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Juvenile Law

Knowledgeable Lawyers Counseling Juvenile Offenders in South San Francisco

We protect the rights of your child who has been accused of a crime

Your teen has been arrested. Now what? The red tape can feel overwhelming and the consequences dire. The Law Offices of K.J. Petsas, PC understands what is at stake and advocates for your teen’s rights in the court of law. We have 40 years of experience in juvenile criminal defense in the South San Francisco bay area. We defend against charges of serious crimes such as shoplifting, drug possession, assault and sex crimes. We are familiar with the special provisions and procedures involved in juvenile defense and take decisive steps to protect your teen throughout the process. Our goal is to help secure the best possible position for your teen now and into the future.

How the firm can help your teen in the juvenile system

Upon arrest, your child may be given a notice to appear or may be sent to a juvenile detention facility. If detained, your child is permitted one phone call to a parent, relative, guardian or employer and one call to an attorney. We advise your child to remain silent and refuse to answer questions until their attorney is present. If your child is permitted to go home, you must comply with the notice to appear. Our firm can advise you on how to do so.

Your child will have a jury trial only if charged as an adult and we do not agree to a plea deal. Otherwise, unlike adult court, juvenile proceedings are conducted entirely before a judge. Upon conclusion of proceedings, the court may order:

  • Court supervision while your child lives at home
  • Probation, which might also include alternative living arrangements with a relative or in a group home or juvenile institution
  • Probation that is carried out at a special juvenile camp or ranch
  • Referral to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)
  • Transfer to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Operations (CDCR) if your child is charged as an adult

We make sure your child receives continued education and support if sentenced to detention. We also ensure records are properly sealed to protect your child’s future.

There are differences between the juvenile and adult justice systems

Young people often lack the maturity and experience to understand the full consequences of their actions. With this in mind, the law treats minors differently than adults. The juvenile system focuses on rehabilitation, whereas the adult system focuses on retribution and punishment.

The state’s recommendations and the court’s sentence depend upon the facts of your child’s case. We pursue options that give your child the best chance of overcoming problems and succeeding as an adult. We discuss what is best for your teen, including help with drug addiction, education, mental health and anger issues, if appropriate.

Protect your child’s rights in the juvenile courts

Learn how we can help you protect your child’s rights in the juvenile courts. Call the Law Offices of K.J. Petsas, PC at 650-624-8181 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Our South San Francisco-based law firm handles juvenile issues in all jurisdictions in the Bay Area.

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Our office
  • South San Francisco Office
    1475 Huntington Avenue
    Suite 205
    South San Francisco, California 94080
    Phone: 650-624-8181
    Fax: 650-737-7964
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