San Jose Juvenile Crimes Lawyer

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San Jose Juvenile Crimes Lawyer

Was your child charged with a juvenile crime in San Jose, California? If so, they could face detainment and stressful court proceedings. With your child’s future on the line, you need exceptional legal representation to protect their rights throughout the process. 

The San Jose juvenile crimes lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys are here to help. Our criminal defense team has 30 years of combined experience defending the rights of the accused. We’ve supported thousands of people throughout Silicon Valley and have successfully defended over 50 trials. 

Contact our law office at (408) 217-8818 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced San Jose criminal defense attorneys. We’re here to offer sound legal advice and seek the best possible outcome in your child’s case.

How Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If Your Child Was Charged With a Juvenile Crime in San Jose, CA

How Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If Your Child Was Charged With a Juvenile Crime in San Jose, CA

Juvenile law is nuanced and complicated – and thus requires the help and experience of a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney. Any criminal conviction can negatively impact a person’s life, but a juvenile offense is especially detrimental and can affect your child’s life forever. 

With that in mind, hiring an experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer is essential to ensure that your child has the best possible chance at overcoming this hurdle. We want to put your child back on track and set them up for success. 

If you hire Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys to defend your child, you can rest assured that we’ll: 

  • Evaluate the accusations against your child and formulate a defense strategy tailored to the facts of the case 
  • Communicate and negotiate with the district attorney to attempt to have the juvenile charges dismissed or deferred
  • Fight to have your child’s case remain a juvenile proceeding versus an adult criminal case
  • Protect your child’s legal rights throughout the judicial process
  • Keep you and your child informed and ensure you understand the implications of all decisions 
  • Advocate for your child during all hearings in juvenile justice court 

Contact our experienced San Jose juvenile crimes attorneys to get an experienced legal advocate on your child’s side.

Overview of Juvenile Crimes in California 

California juvenile courts hear cases involving minors under the age of 18 who have committed crimes or offenses. A juvenile justice’s mission is to protect and rehabilitate children and allow them to learn from their mistakes. 

Here are the general steps if your child goes through the juvenile justice system: 

  • Your child is taken to the Juvenile Center Intake Unit. 
  • A probation officer will investigate the offense and either file charges, place your child on informal probation, or release your child with a warning. 
  • If charges are filed (i.e., the DA’s office files a petition), there will be a detention hearing to determine the best place for the child (at home or locked up). The child will be notified of the accusations against them and offered an attorney if they don’t have one.
  • A jurisdiction hearing on the charges will be conducted to allow the juvenile to present evidence contesting the allegations or enter a plea admitting that the charges are true. If the judge decides the charges are false, the case will be dismissed.
  • If the judge at the jurisdiction hearing determines that the juvenile charges are true, a disposition hearing will be scheduled to order the child’s rehabilitation plan, which may include punishment. At this hearing, the judge can set aside the jurisdiction hearing findings and dismiss the case, place your child on informal probation, or make your child a ward of the court. 
  • Your child or their lawyer can appeal the disposition hearing decision within 60 days.

Juvenile Justice Court is different from Dependency Court. The juvenile dependency court hears cases involving minors who have been neglected or abused. 

What Are 601 and 602 Petitions? 

Juvenile cases start with the filing of a petition, which states what the child did and requests that the court get involved. 

A 601 Petition is filed if a child: 

  • Runs away 
  • Skips school (truancy) 
  • Breaks curfew 
  • Continuously disobeys their parents or guardians 

These offenses are applicable only to children. They aren’t crimes, but if a judge decides that the 601 Petition allegations are true, the child can become a ward of the court and will be known as a status offender. 

A 602 Petition, on the other hand, is filed by the district attorney and states that a child committed a crime, such as: 

Unless the child is charged as an adult, their case will be heard in juvenile court. If a judge determines that the allegations in a 602 Petition are true, the child will become a ward of the court and be called a delinquent. 

When Can a Child Be Charged As an Adult in California? 

Minors who are 16 or 17 may be charged as adults in California if they commit serious crimes as described under Section 707(b), such as: 

  • First-degree murder 
  • Attempted murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Arson that causes great bodily injury 
  • Robbery
  • Certain sex crimes, including rape 
  • Aggravated kidnapping 
  • Aggravated assault, such as assault with a firearm 
  • A violent felony
  • Torture 
  • Carjacking
  • Aggravated mayhem
  • Manufacturing or selling ½ ounce or more of a solution or salt of a controlled substance

If a minor 16 or older commits any of these crimes, they will have a fitness hearing. The judge will evaluate several factors, including the severity of the crime and whether the child has a record or delinquent history.

The judge will decide whether the child should be tried as an adult. If so, they’ll enter the criminal justice system and will be treated as an adult. If the judge decides to adjudicate them as a juvenile, they’ll remain in the juvenile justice system.

What Are the Penalties for a Juvenile Criminal Conviction in California? 

The court may order different things depending on the circumstances of the offense and what’s best for the child, community, and victim. 

Your child may face: 

  • Time in juvenile hall, a camp, or a detention facility 
  • Probation 
  • House arrest 
  • Placement in a foster home 
  • Treatment and counseling programs 
  • Fines 
  • Commitment to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) or prison (the most severe penalty)

If your child is put on informal probation or supervision, there may be conditions, including: 

  • Curfews 
  • Perfect attendance at school 
  • Counseling or community programs 
  • Community service 
  • Drug and alcohol testing 
  • Limitations on seeing certain people 
  • Work programs 
  • Warrantless searches 
  • Restrictions on driving privileges
  • Fines or restitution to the victim 

Deferred entry of judgment might be available if it’s a first-time offense and not a serious Section 707(b) crime. Under this arrangement, your child will admit guilt, and the charges will be dismissed upon the completion of a DEJ program. 

Your child may have to serve time in a prison or correctional facility if they are convicted as an adult in a criminal court under Section 707(b).  

What Are Some Defenses To Juvenile Crimes in California? 

The defenses available in your child’s juvenile proceeding will depend on the facts of their case, the accusations against them, and the strength of the DA’s evidence. 

The following defenses may apply: 

  • Your child lacked the requisite intent to commit the criminal offense  
  • Mistaken identity 
  • False accusations 
  • Lack of evidence proving the district attorney’s case 
  • Mitigating factors

We will consult experts if necessary to prepare an effective defense, make recommendations, or conduct a psychological examination of your child. Our goal is to protect your child’s future by minimizing the impact of their juvenile charges. We’ll do that by seeking the best outcome possible, such as the dismissal of their charges or informal probation. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Jose Juvenile Crimes Lawyers

If your child has been charged with a juvenile crime in San Jose, CA, you don’t have much time to act. You need an experienced attorney fighting for your child’s rights, reputation, and future. 

Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys to speak with a skilled San Jose juvenile crimes lawyer. We have over three decades of combined experience helping people get the best results possible in their criminal cases. 

We offer a free initial consultation, so call today to schedule yours and let us help your child get on a path to rehabilitation and success.

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