Juvenile Defense

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Legal Help for Juvenile Defense in California

You’ve just received the call you never wanted to hear—that your child is now in police custody. A pit forms in your stomach as you frantically worry about how to get him the help they need and protect their future. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure this out on your own: That’s where I, juvenile defense attorney Michael C. MacNeil, can help. I will work hard to secure the best outcome possible for your family.

Benefits of Hiring a Juvenile Defense Attorney

The sooner you hire a juvenile defense attorney, the sooner you can ensure that your child receives proper representation early on in his or her criminal justice process. California’s system for juvenile justice is quite complex, so you can’t easily navigate it without an experienced attorney’s help.

Note that in the juvenile system, authorities might address a minor offense by detaining a teen, warning against a further violation, or releasing the teen to the teen’s parents or other legal guardians. In this situation, an attorney might not be needed. However, a defense attorney is warranted if your child’s offense is severe enough to be referred to a San Diego juvenile court.

Frequently Asked Questions About Juvenile Defense in California

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What Happens After a Child Is Charged?

After your child is formally charged, the San Diego juvenile court must either take his case or schedule a hearing where the prosecution will argue that the case’s circumstances and facts warrant trying your child in adult court. Whether your child will be tried as a minor or an adult will ultimately depend on how serious his alleged crime was, as well as his personal characteristics.

What Can an Attorney Do During This Process?

A reputable juvenile defense attorney in San Diego will vigorously argue for your child’s case to remain in the juvenile court. This will allow your child to strike a plea deal to receive reduced charges for pleading guilty if the juvenile defense attorney determines that this is the best course of action for him. Alternatively, the attorney will fight your child’s criminal charge for him at trial, where the prosecution must prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be secured.

Will a Juvenile Conviction Follow My Child into Adulthood?

This depends on the unique circumstances of your family’s case. If your teenager has a serious crime on their criminal record before turning 18, this can have negative long-term impacts. Keep in mind that some crimes committed by juveniles aren’t automatically sealed. In addition, your child’s crime may count as a strike in adulthood. This means that if he is convicted on a felony charge for drug possession or a fatal car accident, he could face double the normal jail time. In addition, just two felonies in adulthood may lead to a lifetime sentence in prison.

When you are ready to find a reliable, dedicated attorney to fight for your child’s rights, get in touch with me. I am ready to represent your child in court and pursue their defense aggressively, so that they can live a more productive adulthood with a cleaner slate.

To get started, contact me for a free consultation.