A Look at the Juvenile Cases
There is no handbook for bringing up a child. Even the best of parents find out that their kids have been accused of a crime. If your child is too young to be prosecuted, he or she is considered a juvenile offender. Though the term may sound light, it can affect your child’s life now and in the future. The important thing is to find the best criminal defense attorney San Diego for your child.
The sole purpose of the juvenile court system is to handle the youth offenders by rehabilitating them rather than punishing. However, if the crime committed is serious, even the juvenile can be prosecuted like an adult. A good criminal defense attorney San Diego can help avoid this.
Each state defines age for juvenile offenders. Mostly, kids below the age of 18 are considered juvenile offenders if they do something that would otherwise be considered a crime when done by an adult.
After being arrested, the offender is sent to the juvenile court. There are discretions in juvenile courts. For example, after being brought in court, the judge can evaluate whether the offender could benefit from the counseling program without the formal need for court proceedings.
Even after the formal court proceeding, the juvenile court has many other sentencing options to consider. Some of them include placing the offender in foster care or group home or ordering counseling or electronic monitoring or home detention. The sentencing options are mainly dependent on the severity of the offense. Considering there are situations that may cause your child to be tried as an adult, it is wise to consider working with a criminal defense attorney San Diego every step of the way. The attorney may help you get a good deal.
Transfer to adult court
Juvenile offenders may be moved to the adult court. There are state laws that stipulate when a juvenile may be tried as an adult. This is done mostly where serious crimes are involved like murder or where the juvenile is a repeat offender. Most states do not have age restrictions for transfer of juvenile offender to the adult court. Once transferred to adult court, there is a good chance the juvenile will be tried in adult courts for all future offenses. To avoid the worst, seek help from a criminal defense attorney San Diego.
Records can be sealed
Considering the discretion in juvenile courts, the records can be sealed. This happens mostly after the juvenile offender has become an adult. The juvenile records may either be expunged or sealed. This is, however, not automatic. There are certain circumstances that are needed. A good criminal defense attorney San Diego can help with the sealing of records.
When sealing juvenile records, you must file a written request to the court. The court may then order all government agencies to expunge or seal the records. All in all, it is important to note that this order does not apply to the non-governmental record sources like media reports. The criminal defense attorney San Diego will make you aware of all your options.