Your child deserves a future, not a rap sheet.
Nothing can prepare a parent for that call. When your child has been arrested or investigated for a crime, you must not only think about his or her immediate needs. Where are they? Are they hurt? Are they being treated well? Are they scared? These are all legitimate concerns, however, you must also think about their future and how a juvenile delinquency case could impact their life well into adulthood.
If your child is facing charges in the juvenile delinquency courts, it is essential to secure a qualified juvenile defense lawyer who can address your child’s immediate needs today and thinks about the impact every decision has on their tomorrow. As Jerod Gunsberg puts it, “I certainly focus on a young client’s immediate situation and making sure we’re doing everything we can in terms of stabilizing the situation. However, resolving a delinquency case without understanding the applicable law may have unforeseen and terrible consequences years down the road. The laws and procedures in California’s delinquency system are filled with hidden traps. Many lawyers, even experienced criminal defense attorneys, may not be familiar with the current legal landscape in California juvenile law. Especially when dealing with serious charges.”
Rather than focusing solely on the charges at hand, Jerod digs deep into all the factors that lead a young person to get to the point in their life where they’re now facing charges in a juvenile delinquency case. Education history, learning differences, physical and mental health challenges, developmental delays, and other specific factors all come into play when dealing with a juvenile case. Though this more holistic approach, Jerod helps prosecutors, judges, juries, probation officers and counselors see the whole picture, not just one moment in your child’s life.
Make no mistake, despite the fact that the juvenile justice system in California is supposed to focus on rehabilitation, the District Attorney’s Office usually does not see it that way: they want punishment, often with those hidden and substantial long-term consequences.
Leveraging his knowledge of the various legal avenues available, Jerod works with multiple parties to establish the least punitive and most rehabilitative course of action, and routinely addresses:
- Arraignment and detention procedures and hearings
- Jurisdictional procedures and hearings
- Disposition procedures and hearings
- “Ward of the court” declarations
- Non-wardship probations
- Sentencing and ongoing monitoring
There are substantial collateral and long-term consequences in juvenile delinquency court cases that only an experienced juvenile advocate can foresee. In other words, you need an attorney who can tell your child’s unique story. An attorney who has an eye not only on your child’s present situation, but also on your child’s future. In juvenile delinquency court, that’s the only way to get the best possible result.
Juvenile criminal defense differs from adult criminal defense in significant ways. A skilled adult criminal defense attorney may not be skilled in juvenile court. It is imperative that your child is represented by an attorney who is not only skilled in both criminal law and juvenile delinquency law, but also knows how to effectively advocate for your child.
Expertise in Juvenile Defense
Jerod Gunsberg has spent much of his legal career focused on the particular concerns of juvenile defendants and the best way in which to safeguard their rights and their futures.
In addition to his private practice, he has defended children accused of crimes for organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Public Counsel and is frequently retained by other criminal defense attorneys as a consultant on juvenile cases. Mr. Gunsberg is an alumni of Loyola Law School’s nationally recognized Center for Juvenile Law and Policy.
Jerod Gunsberg has spent much of his legal career focused on the particular concerns of youth facing criminal charges and the best way in which to safeguard their rights and their futures. Jerod is a Los Angeles based criminal defense attorney who has unique training and skills in defending children in the juvenile delinquency system. He is also an active participant in efforts towards juvenile justice reform. In addition to his private practice, he has defended children accused of crimes for organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Public Counsel and is frequently the “go to” referral for many. Jerod has also been retained by other criminal defense attorneys as a consultant on juvenile cases. Mr. Gunsberg is an alum of Loyola Law School’s nationally recognized Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and has been recognized by the Los Angeles County bar Association for his commitment to youth justice issues.
Transfer to Adult Court
Jerod regularly represents young people who are charged with the most serious offenses and are facing transfer to adult court. Under California law, if a prosecutor files a “transfer motion” which seeks to remove the case from juvenile delinquency court to adult criminal court, a youth could face decades, and possibly life, in adult prison. The minor is entitled to a “transfer hearing” in which a judge decides whether or not the case is transferred to adult court.
These transfer hearings are as preparation-intensive as a trial on the underlying charges. The hearing focuses on a series of factors a judge must consider when making their decision. The laws that govern these hearings are constantly evolving and the local procedures vary from county to county within California. It is essential that parents or guardians retain a lawyer who is experienced in handling these most high-stakes cases. Equally important is to retain an attorney who is current on the laws and local procedure for juvenile transfer hearings, knows how to investigate the case, and has a deep understanding of how the client’s story must be presented.
High Profile Juvenile Cases
Unfortunately, serious juvenile cases often garner high profile media attention. News organizations know that the public is keenly interested in stories where youth commit a serious offense. Issues of rehabilitation versus punishment are always front and center. And with social media, it is easy for anyone who feels aggrieved by the crime to start a pressure campaign for the prosecutor to push for as harsh a punishment as possible. However, Jerod’s thorough understanding and experience with the confidentiality provisions of California’s juvenile laws can mitigate the effects of negative coverage and can often prevent the youth and family from being identified. Jerod aggressively fights efforts by any third party to violate any confidentiality laws or court rules.
Police Investigations of Juvenile Crimes
Often a parent or guardian learns that their child is the subject of a police investigation. Common scenarios include the police investigating whether the youth was involved n a fight or a theft at school or in their neighborhood, an act of vandalism, allegations of sexual assault, or involvement in a homicide.
Jerod has extensive experience and expertise in helping young people and their families navigate these investigations. Even if this seems like a small matter, the police may not be telling you everything about their case and the child may not be comfortable sharing everything with the parent. Of course, no parent should ever allow their child to speak with the police about possible involvement in a crime (and California law no longer allows the police to speak with a child until the child’s lawyer has been consulted), but the police can and do use other tactics. It is essential to have counsel who understands how to navigate this before discussing anything with the police.
More About Juvenile Delinquency in California
For more information about juvenile delinquency laws in California, refer to the following related resources:
- Should My Child Talk to the Police?
- The Phases and Timeline of a Juvenile Delinquency Case
- Will My Child Be In Juvenile Court or Adult Court?
- How Is Juvenile Court Different from Adult Criminal Court?
- What Happens At A Juvenile Detention Hearing?
- Probation Conditions in Juvenile Cases
California’s juvenile courts system moves fast and handles thousands of cases each year. It is all too easy for the decision makers to see your child as another statistic. Which is why it is so important that you hire an attorney who doesn’t. Jerod Gunsberg has fought for juvenile defendants for years and is dedicated to protecting their rights. Let him protect your child too.
If your child has been charged with a criminal offense in Los Angeles County or anywhere in California, call Los Angeles juvenile defense attorney Jerod Gunsberg can help. Contact Mr. Gunsberg at (323) 633-3423 for a free and confidential consultation or get in touch via the secure contact form on this page. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.