Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Attorney

Posts Tagged ‘Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg’

Should My Child Talk To The Police?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

If your child is being investigated for a crime in Los Angeles or anywhere in Californiahe or she should not speak with the police until you contact a qualified  juvenile defense attorney.

Here are some common situations in which your child may be questioned by police and the applicable rules.


Within one hour of being arrested, your child has the right to make two phone calls:  One call to a parent, guardian, employer or other responsible adult and one call to an attorney.  If you receive this call from your child, no matter how angry you may be, advise your child to not make any statements to the police.

If your child is arrested or otherwise in custody, the police must advise your child of his/her Miranda rights (right to remain silent, warning that all statements will be used against your child, right to an attorney).  However, the police are not required to advise your child of their right to have a parent present during questioning.  Your child should ask police that a parent be present during questioning.  Also, a child asking for a parent is not an invocation of Miranda rights.  Your child must specifically say that he or she is not going to answer questions or wants an attorney present.


What happens if a child has not requested the presence of a parent for questioning, but a parent is available and wants to be there?  Under California law, the police may not be required to inform the child of a parent’s availability unless the child has requested the presence of a parent.

In other words, if a child does not ask for his mom to be present at questioning but mom wants to be there.  Depending on the circumstances, the police may not be required to tell the child that you are available.

If, as a parent, you find yourself in this situation, it is important to contact a qualified juvenile attorney immediately. You also need to write down the names of the police officers you’ve spoken to, the times you spoke to them and a summary of the conversation.


If your child is to be detained at juvenile hall, he or she will be interviewed by a probation officer. The probation officer is also required to advise your child of his or her Miranda rights.  While statements made to a probation officer cannot be used against your child to prove guilt, they can be used against him or her in other ways that may negatively impact his case. Your child should not discuss the facts of his or her case with a probation officer until first consulting with a qualified juvenile defense attorney.

The police are allowed to deceive a child when questioning him or her.  They are allowed to imply that there will be some benefit to a child confessing to a crime by telling him or her to “help yourself” by confessing or that it’s “your last chance to tell us your side of the story.”  The police are also allowed to tell a child that “the victim has already identified you” as the perpetrator of the crime or that “your friends already told us you did it.”

The police can also tell you “that they’ll talk to the prosecutor to give your case special attention because you told the truth.”  DO NOT FALL FOR ANY OF THESE TRICKS. Once again, your child should not make any statements to the police without first consulting a qualified juvenile defense attorney.


If your child has not been arrested, the police are allowed to question your child without reading the Miranda warning. If your child has not been arrested, your child has no right to have a parent present at questioning.

If your child has not been arrested, the police may pull your child out of class at school to talk to him or stop him on the street.  The police may be very friendly and tell your child that they “just want to hear your side of the story.”  Once again, your child should NOT talk to the police.  Your child should ask if he is free to leave, and if the police officer says “yes” then your child should politely excuse himself and immediately contact a parent or an attorney.  Remember anything your child says CAN and WILL be used against him or her, even if they are not under arrest or read their Miranda warnings.

This is why it is important that your child not discuss criminal activity with ANYONE until after speaking with an attorney. This means no statements about criminal activity to school teachers, no statements to school administrators, no statements to friends, no statements to ANYONE until after speaking with an attorney.

Los Angeles Juvenile DUI Information

Monday, December 28th, 2009

If you or your child are under 18 and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles County or anywhere in California, it is important you know the DUI rules.  Contact The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation about you or your child’s juvenile DUI case.

DMV Proceeding and Court Proceeding
As in adult DUI cases, there are two separate proceedings.   Your child will be subject to a license suspension through a DMV Administrative Hearing and will also be subject to penalties from the juvenile court.

Juvenile DUI License Suspension

Under California Law, a driver under 21 who has a blood-alcohol concentration (“BAC”) of .01% or greater is subject to a one-year license suspension.  The police take your license at the time of your offense and give you a paper temporary license.   This penalty is imposed by the DMV and can be challenged at a DMV hearing.  The DMV must be notified within 10 days of the offense or your right to a hearing is forfeited.

Juvenile DUI Misdemeanor

Additionally, if the BAC is alleged to be greater than .08%, a juvenile will be charged with a misdemeanor DUI or possibly a “wet reckless”. This will include the standard DUI penalties such as a license suspension, mandatory drunk driving classes, and other probation conditions the juvenile court deems appropriate.

Juvenile DUI Infraction .05% BAC

If the BAC is  alleged to be  over .05%,  but under .08, the juvenile will be charged with an infraction (like a traffic ticket).  If you or your child are under 18, this will be dealt with in juvenile traffic court.  However, your license is still subject to the one year suspension by the DMV.
Remember, these penalties are in addition to the one year license suspension by the DMV.

Minors MUST submit to the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Breathalyzer (“PAS”)

Unlike adults, who are only required to submit to the a blood alcohol chemical test either at the police station or a hospital, a juvenile must  submit to the breath test given at the scene by the police (called a “Preliminary Alcohol Screening”.  However, like adults, juveniles are NOT required to submit to the “Field Sobriety Tests” (“Walk and Turn”, Nystagmus, standing on one leg, etc).

It is important to speak with a qualified juvenile criminal defense attorney regarding juvenile DUI charges against you or your child.  If you have a juvenile case in Los Angeles County, contact Jerod Gunsberg at The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation.  Call 310-210-0744.