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Law Offices of Christopher Chaney: Your Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Receiving a call that your child has been arrested or is being investigated for a crime can be super anxiety-inducing for any parent. Your immediate instinct is to do everything you can to protect them and ensure their future is untarnished by a potential mistake. However, handling a delinquency case without understanding the law can lead to unexpected and devastating problems later. That’s because navigating the delinquency system in California is full of hidden traps and pitfalls. That’s where an experienced Los Angeles juvenile criminal defense attorney can help you.

At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, our attorneys have spent years defending minors accused of criminal offenses within the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court System. Besides having extensive knowledge and experience, our attorneys approach each case with compassion, recognizing that every situation is unique and requires a personalized touch.

We tailor our strategies to meet the individual needs of our clients, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your child. We understand this is a challenging and overwhelming time for you and your child, and we’re here to guide you through the legal process with care and empathy.

Understanding the Juvenile Defense System in Los Angeles

In California, when someone under 18 commits a crime, it’s handled by the juvenile delinquency court system. This system operates separately from the regular criminal justice system and has its own procedures. The main goal of juvenile courts is to help young offenders rehabilitate and become law-abiding members of society as they grow older. It means that minors are held to a different level of accountability than adults.

It’s widely recognized that minors are generally considered less morally responsible for their actions compared to adults in similar situations. As a result, the juvenile investigative and court process focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment, especially for first-time non-violent offenders. Instead of going through the adult criminal justice system, criminal cases involving minors are often handled through probationary supervision in the juvenile court. However, a juvenile petition, like a criminal complaint or indictment, is filed for severe offenses minors commit.

Common Juvenile Crimes in California

In Los Angeles County, minors can be charged with a variety of criminal offenses, with common ones including:

  • Vandalism
  • Petty Theft
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Trespassing
  • Possession of graffiti tools
  • Shoplifting
  • Joyriding
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Juvenile drug crimes, including drug possession, sales, and transportation
  • Solicitation of prostitution
  • Murder and attempted murder

Possible Sanctions for Juvenile Crimes

When dealing with juvenile offenders, courts focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The judge considers various factors, such as the gravity of the offense and the child’s previous record. Penalties may include:

  1. Informal probation is the most lenient penalty, allowing the minor to return home without admitting wrongdoing. All allegations are dismissed upon completion of any required programs.
  2. Fines or restitution: The minor may be required to pay fines or provide restitution to victims for damaged or stolen items.
  3. Community service: The minor may be obligated to perform community service.
  4. Formal probation: The minor may be placed on formal probation.
  5. Placement in a foster home: In some cases, the minor may be placed in a foster home.
  6. Commitment to detention: For more severe crimes, the judge may mandate that the minor be detained until their 18th birthday. Detention can be served at a camp or a detention facility under the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), formerly known as the California Youth Authority (CYA).

As earlier noted, the primary goal of the California juvenile system is to prioritize rehabilitation. However, there are times when this objective falls short. In certain situations, the Los Angeles County prosecutor takes a stricter approach, opting for harsh penalties. In such cases, the juvenile’s age and criminal history significantly determine the chosen strategy.

Additionally, having a good understanding of Criminal Justice Reform and its impact on juveniles can significantly affect the case outcome. At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, our experienced Los Angeles juvenile defense attorneys can guide the most suitable approach, considering recent legal developments. With knowledge of the juvenile justice system, we are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

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How a Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Attorney From the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney Can Help You

As juvenile defense advocates, we are committed to ensuring that minors’ rights are protected. We approach delinquency cases with heightened sensitivity and empathy, recognizing that young individuals are in a crucial stage of mental and emotional development. Here’s what you can expect if you hire us as your defense team:

  • Experienced Legal Assistance: Our team can thoroughly assess your child’s case and determine the best legal strategy. We aim to have the charge dismissed altogether or negotiate a minimum sentence, such as house arrest, community service, or probation. However, the final outcome will depend on the nature of the crime and the specific circumstances of the case. A seasoned attorney from our team can work to reduce the sentence or get your child credit for time served if the child has already been sentenced. If you are unfamiliar with the legal system, we can provide invaluable guidance throughout the complex and overwhelming process.
  • Protecting Your Child’s Rights: When individuals, especially children and their families, lack a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, they may face mistreatment within the justice system. We provide a protective shield by ensuring you are aware of your rights and protecting you against potential violations. Keeping your child’s best interests at heart, we provide guidance, present options, and assist you in making informed decisions. From navigating plea acceptance to trial processes, we are here to explain the various types of hearings your child may need to attend.
  • Time-Sensitive Responses: The importance of acting quickly in juvenile cases cannot be overstated. Any delays can have long-lasting effects on the outcomes of the case. Our team understands the urgency and promptly files the necessary paperwork, as well as constructs a robust defense strategy. This quick response guarantees adherence to proper legal procedures and significantly enhances your child’s likelihood of a favorable outcome.

At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, our attorneys have a solid track record of getting great results for our young clients. With extensive experience in criminal defense and a specific focus on areas like DUI, assault, theft, and drugs, our juvenile drug crimes lawyer has the know-how to navigate California’s juvenile justice system. If your child is facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help and support you.

Contact an Experienced Juvenile Defense Attorney

The experience of having your child involved in a criminal case can be overwhelming and heart-wrenching. The legal process is complex and uncertain, adding to the stress. At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, we get it. We understand your concerns and are here to provide experienced, empathetic, and dedicated legal guidance.

Our team of skilled attorneys has helped countless families overcome the juvenile justice system and uses their vast experience to ensure fair treatment.

We are here to guide you through this challenging journey. If your child is facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney!

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.