Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Attorney

Posts Tagged ‘fighting’

Your Kid Got Arrested For a Schoolyard Fight, Now What?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

One of the toughest things I see as juvenile defense attorney is kids getting arrested and charged with felonies for things that could be resolved in school.  For example:  A kid gets in a schoolyard fight, the school dean overreacts and calls the school police officer, the child gets arrested and the DA files a felony.  I’ve seen this happen time and again to kids who are otherwise trouble-fee:  Kids who are “A” students, involved in sports or other after school activities, have no problems at home,  get charged as felony assault cases.

I’ve also seen this happen with kids who bring tools to school and are charged with possession of a weapon.  These are all incidents that could have and should have been resolved at the school level, but for whatever reason were escalated to involve the police and ultimately, the courts.

So what to do if your child is caught in this situation?  The first thing you need to do is deal with the reality of the situation.  This case is NOT going to go away on its own.  You are not going to be able to go into court and “explain things to the judge” in order to get the case dismissed.  It simply does not work that way. To even have a shot at getting rid of the case and avoiding your child from admitting anything, you need to act quickly.

First, you need to contact an attorney who knows what he or she is doing in juvenile court (read more about that here).  There are ways to “walk back” a case so it dos not get filed and is instead handled through an informal diversion program. This usually requires workign with the attorney you hire to put together a presentation for the DA’s office showing who your child is: Report cards, certificates of achievement, letters of support from teachers, community members, family members, and family friends.

Your lawyer will then contact the DA’s office in an attempt to prevent the case from being filed.  Even if this is not successful and the DA’s office does file a case, at least the groundwork is laid for your child’s attorney to make a pitch to the judge to handle the case informally.   Sometimes the DA can even be prevailed upon to recommend diversion even after the case is filed.  It all depends on the facts of each individual case.  Every case is different.

Bottom line:  If you have a good kid who got caught in a bad situation, be proactive, contact a qualified attorney as soon as you possibly can.

Obviously, this is a blog promoting my law firm and this is intended as general information and not specific legal advice.  If you would like to contact me to discuss your child’s specific case. Please call The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation at (310) 210-0744.  

 

Fight Club at Los Angeles County Probation Camp

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a teacher at a L.A. County juvenile probation camp was arrested today for allegedly running a “fight club” in his classroom.  That’s right, he is accused of allowing his students to fight one another during his class.

If this charge is true (and he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty), this will hopefully trigger some much needed reform and monitoring at the L.A. County probation camps.  Those of us who work in the juvenile system have known for years that this sort of thing goes on (The camps are frequently referred to as “gladiator academies”).    Los Angeles County probation camps are frightening places and ironically, they are no place for children.

This is why it is so important that attorneys defending minors in the juvenile system do everything they can to keep their clients in the family home and out of camp.   Camps do not “rehabilitate” kids.  kids just come out more hardened and world weary then when they went in.  This is very disturbing news indeed.

Read about fight clubs at probation camps in the L.A. Times.

For probation violation, contact Attorney Jerod Gunserg at 310-210-0744 for a free consultation about you or your child’s juvenile case.