The Kenney Legal Defense Corporation is a full service Orange County juvenile defense law firm, led by a seasoned attorney and former Senior Deputy Public Defender. Ms. Kenney has tried more than 60 criminal cases in her 18 years of practicing law and has been recognized by her peers for her dedication to clients and ability in the courtroom. She understands the intricate and complex legal issues that often come up in juvenile cases, as well as the significant consequences at stake in these proceedings, and works aggressively to try to get charges reduced or dropped.
Juvenile offenses are those involving a minor that would otherwise be considered crimes if committed by an adult. While the people charged in these cases are just kids, the offenses carry significant potential penalties that can impact the rest of a juvenile defendant’s life. Prior to any juvenile filing, some minors have the option to handle the matter informally if they qualify during a juvenile probation interview. That includes:
A juvenile detention center is not the place for a child to spend his or her formative years. The time detained, even if relatively brief, can greatly affect a child’s future and cause lifelong damage. That’s why it is vital to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney with a background in this specific area of the law if a friend or loved one has been charged with a juvenile offense.
The California juvenile offense system is different from what is in place for adult crimes and can be quite confusing for people who don’t regularly deal with it. Delinquency proceedings begin with an arraignment or detention hearing in which a judge decides whether there is sufficient legal ground for temporarily detaining a juvenile charged with an offense. This hearing must happen within 72 hours of the charge if the juvenile is already being detained, or within 15 days if the juvenile isn’t held in a detention center. The minor – or his or her attorney – can then request another hearing to challenge the legal sufficiency of the charge within three days. As many as six or more additional hearings may be necessary, during which the court will consider jurisdiction issues, weigh the evidence and determine whether and for how long the juvenile should be detained.
In certain circumstances, a court may also decide to permanently place a juvenile offender in an adoption program, refer the child for legal guardianship, or even terminate the juvenile’s parents’ rights.
California Welfare and Institutions Code sections 366.26 and 727.31(a) govern the proceedings for permanent termination of parental rights. These laws authorize a court to effectively sever the parent-child legal relationship if it deems one or both parents unfit. That could be because of abuse or abandonment, or the termination could be simply based on the court’s finding that a parent isn’t physically or mentally able to care for the child.
At the Kenney Legal Defense Corporation, we understand just how stressful and trying a juvenile offense charge can be for both the minor involved and his or her entire family. We dedicate our practice to defending both children and adults who are charged with crimes and have helped a number of clients through this difficult process while reducing the potential long-term impact of being charged with a juvenile defense. Ms. Kenney takes an aggressive approach to these cases, exploring any and all legal opportunities to get charges dropped or reduced.
If your son or daughter has been arrested, Orange County juvenile defense lawyer Karren Kenney can help. We serve clients throughout Southern California from our office in Costa Mesa, including in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. Call (855) 505-5588 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.