Due to the ever-growing traffic accidents in California, the question about traffic offenses has raised a lot of concerns, to the juveniles in particular. There is always news about youthful drivers misusing their parents’ cars, overspeeding, or changing lanes jeopardizing the community. Statistics show that a good percentage of injuries and death results from irresponsible or joyriding young adults. If your child has been accused of juvenile traffic charges, you will also be unsettled looking for ways to keep your child out of the Juvenile court. You will be required to appear in court with your child, failure to which their license may be suspended. If your child doesn’t have a driving license, a notification may be sent to the DMV to ensure they are prohibited from getting a driver’s license.
Types of Juvenile Traffic Offenses
Any minor who has been accused of traffic violations is subjected to civil proceedings. Meaning, they are nor charged with a crime but instead accused of being involved in a delinquent act. If your child has been charged with a traffic offense, the best move is to contact the best criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles immediately. A juvenile traffic violation is a delinquency case which if committed by an adult, it’s tried in the ordinary criminal court. The prosecutor files a civil petition and charges the juvenile for violating the traffic laws. If charges are proven, the juvenile court determines the charges that will be issued.In some cases, this moves on until the child becomes an adult. Any juvenile who has a license to drive in California must observe the same driving laws as adults. However, most of them are prone to violate traffic rules without minding the consequences. Some of the offenses that lead to juvenile traffic offenses include:
- Failure to yield
- Running a red light
- Violation of stop signs
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Making improper turns
- Chatting or texting while driving
If a juvenile has been charged with traffic rules violation, there will be consequences. These consequences are very different from the ones used in adult criminal courts. They also vary from one state to the other. In some cases, the juvenile may be subjected to the adult court system depending on the damages caused by traffic rules violation. For instance, they may have led to an accident that led to the loss of their passenger or the other car victims’ lives. The consequences may include:
- Community service
- License revocation or suspension
- Detention or enrolled in counseling sessions
- Restitution of the victims: This is compensation paid by the parent to anyone who has been victimized by the act of the juvenile
The main goal of the above consequences is to ensure the public safety and prevent the juvenile from committing the same crimes in the future. When it comes to the juvenile case, there is no bail needed. The child must appear in court, accompanied by either a parent or a guardian. This is done to enforce the parent-child relationship and ensure the parent is aware of the situation and its repercussions. If the traffic offense is minor, your lawyer may help you waive the right to trial and pay for the court costs and fines. Failure to adhere to the court orders such as paying fines can result in nasty consequences of the juvenile driver’s license. The child may have their license suspended until they appear in court and pay the fines.
Constitutional RightsFor Minors In A Juvenile Case
Juveniles also have constitutional rights which sometimes differ from those of adults. For instance, they may not have the right to have their traffic violation case heard by a jury; instead, the judge decides the juvenile case. The right to a jury is only applied to adults. Though some states allow it to juveniles, California is an exception. Some of the constitutional rights in juvenile cases include:
- Making a phone call if they have been put in custody and will be there for some time. If your child makes a phone call, the most immediate action you can take is to call an attorney.
- A juvenile has the right to retain legal counsel. And if he/she cannot afford one, the state can appoint one for them.
- Have their charges proved beyond reasonable doubt.
- The juvenile cannot testify against themselves
- Though a juvenile’s traffic violation is not to be tried as a formal criminal case, the juvenile has a right to confirm and cross-examine their witnesses. This should be done with the help of an attorney.
Getting Legal Help
To understand how the traffic violation laws may be applied to your child’s case, consider consulting a criminal lawyer who has vast experience in dealing with such cases. The lawyer will also advise the juvenile and ensure to have the right representation that will protect their rights.