San Diego Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer

Has your child been arrested or charged with a crime in San Diego, CA? Juvenile criminal charges — and resulting conviction — can change the course of a child’s life forever. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced San Diego juvenile criminal defense lawyer at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, for immediate legal assistance call (619) 357-4977.

The allegations against your child are not a reflection of their character. They certainly shouldn’t tarnish your child’s reputation or future. Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers will stand by your family and fight to give your child every opportunity to defend themselves and fight for their future.

We are standing by to take your call and begin to put a strong defense together on your child’s behalf. Call our respected legal team to begin — schedule a free consultation today.

How Our San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You Fight Juvenile Charges

How Our San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You Fight Juvenile Charges

Criminal cases involving children are handled differently than those involving adults. Juvenile criminal matters are subject to special rules, procedures, and systems. In order to give your child a fighting chance, it’s important to hire a San Diego criminal attorneys who have successfully handled these matters before.

Peter Blair has dedicated his 10+ year legal career to defending the people of San Diego – adults and minors, alike. He has extensive experience handling juvenile criminal cases and understands the unique challenges your family will face in the days, weeks, and (potentially) months ahead.

When you hire Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, you can expect our team to:

  • Carefully investigate the details and circumstances surrounding your child’s alleged crime
  • Protect your child’s legal rights
  • Determine all potential solutions, strategies, and options that may be available
  • Enlist the help of experts and specialists as we build and prepare your child’s defense
  • Work tirelessly to keep your child’s matter in juvenile court
  • Advocate for probation, diversion programs, deferred entry of judgment, and other alternative sentencing options

Your child has the right to an attorney. You have the power to choose the right San Diego juvenile crimes defense attorney for this specific matter. Call our law offices in San Diego, California to find out why we’re the defense team you need in your child’s corner. Your first case evaluation is free – so contact us today.

How Are Juvenile Crimes Handled in California?

California has a separate justice system that is specifically designed to handle cases involving juvenile criminal defendants. It’s designed to look much more like a civil justice system than a criminal justice system. At its core, it focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment.

It’s in your child’s best interests to keep their criminal matter in juvenile court. 

Matters resolved in the juvenile system mean that your child will benefit from protections not typically extended to adults.

  • Juvenile criminal records can be sealed so that a case will not follow a child once they become an adult.
  • Records can be expunged if a child meets certain conditions.
  • Many juveniles, particularly those accused of nonviolent delinquent acts, can be released to a guardian prior to hearings

Additionally, elevating the charge to the adult criminal justice system means that the chances of harsh penalties — including the real possibility of spending time behind bars in a county jail or state prison — increase significantly.

What’s the Difference Between a Juvenile Crime and a Status Offense?

Minors can be classified as one of two different types of “offenders” under California state law.

Status offenders are minors who have committed an offense that would not be a crime if that same act were committed by an adult. Habitual truancy, curfew violations, and running away from home are examples of status offenses.

Juvenile delinquents are minors who have committed an act that violates California state law. The same act would also be a crime if committed by an adult. For instance, a child who shoplifts or intentionally assaults another person would be considered a delinquent.

Whether your child is charged as a status offender or a delinquent is important. Each type of offense is handled differently in the juvenile justice system. 

Status offenses are handled under 601 proceedings, and the relative penalties are minor.

Delinquency matters involving children between the ages of 12 and 18 are handled under 602 proceedings

We Represent Clients in All Juvenile Criminal Matters in San Diego

No matter what charge your child is up against, our San Diego juvenile criminal defense attorneys are here to provide the guidance and representation they deserve.

We handle all juvenile matters in San Diego, California, including:

Whether your child is accused of a relatively-minor status offense or a more serious criminal charge, it’s important to jump into action. 

You will want to give your child every opportunity to defend themselves, set the record straight, or prove to the court that rehabilitation — not punishment — is the best solution. In order to do that, you must begin their defense strategy early on.

Our attorneys are standing by to assist your family when you need it most — so contact us for help today.

What Should I Expect If My Child is Facing Charges in San Diego Juvenile Court?

California’s juvenile justice system has its own set of unique rules and procedures. Here’s a brief overview of what to expect if your child is accused of a crime.

Arrest

Every juvenile case in San Diego begins when a minor is arrested by a law enforcement officer.

The child may be:

  • Detained at the local precinct, or
  • Taken to the juvenile hall if the offense is particularly serious.

Your child may be:

  • Released with a citation, requiring them to appear in juvenile court on a particular date
  • Enrolled in a probation program, which will not require an appearance in court if the program is completed, or
  • Detained, pending a judge’s input.

Your child has rights. Contact a San Diego defense attorney as soon as you learn that your child has been arrested.

Detention Hearing

A detention hearing may be necessary to determine if your child can be released to a guardian or held at a juvenile facility until their case has been resolved.

Transfer Hearing

A transfer hearing may be necessary if your child has committed a particularly serious crime. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if the case should remain in juvenile court or if the child should be transferred to adult criminal court.

Adjudication

Adjudication is a closed-door “trial” in front of a juvenile court judge. This is essentially the equivalent of a trial in adult court. It’s your child’s opportunity to defend themselves and demonstrate (a) their innocence, or (b) why alternative or rehabilitative penalties are most appropriate.

At this hearing, a judge will either dismiss the petition (case) against your child or sustain it (effectively finding them guilty). 

Disposition Hearing

If your child’s petition is sustained during adjudication, the case will move forward to a disposition — or sentencing — hearing. Here, a judge will consider the unique circumstances of the child’s case, the arguments and evidence presented by the state and defense, and craft a sentence.

What Are the Punishments For a Juvenile Criminal Conviction in San Diego?

There is a wide range of penalties that a child might face if a San Diego juvenile court determines that they’ve violated the law.

Juvenile court judges in California have the discretion to impose sentences based on the specific facts and circumstances of a juvenile’s overall case.

These include:

  • Fines
  • Restitution 
  • Community service
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol testing
  • Mandatory school attendance
  • Curfew
  • House arrest and monitoring
  • Probation
  • Confinement to a juvenile detention center, camp, or ranch

While the focus on California’s juvenile justice system is rehabilitation, that doesn’t mean that the consequences of a conviction won’t have a significant impact on a juvenile and their family. 

In order to secure the best possible outcome for the child, it is critical to enlist the help of a San Diego criminal defense attorney with experience handling cases in the juvenile system. Call Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to discuss your child’s juvenile case in San Diego County today.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Diego Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer

Is your child facing juvenile criminal charges in San Diego, CA? The time to begin their defense strategy is now. Early intervention by a San Diego juvenile criminal defense lawyer can help to keep your child’s case in juvenile court or, better yet, get the petition against them dismissed. 

At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, we understand that the stakes — for your child and your family — are incredibly high. Your child’s very future hangs in the balance. Let us put more than a decade of criminal defense experience to work to get the best possible result in your juvenile case. 

We are ready to take your call when your family needs help the most. Your first case evaluation is free, and an attorney can arrange to meet you at home, at a local San Diego police precinct, or at juvenile hall. Contact us online or by phone to get started now.