminal law affecting minors. When a youth under the age of 18 is arrested, he or she has rights different than those of adults and are prosecuted accordingly. A minor will not be sentenced to prison, but may be sent to juvenile hall, depending on the severity of the crime and the details of the court proceedings.
When a minor is confronted by an officer after an incident that is not very serious, often they will walk away with a warning. Proceedings for minors are very grueling, and entering a minor into the legal system is usually very detrimental to their adult lives. For this reason, it is in everyone’s interest to help juveniles seek rehabilitation and discipline rather than a life in and out of prison. However, a crime is a crime, and if a significant crime is committed (violence, theft, assault, etc.), a minor will face arrest and be tried accordingly.
Minors’ Rights In Questioning by the Police
When the police confront a minor, they may submit him or her to brief questioning, but may not arrest without probable cause or evidence of the crime. Before questioning, the officer must recite the minor’s Miranda Rights.
In accordance with Miranda vs. Arizona, the following warnings are applicable to the questioning of a minor:
– The right to remain silent
– Anything said can be used against him or her in a court of law
– The right to the presence of an attorney
These rights must only be recited once. If your child is arrested, be sure to keep in mind you also have these rights and must exercise the opportunity to elicit legal help in your case. Officers know how to get the response they want from your minor, and the difference an attorney can make is invaluable.
If your minor is submitted to questioning and offers information without an attorney present, it is important to know that any confession must be voluntary. An officer may not physically force a confession or manipulate a minor with threats or bargaining to get the response they want. If any of these tactics are used, your juvenile will have a strong case against the court.
If your child is arrested, we advise you both to take the following advice immediately:
– The minor should be polite and not resist arrest, give his or her full name and information
– The minor should ask for his or her parent
– You should immediately seek an attorney
– The minor should not write a letter of apology
– Until a lawyer is present, use your right to remain silent
– Remain calm, and do not panic! Help is available to you and there is hope for freedom and a positive record.
If a Minor is Taken to Juvenile Hall
When a minor is arrested and taken to juvenile hall, they are now in the hands of the attending probation officers, not the arresting cops. A range of actions may be taken, depending on your child’s cooperation, the severity of the crime and even the disposition of the probation officers. Your child may be sent home with a court date, sent home with probation instructions or kept in juvenile hall until a judge can look at the case.
No matter the outcome of your child’s time in juvenile hall, even if he or she is given at-home probation, it is important to have an experienced attorney look over your case to ensure your child’s sentencing was just, his or her record was treated fairly and to protect his or her future.
Our attorneys are well-versed in juvenile law and dedicated to protecting you and your child. We are happy to answer any questions you have and help you through every step of this difficult process. We know having a child dealing with criminal charges is not easy, and we want to help take the stress off of you and fight for the best outcome for your family.
How are Juveniles Punished and Prosecuted?
The goal of the juvenile legal system is meant to be rehabilitation rather than punishment, a much different philosophy than for adult offenders. This does not mean that your child will not be punished for serious crimes, but the goal of juvenile detention and punishment is education and treatment, setting up minors for success following their sentences.
Most juvenile crimes are punishable by the following sanctions:
– Fines or restitutions
– A variety of community service projects, with the number of hours ranging depending on the crime
– Victim impact or anger management classes
– Foster care, if the parent is unable to care for the well-being of the child
– Probation or parole
– Extended time in juvenile hall or correctional camp
– Commitment to the California Youth Authority (CYA) for education, training and treatment, in more serious juvenile criminal cases
How Can We Help?
Most juvenile cases throw a family for a loop, causing undue stress on parents, siblings and the minor in question. It is easy to lose sight of reality and act impulsively. Further, most people do not know their rights at this point in their life, and in cases in which parents have never dealt with the legal system, there are few reliable resources for learning how to deal with these situations.
We, at the Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood, are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process for juvenile crime and helping you and your family find hope and healing. We have years of proven results in similar cases, helping many minors turn their lives around and become active, healthy members of adult society.
There is hope for you and your family. To seek legal help for you or your child, please call our offices today: (619) 356-2249.