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Several Juveniles Arrested After Fights at Santa Barbara County High School

Steven R. Andrade Dec. 3, 2021

According to a report from Edhat Santa Barbara, at least seven students were arrested for assaults after fights on the campus of San Marcos High School. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office noted that several students are facing serious criminal charges, including the charge of felony assault with force likely to cause severe bodily injury.

For parents, there are few things more stressful than learning that your child is facing criminal allegations. It is crucial that you know the right steps to take to protect their safety, rights, and future. Here, our Santa Barbara criminal defense defense attorney highlights four key things to know about the juvenile justice process in California.

A Strong Emphasis on Treatment and Rehabilitation

As a starting point, it is important to understand the juvenile delinquency process is different from the traditional criminal justice system. There is a far stronger emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation as opposed to punishment. A youthful indiscretion should not come to define a child's entire life. California offers a number of different treatment and rehabilitation options for young offenders, including many who are potentially serious criminal allegations.

Post-Arrest: Parent's Custody or Juvenile Hall

When a minor is arrested in Santa Barbara County, California law puts significant discretion into the hands of an individual law enforcement officer. The young person will not be taken to an adult correctional facility. Instead, police generally have two options available. First, they can release a minor directly into the custody of their parent or guardian. Second, they can take them to a juvenile detention facility. If your child was taken to a juvenile delinquency facility and you believe that they should be in your custody, an experienced Santa Barbara, CA defense lawyer can help.

Prosecutors May Try to Get Case Remanded to Adult Court

In California, it is possible for a minor to be charged as an adult—but it will not happen automatically. For a minor to be charged in adult court, the prosecutor in the case must file a petition with the court arguing that the young person's crime is so severe that he or she is “unfit” for the juvenile justice system. If your child was arrested and charged with a crime as an adult, it is imperative that you speak to a Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer immediately.

An Attorney Can Help Protect Your Child, Keep Their Record Clean

Teenagers make mistakes. Following an arrest on a criminal offense, a defense attorney can help you and your child navigate the juvenile justice system. A lawyer will ensure that your child is connected with the right treatment and rehabilitation options. Further, an attorney can work to keep your child's criminal record as “clean” as possible given the circumstances.

Contact Our Santa Barbara Juvenile Defense Lawyer for Immediate Help

At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara juvenile justice attorney is a compassionate, solutions-driven advocate for young people. If your child is facing a criminal charge/juvenile delinquency charge, we are here to protect their rights and help you secure their future. Contact our team now for a confidential consultation. We serve communities throughout Santa Barbara County.