Background Information On The Sylmar Juvenile Court
The Sylmar Juvenile Court is situated in the north end of the San Fernando Valley. It pretty much handles all the juvenile cases that are filed related to criminal conduct in the entire San Fernando Valley. As you might guess, the Sylmar Juvenile Courthouse is very busy because of the huge jurisdiction that it controls.
When it comes to juvenile cases they are a little bit different than adult cases in a sense that the language, as far as the crimes and the charging document, is a little bit different, but the bottom line is if a juvenile commits a crime in the San Fernando Valley, they are going to be sent to the Sylmar Juvenile Court and be dealt with their by one of the judges in that courthouse.
Different Courtrooms Handling Juvenile Criminal Cases
There are basically three different courtrooms that handle criminal cases and one traffic court that handles traffic-related offenses in the Sylmar Juvenile Court system. There's a district attorney's office that sits there that is charged with filing and dealing with all the juvenile cases and there is also a probation department that sits inside that courthouse.
Lastly, there's a juvenile facility there where they house minors who are charged with offenses. When I go to visit my clients in the Sylmar Juvenile courthouse, I have to go through security and then they let you back there in order to talk to your minor if it's not a court day.
If it's a court day, there are actual holding facilities within the juvenile system right back behind the courthouses that they will allow attorneys to go back and talk to their clients. I've been doing this for twenty-five years and have handled countless juvenile cases in the system and I've seen the system change over the course of many years.
Now the probation department actually has a lot of power as far as dealing with juvenile offices, whereas before the district attorney's office had control over what offenses were filed, what offenses weren't filed. Now we're seeing a lot that the probation department has a bunch of different programs that they are utilizing.
So, sometimes a case can end up not going into court and can be dealt with by the probation department. A lot of times in the past, we saw the district attorney's office holding hearings to decide whether or not they were going to file a juvenile case or not, and then we would attend those hearings and talk to the hearing officer. Now a lot of that is dealt with by the probation department.
So, as time passes, the juvenile court in Sylmar has changed to meet the growing demands of fighting crime and dealing with juveniles in a huge San Fernando Valley that has a giant populous and a lot of different issues going on.
Attorney Experience In Sylmar Juvenile Court Matters
So, if you've got a juvenile case in the Sylmar court, you are going to want to sit down with somebody who's done this before. I like to get in and talk to you about it and give you an education about how the system works. And obviously, it's not just a general education, it's going to be an education related to the offense that your minor is charged with.
What we're really going to be angling for is figuring out how to get your minor out of the system as quick as possible, get him on the right path, get a plan for school moving forward and get a plan so they can get out of the system quickly, move on with their life and not be damaged by some sort of a record that will haunt them for the rest of their life.
In Los Angeles the crime of child endangerment is a very serious crime that can result in jail time, the offender losing their parental rights and a host of other punishments that will be related to whatever it is the defendant did in order to place a child or their child in danger.
Examples of child endangerment that I've seen is leaving your child in a car or hot vehicle with all the windows up or putting your child in harm in some way in that the child could actually be seriously injured or even a death could result based on the actions of the person that's responsible for the child.
Child Abuse – Penal Code Section 273a
Child endangerment is a little bit different than child abuse because it's really just putting a very difficult position, and of course, society and the court system are going to do everything they can to protect children in Los Angeles and they are going to use the California Penal Code Section 273a to do it.
The elements of a child endangerment case – fine they're in the jury instructions – but I like to put them, so you actually understand what they mean. Really what it has to do with is putting a child in danger in some way, because society is set up to protect children because they cannot protect themselves.
So, if you put a child in danger where they can get hurt or death or serious injury could occur because of your actions as a responsible party, then obviously you're going to end up suffering the consequences for that. Another area where I've seen child endangerment filed is let's say you have a bunch of alcoholic drinks at a party and you get in the car with your child and you get in a horrible accident and your child gets hurt – they are going to file child endangerment charges against you.
You're going to potentially lose the ability to see and care for your child and you're going to be looking at jail time. These types of cases are treated very seriously, and as a person that's being charged with a criminal offense related to child endangerment, you're going to want to get an attorney who has done these types of cases before, had success, knows how to deal with the prosecutors and the judges, because a lot of these judges are very angry when they see children harmed in any way or danger come to children, and they are going to take that out on the person who is responsible for that.
If that's you, you need to figure out a plan to get an attorney who can put the wheels in motion to do damage control on your case and get you out of the criminal justice system as soon as possible.
Things To Do To Help Yourself In A Child Endangerment Case
The type of things you can do obviously are to show the good things that you've done in your life, and specifically towards your child, and the things that you provided to them, and to show that whatever happened, in this case, is an aberration that's never going to happen again.
The factors that the prosecutors and judges are going to look at are – what was the danger to the child? What harm, if any, occurred to the child based on our actions in this criminal case? Why did you do whatever it is you did that put your child in danger?
And, probably most importantly, what can be done now by the courts, the prosecutors and you, to make sure that this never happens again and to set the table to make things right. What plan can we put in place? If we can get character letters from friends and family that know you that are saying good things about you, if we can get your child on board that they want to still be with you and that they trust you and love you and they want to move forward and have a happy life with you.
Now we're in a good position to set the stage to convince the prosecutor and judge that even though you may have been involved in a child endangerment situation, it's not going to happen again and here's what we're going to do to make sure it never happens again and here's what we're going to do to make it right for this child.
What I do is, I have you come in the office. We sit down, we go over everything. I need an honest account from you of exactly what happened. Then I will look at the police report and figure out from my years of experience what the best move is in order to show the judge and the prosecutor that this is not going to happen again.
Sometimes things are blown out of proportion. Sometimes your version of events is not gotten across to the police who are investigating the case. That's your attorney's job – to show the prosecutors who are lawyers like your defense attorney, making decisions on what charges that you're going to actually end up having to plead guilty to, and what punishment is going to be exacted against you for your actions.
Your criminal defense attorney has to get in there, fight for you, show the good things, get your version of events across so that you can end up with a result that you can live with, that you can recover from and that you and your child can move forth in a positive direction.
Sylmar Juvenile Criminal Attorney
If there is any message I could give a parent or loved one trying to find an attorney to help their child, who is facing juvenile charges, I would say find an attorney that has experience handling juvenile cases that has a philosophy of helping kids get back on the right path.
Over the many years I have practiced juvenile law, I have decided that I am not only going to help a minor in trouble clean their future record and stay out of custody, I am going to try and figure out how I can assist them in getting on the right track and get them back on the course to leading a fulfilling and successful life. If you share my philosophy and need my help…then call me today and set up a free face to face consultation.
Looking for an attorney to represent you or your child at Sylmar Juvenile Court? At the Hedding Law Firm, we exclusively practice in the area of criminal defense law and are very familiar with the California juvenile court system. We have been successfully defending minors accused of Juvenile crimes for a combined total of 50 years.
An experienced Sylmar juvenile criminal defense lawyer at our firm will understand what tactics to use in order to provide your child with a very strong defense. In many instances, instead of having your child incarcerated, we may be able to obtain alternative sentencing in order to offer a chance at rehabilitation instead of punishment.
We have an excellent reputation with law enforcement, prosecutors and judges throughout California. It is our goal to keep your child's rights and freedom well protected. A defense lawyer at our firm can aggressively challenge, and if needed negotiate with the prosecution regarding the charges against your child. Contact us today for a free face to face consultation of your son or daughter's criminal case. .
Contact a professional juvenile lawyer today!
Sylmar Juvenile Court address:
16350 Filbert Street
Sylmar, California 91342