Juvenile Proceedings

We represent minors and parents in all juvenile proceedings, mostly in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 602.) Parents of minors who have any contact whatsoever with the juvenile justice system or law enforcement should immediately contact us for an explanation of their rights and for an explanation of the juvenile court process. It is often the case that the first contacts with law enforcement and juvenile probation officers determine, in great part, the outcome of the case in court. Parents should not wait until the case has reached court to contact an attorney who has expertise in juvenile law in the jurisdiction where the alleged crime was committed or in the county of residence of the minor. Since there is no bail allowed in juvenile cases, early intervention with police, probation officers and district attorneys is often critical in obtaining release when a minor is taken to juvenile hall and detained. Many cases in the juvenile system do not end up going to court, and some of those which do end up in court can be resolved through diversion, deferred entry of judgment, or an informal probation agreement. In any case, the assistance of experienced counsel is always recommended.

We typically accompany minors and parents to interviews with probation officers before the case goes to court and, in some cases, after the case has gone to court. We meet with the family before these meetings to ensure that everyone is prepared for the interview. We try cases before a judge when necessary (juveniles have no right to a jury trial), but most cases can be resolved by some form of plea bargain. Experienced counsel will also be familiar with the alternatives to incarceration which may be available and appropriate in a given case.

Dan Barton and Trisha Luciano are the attorneys in the firm with the most experience in juvenile proceedings. They represent minors and, when appropriate, their parents, in San Jose and Palo Alto and San Mateo County court matters. They have experience in juvenile cases involving DUIs and other driving offenses, drug violations, assaults, arsons, firearms, thefts, domestic violence, sex offenses, and homicide.