Teenagers tend to make mistakes and behave questionably when acting under peer pressure or with the belief that their actions don’t have consequences. In some cases, a police officer may detain or charge your child with a criminal act that may result in serious legal punishments. You may fear for your child’s future and feel frustrated with your child’s actions. However, there are many legal options available to you and your child which may provide some relief from the frightening and stressful situation.
The severity of the potential consequences depends on the type of crime your child is accused of and whether or not they harmed anyone in the process. For example, if your child was driving with alcohol in their system and caused a severe car accident, the penalties may range from fines and educational classes to license suspension and juvenile detention. Protect your child from harsh punishments and life-long developmental issues by partnering with Dod Law, APC. With years of experience and highly-qualified legal representation, you’ll have the guidance you need for a smooth legal process.
Juvenile vs. Adult Justice Systems in California
California’s adult and juvenile justice systems are significantly different from each other due to society’s understanding that many minors benefit more from guidance and education than harsh punishments. California also understands that adults and children are in two separate stages of their lives. While adults should know and understand the law, children tend to make mistakes from their inexperience and ignorance.
The juvenile justice system in California focuses on rehabilitation, treatment, and education. With these beliefs, many hope to help prevent further illegal and dangerous actions while not harming their future. Adult justice systems emphasize punishing those who behave illegally.
Another important factor in providing juveniles with the proper tools to stop behaving irresponsibly includes a large number of non-law enforcement agencies, such as social services agencies, community-based organizations, and schools. Each of these agencies provides services to juveniles with a high potential to commit crimes.
What Does California Consider Juvenile Crimes?
While most crimes that adults commit would also be considered juvenile crimes, a juvenile delinquency court may also handle offenses like truancy and curfew violations, known as status offenses. There are several common crimes that juveniles commit in California, including:
- Petty theft
- Possession of alcohol or marijuana
- Possession of graffiti tools
- Grand theft auto
- Weapons charges
- Gang crimes
In some cases, like sexting and trespassing, minors may be unaware of the seriousness of these actions and the level of consequences they may face when participating in the act. As children age, they act in ways to prove to themselves and others that they are adults. However, their actions may seriously harm their future educational and career options without an experienced San Diego juvenile crime attorney.
Potential Penalties for Juveniles in California
Rather than forcing strict punishments on minors, California law tends to rehabilitate and educate. However, there are a few cases where this is not the case, meaning that minors receive more serious consequences for their actions. Below are a few examples of some of the punishments your child may face:
- Formal probation
- Informal probation
- Fines or restitution
- Commitment to detention
- Educational courses
- License suspension
It’s important to note that criminal laws in California understand that minors are often less observant and morally culpable than adults in similar situations. Juvenile investigations examine how the minor may learn from their behavior and if they may commit the crime again before deciding anything about their punishment. With a professional San Diego juvenile crime lawyer on your side, you’ll have someone on your side protecting your child’s rights and future.
What to Look For in a San Diego Juvenile Crimes Lawyer
When choosing the lawyer best fit for your child and their legal proceedings, you’ll need someone with experience and an understanding of your situation. Not every lawyer is the right representative for you and your case. Consider the following factors to consider when choosing your lawyer:
- Payment structure
- Past results
Your child deserves a San Diego juvenile crime attorney who understands their situation and has experience working within this specific faction of law. Without someone understanding the intricacies of juvenile crimes, your child may suffer harsher consequences than they deserve.
Partner With an Experienced San Diego Juvenile Crimes Lawyer at Dod Law, APC
Future college applications, career opportunities, social events, and many other activities may suffer the consequences of a mistake your child made when they were immature and irresponsible. While the behavior is condemned, that doesn’t mean it should cause your child’s future to suffer. Dod Law, APC offers clients highly qualified legal representation with over 18 years of experience under our belt. We are passionate about defending those within our community and take pride in our positive past results and references.