Children often make mistakes that can lead to an arrest and being charged in the juvenile court system. You will likely be unsure of the next step when your child is arrested for delinquency allegations. Most parents grapple with events when their children are detained, as they move quickly to salvage the situation. The good news is that you can avoid intense panic and confusion by seeking the services of a skilled and competent attorney who understands juvenile delinquency matters. At the California Criminal Lawyer Group, we have assisted many parents when their children face arrest to know their rights and entitlements during the child’s trial process in Anaheim.

Overview of Parental Rights in a Juvenile Case

The law outlines rights for various groups during a juvenile delinquency case. Parents also have certain rights to help them understand the nature of their children’s charges and the proper steps to take. You can assume these rights based on your status as the parent of the delinquent child.

Sometimes, you must wait until the juvenile delinquency judge uses their discretion to determine whether certain rights apply. For example, the judge can evaluate factors indicating whether you have satisfied the court in your entitlement as a parent.

Following your child's arrest, you should work with an attorney who will guide you on important issues, including how you can get involved in your child’s case. Understanding parental rights also helps you understand the limits beyond which you cannot control the juvenile case process. This distinction is important because it allows your attorney to undertake their role effectively.

The typical parental rights you have after your child’s arrest are:

  • The Right To Take Your Child Home After Meeting The Set Conditions

After the necessary processing, you have the parental right to take your child home. This will allow your child to continue their schooling and normal life, pending other court directives. It is always beneficial for a child to return home post-arrest since he/she does not need to make substantial adjustments to new life conditions, which could throw them off.

However, your right to take the child home is subject to specific terms that the judge must verify before allowing you to do so. The judge must consider this to ensure that setting the child free is in their best interests.

The judge can deny you this right for the following reasons:

Releasing Your Child Could Endanger Another Person

The judge could reconsider allowing your child’s release if their release could pose a safety risk for another person. The judge could revoke the decision to maintain safety and social order even if it denies someone else their rights.

The court will consider the implications for the victim before deciding whether your child should rejoin the community. The court will not release your child if he/she goes back to interact with the victim daily, to the aggrieved victim's detriment. For example, your child could be facing charges of physical violence, and he/she attends the same school as the victim. In this case, the victim could suffer mental anguish if the juvenile returns to school. It could be best for your child to remain in detention until the case concludes.

Detaining Your Child Is Best For Their Safety

Some cases involve serious allegations, which could endanger your child if he/she returns to the community. For example, the victims could plan to punish your child however they deem best. Your child could also have been part of the gang before being arrested, and they could be looking for the child to harm them to conceal evidence. This can happen if your child discloses details about other gang members, making them a target.

Additionally, the judge could refuse to release your child if the conditions at home are not conducive to the child’s well-being. For example, if the minor is exposed to sexual exploitation, abuse, drugs, or neglect, he/she could be safe in a state center for juveniles pending the trial's conclusion. Your child will receive the necessary protection and rehabilitation at the center.

If Your Child Is Flight Risk

A flight-risk arrestee is any individual likely to escape the country once released, mainly to avoid the court's jurisdiction in a criminal matter. The judge can evaluate the minor’s circumstances, categorize them as a flight risk, and deny their release request. The judge will likely refuse to release your child if he/she receives information about your plans to fly out of the country with your child. However, you can hand in your child’s travel documents to the court to counter the suspicion.

The judge always insists on the child's attendance throughout the court hearings to promote fair trial standards. The court cannot proceed if the child is absent. This could cause a delay and impede justice for the victim and your child if he/she is not guilty.

Your Child Failed To Honor The Court Attendance Orders

Any person who faces arrest, including a child, loses their freedom temporarily. Complying with the court orders is essential to helping your child regain their freedom before trial. Your child is less likely to secure a release order if he/she fails to honor a court attendance order.

Generally, the court could deny a release request if your child’s conduct shows your weakness as a parent. The judge could accuse you of failing to follow up on your child’s legal process, showing that releasing the child could worsen the situation.

On the other hand, the judge could deny a release request as a punitive measure, mainly if the child failed to attend several court hearings. However, you can provide compelling reasons to justify your child’s release. For example, an acute medical condition could prevent your child from attending court hearings.

  • The Right To Be Notified Regarding Your Child’s Arrest

You have a right to learn of your child's whereabouts as their primary caregiver, including when he/she is arrested or detained. Law enforcement should liaise with the relevant department to trace your residence and phone number for the immediate briefing of your child's arrest.

Law enforcement must notify you of where your child was arrested and the juvenile delinquency charges the child is facing. Law enforcement should inform you of your child's current detention facility to assist you in planning several intervention actions as you wait for further directives.

Once the police call you and inform you regarding your child’s arrest, you need to confirm the location and the specific details of the child before taking further action. It is essential to do so because the details between one child and the other could be the same, leading to unwarranted panic. You could also contact your child to confirm if the events revealed to you involve them.

  • A Right To Know Your Child’s Constitutional Rights

You need to understand your child's constitutional rights as an arrested and detained juvenile besides having an entitlement to parental rights. It is essential to understand these rights because they will guide you while seeking legal redress on behalf of your child.

For example, you could ask the child if law enforcement adhered to the constitutional requirements during the arrest. You can decide whether to seek the services of an attorney to deal with the case and seek redress.

A child’s constitutional rights include:

The Right To Cross-Examine Witnesses During Trial

The child can cross-examine any witness the prosecutor calls to provide evidence against the child. This constitutional right enhances a fair legal process, ensuring both parties adequately present their positions. Your attorney can guide your child while cross-examining the witnesses. Legal guidance helps you identify critical weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.

To Have The Case Proven Beyond Reasonable Doubt

 Your child has the right to a fair trial once their case proceeds to a juvenile delinquency hearing. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your child is guilty before the judge issues any punitive order.

Proving a case requires the prosecutor to give evidence on every offense element. The prosecutor must ensure their legal claims do not raise suspicion regarding the child's illegal activities.

The required standard of proof is high. This ensures that a child only faces a juvenile delinquency court sentence if the judge declares them guilty. Your attorney works hard to ensure that the prosecutor meets the required standard of proof for a fair trial.

The Right To Make A Phone Call

You can file a complaint if you have not talked to your child since their arrest. You can ask the law enforcement agency to permit your child to exercise their legal rights. Since the law allows your child to call you, you can utilize this interaction to gather the necessary information on the arrest and detention to help you prepare for the case.

The Right To Legal Representation

If your child's case proceeds to trial, he/she has the right to legal representation. The earlier you learn about this right, the better because it allows you to secure a reliable attorney with experience in juvenile delinquency cases.

If you fail to secure an attorney, the state must provide free legal representation for your child. The state could do so purposefully to promote a fair judicial process. The state also offers legal counsel because a child does not have the experience to represent themselves during the trial. If a child is left to represent themselves, it could undermine the principle of a fair trial.

The Police Should Have Probable Cause Before Arresting Your Child

Law enforcement must have probable cause before arresting your child to avoid arbitrary arrests. The arresting officer must reveal the probable cause of the child’s arrest upon request and reveal the details to the child as he/she arrests them.

Extra scrutiny could be done on the case if the police fail to disclose the probable cause, and it could raise suspicions of an unfair arrest. For example, it is unfair for the police to arrest your child based on unverified allegations. Any legal action the police take against a child must be subject to proper investigation. Forming a probable arrest means finding the child engaging in illegal activities or using reliable investigation reports to make an arrest. If these details are unavailable, you can raise a complaint on your child's behalf, and the court can review the arrest process.

The Right To Learn About The Charges After Arrest

Like adult suspects facing arrests and detentions, a child has a right to understand the charges he/she faces. The arresting officer must inform the child about the prohibitive legal provisions warranting arrest.

A child will likely cooperate with the police throughout the detention period if they understand the charges against them. This information is also crucial to the child, as it enables them to call you or any other guardian and disclose the details of their arrest.

  • A Right To Attend All Your Child’s Court Proceedings

You have a right as a parent to attend all court proceedings related to your child's case. Your right extends to additional procedures of the court that require your child's presence so that you can make essential arrangements. These could include receiving notifications of adjournments and requesting the court’s schedule to keep track of upcoming court dates.

The court official can only stop you from attending the proceedings if your conduct interrupts the court or agitates your child and prevents them from concentrating on the proceedings. If this happens, the court will guide you on what to do regarding follow-ups on the case. The court could deny you access to your child's court proceedings in exceptional circumstances.

  • The Right To Go Through The Child’s Court Files

Apart from learning about their arrest, you can peruse your child's court file and read the details. It is advisable to do so so that you can use the details to brief your attorney. You could also peruse the file to understand the child’s rights and your rights as a parent.

However, other parties could also exercise this right based on their capacity in the case, even if you have the right to access the court file. For example, the officials in your child's school have a right to review the court file and understand the details. The contents would likely guide them in deciding whether to keep their child's position at the school.

Similarly, law enforcement representatives, federal attorneys, and a representative of a child protection agency also have the right to peruse the court file. Therefore, you cannot take steps to personalize the file.

  • The Right To Emergency Removal

The juvenile court can sometimes place your child in different care, like a foster home. If you learn that your child is facing abuse or is not being cared for properly, the law allows you to file a petition to remove your child from the foster home. The following are the instances that give you a right to emergency removal of your child:

  1. Any form of abuse, like cruelty or physical abuse.
  2. If your child suffers severe emotional damage.
  3. If your child does not receive sufficient medical care, clothing, food, or shelter,
  4. If you discover that the person you entrusted with your child is not providing proper care,

The cases highlighted above are rare since the probation officer usually looks for a place with full responsibility. However, if you notice any of the above occurrences, you can file a petition for emergency removal.

  • The Right To Make Decisions Regarding Your Child's Education

You have a right to decide where your child will learn, even if he/she is placed in a foster home or a different place where the probation officer chose to place the child. You can decide that your child will continue schooling at their former school and cannot be moved without your consent. The people charged with caring for your child only need to ensure that he/she is secure, comfortable, and successful in their education. Like any other child, your child has a right to:

  1. Attend any school with their peers.
  2. Attend their previous school without changing residence.
  3. Attend school without interruption.
  4. Access to different academic resources.
  5. A stable school placement.

The person in charge of your child is required to take them to school. You also have the right to decide how your child should attend school. You can decide that your child goes to school by private car, school bus, or any other means that you feel is secure for your child.

  • The Right To Make Medical Decisions

Even when your child is out of your custody, you can make medical decisions for them as a parent. You have a right to grant consent before a doctor attends to your child if he/she develops any medical condition or health issues. The law allows you to make medical decisions based on your religious background. However, some conditions could restrict your control over medical decisions. For example, the court can overrule your right if your child develops a mental illness. Your child can go for treatment against your will.

If the likely outcome of your child’s illness is death, the court could also overrule your decision. In this case, the court could seek emergency medical assistance to save your child’s life. In this situation, the law does not allow you to file a petition to enforce your parental rights.

  • The Right To Plan For Reunification

Your child will complete their sentence at some point and come back to you. You, therefore, have a duty as a parent to plan how you will reunite with them when that time comes. A visitation program is one of the steps you could take. Your child can only reunite with you and the community at large if you keep a close distance when the child is still serving their sentence. Keeping a close distance also helps you monitor the child’s behavior. When you relate closely to your child, you will have a perfect chance to help them rectify their behavior.

Following all the court orders is another way to create the right path for a reunion with your child. You will have an easy time if you do all that the court expects you to do. If you adhere to all the applicable court orders, the court will have no problem letting your child go home with you after their sentence. 

  • The Right To Have Your Child’s Record Sealed

Once your child reaches the age of 18, their juvenile criminal record can be sealed. You can request that your child's record be sealed by filing a petition. It is essential to do so because criminal records could negatively influence your child's life in the future. For example, it can be hard for them to secure crucial services. For instance, if your child’s criminal record is not sealed, it can be challenging for them to secure a permanent job. It can also be hard for the child to secure a residential home.

It can also be hard for your child to access the above because he/she must reveal their records to the potential employer or the residential homeowners. The public cannot access your child's record once it is sealed. Your child will also not need to disclose the record when applying for jobs or a tenancy. Even if someone checks your child's background, the sealed criminal records will not appear. 

Find a Anaheim Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

You have a say in your child’s case when he/she faces an arrest. California law allows you to hire an attorney to represent your child. You also have a right to attend the court hearings and ensure the child's well-being. At California Criminal Lawyer Group, we have competent attorneys who understand juvenile court legal procedures. You should contact us, especially if you suspect a violation of your parental rights or your child's. Our attorneys can represent your child and help them create a defense to fight their charges in Anaheim. We will aggressively represent you to seek a favorable outcome for your case. Call us at 714-766-0965 to speak to one of our attorneys.