Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyers for Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley Courts
http://www.juveniledefenseattorneys.com




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14401 Sylvan St
Suite 112
Van Nuys, CA 91401
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or visit our other offices in:
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Contributing Author, Grand Jury Investigations, Calfornia Criminal Law and Procedure Manual (Continuing Education of the Bar, 2004-Present)

california criminal law: procedure and practice

LOS ANGELES JUVENILE CRIME LAWYERS: FITNESS HEARINGS AND DIRECT FILING IN ADULT COURT

At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, our juvenile defense lawyers focus on preventing minors from facing adult court prosecution. Our defense attorneys specialize in helping minors arrested for serious crimes avoid adult court prosecution, and have obtained superior results for over 50 years in Southern California juvenile courts. When our law firm works with clients and families, we do everything possible to make sure that they receive reliable and aggressive representation in and out of court. That is why we have been rated year after year as a Top 5% U.S. Pre-Eminent Law Firm by Martindale-Hubbell, a national Lawyer Review Service.

Violent juvenile crimes are vigorously prosecuted by law enforcement in California Juvenile Courts. Juvenile delinquency proceedings are instituted under Welfare and Institutions Code 602 by the state. A juvenile, as young as 14 years old, may charged with a felony offense in adult court. In recent years, pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707(b), California law has expanded as to how old a juvenile must be to face prosecution in adult court. Our law firm has extensive experience defending felony and misdemeanor juvenile crimes including Violent Crime, Sex Crimes, Theft-Fraud, Burglary, Vandalism, Weapons Charges, Bench Warrants, Drug Offenses, and other serious criminal offenses.

The District Attorney has discretion to decide whether to file the charges in adult court or juvenile court. Pursuant to the Welfare and Institution Code provisions, two different methods are available for the District Attorney to prosecute a minor in adult court, so that a juvenile is eligible for significant sentences in adult prison. First, California's Proposition 21 allows the District Attorney to file a juvenile case directly in adult court for certain serious crimes. Second, the more-frequently used method is a "Fitness Hearing" under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707 filed in juvenile court. If your child is accused of a serious felony, the District Attorney may petition the court for a fitness hearing.

Fitness hearing and direct filings are typically reserved for the most serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder, arson, molestation, carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, rape, residential burglary and other violent offenses causing great bodily injury. At the fitness hearing, the judge will determine whether or not to certify your child's case to adult court.

Welfare and Institutions Code 707(a) states the criteria that the judge must evaluate in determining whether or not your child is fit to be tried in juvenile court: Contact our Los Angeles Juvenile Criminal Defense lawyers immediately, at 877-781-1570. Our law firm works with a team of psychologists, investigators, and other experts to persuade the Los Angeles Juvenile Court judge that your child can and should be rehabilitated in juvenile court, rather than being incarcerated in adult jail or prison.

Our knowledgeable legal team can evaluate your case issues and advise you of your legal options before your family goes to court! The firm specializes in defending juvenile cases throughout the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court System including Sylmar Court, Pasadena Court, Inglewood Juvenile, Antelope Valley, Eastlake Juvenile, Long Beach, and Los Padrinos Court.