A 16 year old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder after a 19 year old man was found stabbed and later died at the hospital. The altercation happened at a Huntington Beach park. This young man is facing serious charges, and at his young age, can affect him for the rest of his life. As devastating as something like this is to a parent, one of the most important questions a parent can ask themselves is: How do I protect my child? Teens are still not mature enough to stop, think and really consider how serious their actions are and what the consequences might be. Especially if they have never been in trouble with the law and have never had legal consequences. For this reason, it is extremely important that these minors be represented by experienced criminal defense attorneys, who have experience in not only defending these charges, but who are also experienced juvenile defense attorneys in Orange County, California.
Once a juvenile is arrested for a crime, there are a few different ways law enforcement may proceed. Informal contact with parents, public or private diversion, citation and referral to probation, or arrest. Once the case is submitted to probation, probation has limited discretion whether or not to submit the case to the district attorney or proceed informally. If the case is submitted to the district attorney, they then decide whether to file or dismiss the case. An Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, specializing in juvenile criminal matters, will be able to advise and guide parents and their child through these procedures.
The juvenile justice system is different from the adult justice system. In Orange County Juvenile Court, the focus is on treatment and rehabilitation for the juvenile while the adult justice system focuses on punishment. However, depending upon the charge, a juvenile can be prosecuted as an adult and be subject to the same penalties as an adult. In a situation where a juvenile is tried as an adult, it usually involves crimes of violence. Juveniles 16 or 17, who commit serious felonies, can be tried as an adult. Also, a juvenile 14 or older being charged with murder can be tried as an adult. However, even if a juvenile is tried as an adult, they are still treated different. There are more options in terms of how and where they are prosecuted and how and where they will serve their sentence.
It is extremely important that an experienced Orange County Juvenile Defense Attorney be retained to represent this young man and further that, the attorney be familiar with the Orange County Juvenile Court. Being familiar with the Judges, District Attorneys, Court Clerks and Probation Department, will help facilitate the best possible outcome for your child. The question parents should ask themselves is what do I do to protect my child. Juveniles make mistakes and most have never known, or been exposed to legal consequences. Preserving your child’s record, so that their college goals and future employment are not affected negatively should be the goal of a good juvenile criminal defense attorney.