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Mark A. Gallagher

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Juvenile Court

Juvenile Court Attorney in Los Angeles

An Experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side

When someone under the age of 18 is accused of committing a crime, the case is most commonly heard in juvenile court. These are sometimes referred to as delinquency cases or delinquency proceedings. Such cases are extremely stressful not only for the child, but also his or her parents or legal guardians. Minors are not always aware of the possible consequences of their actions, and may not realize just how severe the penalties can be.
 
If you or your minor child has been charged with a crime, it is very important to have an attorney who is familiar with juvenile court. This is because juvenile court has its own specific processes which are not always the same as “regular” criminal courts. Working with an attorney who knows how juvenile delinquency cases are handled can be key to obtaining the best possible outcome.
 
Our goal in delinquency cases is to have the charges dismissed. In some cases that means informal probation, which is a contract with the court that often sets requirements such as restitution or community service. Other times, formal probation is prescribed. This generally means that while the child remains at home, he or she is required to attend mandatory meeting with a probation officer. Sometimes deferred entry of judgement is possible, which means that after probation is complete, the charges are dismissed and it is as if the arrest never took place.

If you do not have an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney on your side, the odds of more severe consequences increase. This can include outcomes such as being tried as an adult or being sentenced to a camp facility or the California Division of Juvenile Justice’s correctional facilities. If you or your child are facing delinquency proceedings in Los Angeles, contact our firm today for a consultation so we can provide an assessment of the case and the options that may be available to you.
 

Contact Us Today if you are Facing Dependency Proceedings

The other main activity that juvenile courts handle is custody proceedings. This branch of the juvenile court system is usually called dependency court. Unlike delinquency proceedings where the child is being charged with a crime, in dependency proceedings it is generally the parents or guardians whose actions are being called into question.
 
Perhaps the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or Child Protective Services (CPS) removed your child from the home. There are instances where removal from the home is in the best interests of the child. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse are serious issues. Social workers mean well. However, they are just as capable of misunderstanding or overreacting to situations as anyone else. Unfortunately, the consequences can be devastating for families.
 
Having your children removed from your home is frightening. How much more frightening must it be for your child? Don’t wait a single minute if your custody has been called into question. We understand that even spending one day separated from your child is too much.

Like you, we believe that foster homes are a poor substitute for loving parents, and unifying the family whenever possible is a top priority. Contact us today if you are facing dependency proceedings in Los Angeles.