Some of the biggest things that I hear parents talking about when they come in for a consultation related to a juvenile case that one of their children has is they are concerned that the juvenile offense and the consequences that flow from it will ruin their child's future.
In other words, when the child tries to get into a good high school or college, or goes to try to get a job in the future, that that juvenile criminal conviction or that contact with the police is going to end up putting them in a bad position so that a potential college admissions board, for example, uses that conviction to deny the child from getting into the school or even looking further into the future, a potential employer sees that while that individual was a juvenile they picked up a criminal case and decides not to hire that person.
These are obviously concerns that make a lot of sense when you're concerned about your child's future and the criminal justice system for juveniles in Los Angeles is definitely a tough one and you want to make sure that when you hire your attorney, one of the first concerns that your attorney has is protecting your child's future — protecting their criminal record and making sure that everything is done in the best interest of your minor or juvenile or son or daughter; So, the future is definitely something that you want to consider.
Another thing is, depending on how severe the allegations are in a criminal case, another concern that you should have is that you're minor is tried as an adult instead of as a juvenile because the adult court is much more likely to end in a conviction that you cannot get off your child's record.
Whereas, there are protections in the juvenile court in LA county that can result in your child's record being sealed and destroyed. If the record is sealed and destroyed then your child will be in a position where nobody can see that record.
That even includes the police because once the record is sealed and destroyed, the Department of Justice no longer has it in their computers and also the police no longer have it in their computers. This is the way our system is set up to avoid these type of convictions.
Sealing and Destroying Juvenile Records
The only exception to this sealing and destroying is if your child is convicted of a 707b offense. This is a welfare code section in Los Angeles county that lists all of the serious crimes that it is a lot more difficult to get rid of. It's a lot more difficult to get rid of. It's a lot more difficult to seal and destroy.
That's why it's so important when you hire your juvenile criminal defense attorney that that person is actually familiar with the Los Angeles juvenile court system, knows about these 707b offenses, how to avoid the and what can be done so that if we can get your child back on line we can be in a position to avoid that juvenile conviction that ends up being a 707b offense and stays on your child's record.
This is crucial because that criminal record can haunt your child deep into adulthood and prevent them from achieving many of the goals and aspirations that you have for them. So, you have to look at the type of offense that they're charged with in addition to trying to protect their future because that convictions can result in a very serious result.
For example, the three strikes law definitely applies to juvenile defendants. Any conviction that would be a strike as an adult, if a juvenile gets a conviction for that same crime and if they're sixteen years or older, than that would be a strike as an adult as well, and that will stay on their criminal record.
One exception to this is a residential burglary. That will not be considered a strike. But robberies, for example, are considered strikes if you're sixteen years or older and you sustain a conviction at the juvenile level for a robbery, then you can end up with a strike on your criminal record.
So, there's a lot of different concerns that you should have if you in fact have a juvenile criminal case pending against you and I encourage you to pick up the phone, call my firm and we will go to work immediately on protecting your child's rights to freedom and most importantly, their future.