Southern California Juvenile Justice Lawyers

At McGlinn & McGlinn, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys advocate for children and youth in a wide range of matters. Our goal is to help young people who find themselves involved in the juvenile justice system in cases involving juvenile crime, DMV hearings and California’s Child Protective Services (CPS). Read about juvenile matters in the paragraphs below.

In the past decade, it has become more common for children to be referred to adult criminal courts for trial. Juveniles are treated as adults in the court system, without the special protections given to juveniles. If your child has been charged with a crime, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with an attorney who will respond aggressively to your child’s juvenile law matter.

Juvenile Law – An Overview

Juvenile law deals with crimes committed by children. The maximum age for a juvenile offender varies from state to state, but is most commonly seventeen. By federal law, a juvenile is a person under the age of eighteen when he or she violates the law he or she is charged with. Governmental bodies, including the federal government, states and cities, prosecute various crimes committed by children, from traffic violations to felonies like rape and murder. If your child has been charged with a crime, contact McGlinn & McGlinn, Attorneys at Law in San Diego, California, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your child’s case.

What To Do If Your Child Is Arrested

There can be few more frightening or intimidating telephone calls that a parent can receive than one saying that his or her child has been arrested. The initial reaction of most parents is to panic. However, your first task is to avoid giving in to that panic. Your child needs your help now.

Parental Liability

Many states have adopted laws that make parents responsible for the actions of their children. Some states impose criminal liability on parents and other states provide that a parent may be sued by a person injured by their child. In addition, many cities and counties have enacted ordinances, or local laws, that make a parent guilty of an offense, such as “failing to supervise a minor,” if a child breaks the law.

How the Juvenile-Justice System Works

The juvenile-justice system is based on the adult criminal justice system. The goal of juvenile court may differ from criminal court, but the processes have similarities in application. Both systems are based on protecting society and holding law-breakers accountable for their actions. Children may be sent to juvenile court through a variety of ways: arrest, truancy, “running away”, curfew violations or referrals from teachers, victims or parents. Depending on the jurisdiction and the availability of programs, some youths enter alternative rehabilitation programs instead of the juvenile court system.

Trial as an Adult

There often is a possibility that a juvenile will be tried as an adult, in adult criminal court, rather than a hearing in juvenile court. The protections of a juvenile court proceeding do not exist in adult court. Court proceedings and records are not confidential, but are open to the public, and the court may impose the same sentence on the juvenile (jail time, fines and probation) that would be imposed on an adult.

Juvenile Law Resource Links

Family and Corrections Network
FCN offers information and assistance to families of prisoners and tracks the impact of the justice system on the family.

Administration for Children and Families
This division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers the federal programs for child-focused social services; protective services and shelter for children and youth in at-risk situations; child care for working families and families on public assistance; and adoption for children with special needs.

Child Welfare League of America
The CWLA is an association of nonprofit entities which offer a wide range of services for abused and neglected children and their families.

The Children’s Defense Fund
The Children’s Defense Fund offers programs and lobbying on children’s issues, including juvenile justice.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
The CJCJ promotes “balanced and humane criminal justice policies that reduce incarceration and promote long-term public safety” by developing community, policy and education programs.