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San Bernardino Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Fighting for Juvenile's Rights in California

In California, the Juvenile Court System is designed to handle matters associated with juvenile law, called juvenile delinquency cases and juvenile dependency cases. Juvenile delinquency cases concern charges of a criminal law violation by a "minor" (defined as a person under the age of 18.)

Has your child been arrested? Our San Bernardino juvenile defense attorney handles cases relating to criminal juvenile law charges. Contact us today!

Juvenile Court Proceedings

Juveniles are handled very differently than adults when the criminal justice system is involved. The exception is when a child is accused of committing a serious crime and even though the child is under 18, the DA decides to prosecute him or her as an adult. This is the exception, not the rule.

The theory behind the juvenile justice system is that children are not really capable of committing crimes in the same as adults. As a result, the whole juvenile system is geared toward rehabilitation, where the adult system is geared toward punishment and deterrence. Juveniles go not get “convicted” of crimes. Rather, “petitions” filed against them are “found true.”

A child is entitled to a trial where the DA has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, but there is no jury trial. A judge decides the case. When the child’s case and any probation term is over, the child is entitled to have the case sealed and destroyed. Moreover, the juvenile offence is sealed when the youth reaches age 18, and with only a few exceptions, it cannot be pulled up in a background check or used against the person if they commit a later crime as an adult.

A San Bernardino juvenile defense attorney has to be somewhat of a social worker as well as a lawyer. Many problems children get into arise from situations ongoing at home, school or the influence of older, criminally-minded adults. The juvenile probation department does a good and thorough job of trying to assess all of these risks and implement a plan that gives the child the best chance of success in the future.

Mark McDonald handles many juvenile cases and his compassionate, understanding nature makes the stressful process much less stressful on the juvenile facing the weight of the law.

Let Our San Bernardino Juvenile Defense Attorney Help.

A minor accused of a juvenile crime should retain an attorney for all proceedings in the juvenile court. And a minor is not entitled to a jury trial in juvenile court, only to an "Adjudication" (trial) in front of a judge. Though the burden of proof is the same for a minor in juvenile court as it is in adult court, that is, proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the minor committed the crime; the family of a minor accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney as the consequences can be serious and life-lasting.

The San Bernardino juvenile defense attorney at the firm has helped many juveniles charged with crime. In fact, more than 75% of all retained cases are dismissed. The firm serves all of San Bernardino county. It is vital not to let a minor be convicted of a charge that can later be used as a "strike" under California's "Three Strike Law." Even though a minor's record is sealed to outside people, a prior offense such as a robbery by a minor can be used as a strike in a future proceeding in some circumstances.

If your child is facing charges, contact the San Bernardino juvenile defense attorney at the firm for a free initial consultation today! Call (909) 443-1599 to get started.