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California Juvenile Defense Attorney

California Juvenile Defense Attorney

It is only natural that our children make mistakes. They can be easily influenced by adults or by their peers, leading to behavior that results in an arrest and/or juvenile criminal charges. Unfortunately, one mistake can haunt your child for the rest of his or her life.

Under California law, juvenile offenders do not commit "crimes." They commit "delinquent acts," some of which are acts that would constitute crimes if committed by an adult. The trial phase of a juvenile case is a "jurisdictional" hearing. This means that the judge hears the evidence and determines whether the child is delinquent. The court may then take whatever action it deems to be in the child's best interest. This can range from picking up trash to spending time at the California Youth Authority, essentially, juvenile prison.

Unlike the adult criminal courts, juvenile courts generally focus more on rehabilitation than punishment. In fact, in most states, juvenile offenses are "delinquent acts" and not crimes. However, in recent years, many states have taken steps to make more juvenile offenses punishable in the adult criminal courts. Studies have shown that juveniles tried in adult courts often receive longer prison sentences, and are more likely to become repeat offenders than those addressed by the juvenile courts. However, regardless of whether yoru child is tried as an adult or a juvenile, having a conviction on one's record may result in limited employment and educational opportunities, ruining the bright future.

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Every parent wants what is best for their children, so it is important to do everything in your power to protect them. Having served a number of years as a member of Los Angeles Superior Court Juvenile criminal panel, and then many years in private practive, Mr. Bernard is highly experienced in juvenile defense. To schedule an appointment with Mr. Bernard, call our West Los Angeles office at 310-312-0220 or contact us online.

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