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Steel Law Group

San Diego Juvenile Defense Lawyer

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Juvenile Cases

If you, your son or daughter, or another child in your family is in trouble with the law, it can be an extremely frightening experience.  Among other things, juvenile legal problems can continue to haunt you long after your (or your family member’s) case has been resolved.  In addition to the immediate consequences of an adjudication that there has been a violation of the law, we are mindful that there are, in many cases, long-term consequences to the child and his or her future.  The best decision you can make in these circumstances is to engage the services of an attorney who has experience with the juvenile justice system.  At the Steel Law Group, we regularly deal with juvenile cases, we understand the system in which these cases are handled, and we will work tirelessly to insure that the result in your case is the best possible one under all the circumstances. 

How does the Juvenile Justice System Differ from the Criminal Justice System?

The answer to this question has two parts.  The first concerns the goals of the two systems, which goals are far from identical.  The second relates to what happens after an arrest; again, the process is different for juveniles than it is for adults.

Trying Juveniles as Adults in California

There are several ways in which a juvenile may be tried as an adult.

Underage DUI and Minor in Possession

A significant percentage of juvenile arrests involve the use of alcohol.  Offenses range from minor in possession, to underage DUI, among others.  For a first offense of possession of alcohol by a minor, the consequences are a fine or community service.  Consequences increase with subsequent offenses.

With regard to underage drinking and driving, California has a “zero tolerance” policy.  For adult drivers, the legal limit is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 (0.04 for commercial drivers).  For minors, if you have a BAC of 0.01 or greater (that is, any measurable amount of alcohol in your system), you are prohibited from driving a vehicle.  A violation is a civil offense.  If your BAC is 0.05 or greater, a violation is a criminal charge.

Protecting the Rights of Minors in California

Representing juveniles is similar in some ways to representing adults charged with crimes.  But there are many, many differences.  Both procedurally and in relation to the potential consequences, those differences are significant.

Juvenile charges have an immediate effect on your (or your child’s) life.  Even if your case remains in the juvenile system, probation, incarceration and other consequences are a very real possibility.  These charges also have implications for your future.  In fact, certain juvenile adjudications can in some situations constitute strikes under the three strikes law.

The fact that the charge you or your family member is facing is being handled in the juvenile justice system does not mean that the consequences are not serious, or that they cannot have lasting effects on the juvenile’s life.  At the Steel Law Group, we recognize the seriousness of juvenile charges, and we will fight for the rights of our juvenile clients to insure that their rights are protected.  Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

Steel Law Group

109 W. C. Street, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-338-0022

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