You care about your kids. If your son or daughter is charged with a crime, their future is at stake. Juvenile court is different than the traditional court system. First, there is no right to a jury trial for juveniles. Secondly, there is no right to bail. This is a serious business. Please make sure you hire an experienced San Diego juvenile defense attorney Elliott N. Kanter in order to protect your child’s freedom. It’s your child’s future. Call the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CALIFORNIA JUVENILE COURT HEARINGS? A SAN DIEGO ATTORNEY EXPLAINS
In the state of California, a minor who is arrested will have from two to six types of hearings. It’s important you ask for help during these hearings from a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can defend your child’s rights, negotiate with the prosecutor, and fight for justice. The various hearings that a minor may have are:
The Arraignment Hearing
The “Dennis H.” Hearing
The Fitness Hearing
The Pretrial Hearing
The Jurisdictional Hearing
The Dispositional Hearing
The arraignment is the first hearing for all minors. At this hearing, the minor can request a lawyer if he has not retained a private lawyer, be advised of his constitutional rights and the charges against him, and a date will be assigned for the Pretrial or Jurisdictional audition (trial).
ATTORNEYS CAN DEFEND YOUR CHILD AT THE “DENNIS H.” HEARING
If the judge orders a minor to be kept in Juvenile Hall, the minor’s lawyer can demand a “Dennis H.” hearing. This audition allows the minor to challenge the judge’s decision to detain him until the date of his adjudication hearing. At the “Dennis H” hearing, the minor’s lawyer can question the police officers or others who wrote the reports that the judge relied on deciding to order the minor kept in Juvenile Hall. The second audition must be held within five judicial days. It is called a “Dennis H.” hearing because a minor named Dennis H. was the first person to win the right to such a hearing.
OUR SAN DIEGO LAWYERS CAN FIGHT ON YOUR CHILD’S BEHALF AT THE FITNESS HEARING
A minor between 16 and 18 years of age at the time of the offense may be declared unfit for trial by the Juvenile Court, and be tried as an adult in the Adult Criminal Court. Before a minor can be declared unfit, he must have an audition on the issue. At this hearing, the Juvenile Court Judge will consider the following factors as recorded in the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707:
(A) The degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the minor.
(B) Whether the minor can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.
(C) The minor’s previous delinquent history.
(D) The success of previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the minor.
(E) The circumstances and gravity of the offense alleged in the petition to have been committed by the minor.
A determination that the minor is not a fit and proper subject to be dealt with under the juvenile court law may be based on any one or a combination of the factors set forth above, which shall be recited in the order of unfitness.
AN ATTORNEY EXPLAINS THE PRETRIAL HEARING PROCESS IN SAN DIEGO
At the pretrial hearing, the District Attorney and the minor’s attorney may inform the court if the matter has been settled. A settlement means that the charges and the petition are to be admitted by the minor or changed by the District Attorney and then admitted or dismissed. If the case is settled, the judge will take the minor’s admission, and set a date for the Dispositional Hearing. If the case is not settled, the judge will set or confirm a previously set date for a Jurisdictional Hearing.
WHAT IS THE JURISDICTIONAL HEARING?
Juvenile Court is not a criminal court. A minor who is declared a ward of the Juvenile Court is not treated as a criminal and a Juvenile Court adjudication is not called a “trial”. It is like a trial and the minor has most of the same rights. The one right that the minor does not have in the Juvenile Court is the right to be tried by a jury. All Juvenile Court adjudications are heard by a judge or referee only.
EXPERIENCED LAWYERS CAN PROTECT YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE DURING THE DISPOSITIONAL HEARING
This is the audition to determine what will happen to a minor whose charges have been sustained at an adjudication. A “disposition” is the placement of a minor either at home on probation, in a county camp, or in some other facility.
If your child is facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Elliott N. Kanter as soon as possible. Mr. Kanter is an experienced attorney who is dedicated to providing your child and your family with the best possible representation with the goal of protecting your child’s future and reputation. Call 619-330-5881 or use the secure online request form. We will respond without delay.
IS A JUVENILE RECORD SEALED?
Once you turn 18 years of age, you may petition to have your record sealed. However, it is important for you to actually file a petition to get the evidence sealed. Records are not automatically sealed when you turn 18 years of age. The petition must be filed with the juvenile court. Else, the information may continue to remain on your evidence.
Getting your record sealed is very important because you do not want to spend the rest of your life with a criminal conviction on your evidence. Remember, information regarding your juvenile crimes may be accessed by colleges, employers, criminal background screening agencies, and other parties in the community. If you would like to have your juvenile delinquency record sealed, contact a criminal defense attorney for legal assistance.
OUR SAN DIEGO LAW FIRM WILL FIGHT TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD
Our San Diego criminal defense attorneys will fight hard to protect your child’s best interests. If your kid is detained in custody, he or she will receive a trial within 15 days. If your child is not detained, their adjudication day will be within 30 calendar days. If your kid is not detained, the first court date will be the arraignment where the pretrial and court date will be set.
But the truth of the matter is everything your kid says could be used against him or her. Being questioned by police is a frightening experience for any child. An innocent child may admit to a crime that he or she didn’t commit.
SEEK REPRESENTATION FROM ONE OF THE TOP LAW FIRMS IN SAN DIEGO
As soon as your child is in custody in San Diego County, you need a lawyer from one of the best criminal law firms in the area. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience defending clients in criminal cases. An experienced attorney might be able to negotiate a case before formal charges are drawn. Our firm’s practice areas include, but are not limited to, juvenile offenses, sex crimes, assault, DUI, domestic violence, theft, and drug possession. Contact the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter by phone or email email@example.com for a free consultation. You can also fill out the form on this website to schedule a consultation. Our lawyers will get started right away in fighting for your child’s rights and protecting his or her future.