Juvenile Law

Los Angeles Juvenile Criminal Defense Juvenile Delinquency Court

A juvenile crime accusation can throw families into complete turmoil. If your son or daughter is accused of a juvenile crime, you will be faced with numerous questions and be worried over the uncertainty of your child’s future. At stressful times like these, it is essential that you have an experienced and sensitive Los Angeles criminal lawyer at your side to advise and guide you through the frustrating juvenile justice system.

In most juvenile criminal cases, a child under the age of 18 will be tried as a minor with a petition filed under WIC 602.  If your child is charged with a serious crime such as rape, murder or kidnapping, he or she may be tried as an adult after a fitness hearing.  The California juvenile system, while similar in some respects to the adult justice system, is complex and has its own rules, regulations, and customs. As such, if your child is facing a criminal charge, it is imperative that you enlist the legal assistance of a Los Angeles criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Whether your child is tried as a minor or as an adult, he or she has the right to proper disclosure of charges and a vigorous defense.   The juvenile system does not engage in jury trials and juvenile matters are only entitled to a bench trial. Many families learn the hard way that once a child is declared a ward of the court under WIC 602, it very hard to get your family “out of the system”.  It is imperative that you hire an aggressive Los Angeles criminal lawyer to help protect your child’s legal rights.

If your child is arrested anywhere in the greater Los Angeles area, it is important that they behave as an adult would, regardless of the charge he or she is facing. Your child should take the following into consideration:

  • Refuse to answer questions in the absence of a Los Angeles criminal lawyer
  • Cooperate within reason without volunteering any information
  • Resist search without a proper warrant

Los Angeles Juvenile Dependency Court

Juvenile Dependency Court, or WIC 300 cases, involve the removal of your children from your home by the government.   WIC 300 cases can begin in connection with an arrest of either or both parents, or they can be triggered by contact with social services.   CPS or Child Protective Services will also operate in this arena.   This division of the California juvenile court is one of the most challenging areas of law for any family to deal with.    The emotional roller coaster that accompanies a case like this will often be used against you by the government in order to demonstrate your unfitness as a parent.  Do not fall into this trap and allow the government to break apart your family.  Anyone dealing with social services should contact the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher immediately for a free consultation from one of our lawyers experienced in juvenile dependency court.

We Can Help

The Los Angeles criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher know the juvenile court system. They will review the facts of surrounding your child’s particular case and put together a strong defense to either acquit or reduce the juvenile criminal charges your child has been arrested for or is under investigation for.   If social services is threatening to break up your family or if they have already removed your children from the home, it is time to get a real lawyer.   To schedule a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher, please call (888) 797-8406.