Juvenile Crimes

Juvenile crimes involve defendants who are under the age of 18.

What are Juvenile Crimes in California?

Juvenile law is an entirely distinct practice area from adult criminal law, and requires highly specialized knowledge and experience. The rules of evidence and legal procedure are different, as are the rights of the defendant. Only judges determine the outcome of juvenile trials (instead of juries), which are called “adjudications” (see California Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b)). In fact, many of the terms used in juvenile criminal proceedings are different from adult proceedings.

The most common juvenile crimes include crimes of violence (including Murder and Attempted Murder), gang-related offenses, Drug Offenses, Sex Crimes, alcohol and driving-related offenses (including DUI’s), theft crimes (including Shoplifting), Burglary, and property crimes (including vandalism).

The most serious juvenile crimes are “strike” offenses under California’s “Three Strikes Law”, which provides sentencing enhancements and requires a convicted defendant to serve at least 85% of the sentence, even with good behavior. Juvenile strike offenses include:

  • Arson
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Kidnapping with injury, for ransom, as part of a robbery, and with sexual assault
  • Murder, Attempted Murder, and Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Rape, oral copulation, and sodomy with force or threat of force
  • Robbery and carjacking
  • Sex crimes against children under age 14 with force or threat of force
  • Violent crimes involving gang activity

These and other serious offenses are also referred to as “Section 707(b) offenses”. If your child is prosecuted for one of these crimes, then he or she may also be tried as an adult following a “Fitness Hearing” where the judge makes that determination. For the most egregious convictions, your child could be incarcerated in a juvenile prison until age 25 before he or she is then transferred to complete his or her sentence in an adult prison.

What Happens If My Child is Convicted of a Juvenile Crime (If a Petition is Sustained)?

Consequences depend on the type of conviction and crime, as well as other factors, such as whether or not your child had any prior convictions (known as “sustained petitions”), was on probation at the time of the arrest, etc. Sentences can range from probation (formal or informal), diversion (under California Welfare and Institutions Code 654), deferred entry of judgment (“DEJ” – see California Welfare and Institutions Code 790) to detention in juvenile hall, detention in camp or even incarceration in a juvenile prison (California Youth Authority) up to the age of 25. Again, in certain cases, your child can be charged as an adult.

With a juvenile conviction, your child may also face a variety of other adverse consequences with could permanently affect his or her future. For example, a conviction could affect your child’s ability to obtain employment, attend college, enlist in the military, or obtain a professional license. As a result, it is critical that you hire a highly skilled and experienced juvenile crimes attorney who knows how to seal your child’s juvenile criminal record.

What are My Possible Defenses to Juvenile Criminal Charges?

The defenses available to your child depend on the specific charges. Please click on any of the above highlighted links or Practice Areas for examples of these defenses. Otherwise, all defenses available to adults are also available to juveniles.

Fortunately, Ninaz Saffari is one of the finest juvenile attorneys in Los Angeles County. She is extremely familiar with juvenile criminal law and procedure, and knows how to aggressively and successfully defend your child, and to fight the police, prosecutors and even judges. She will work tirelessly and effectively to get the charges dismissed or, if that is not possible, to obtain a non-jail resolution that includes only community service, informal or formal diversion, counseling, and/or probation.

What Kind of Juvenile Cases Has Ninaz Saffari Defended?

Criminal defense attorneys who practice only in adult court will find themselves at a major disadvantage against the prosecutor in a juvenile case.

Ninaz Saffari should know – she spent an entire year as a Deputy Public Defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office exclusively defending juveniles at the Compton, Inglewood and Los Padrinos Courthouse. During this period, she successfully represented over 100 juveniles and conducted more than 20 adjudication “trials” in juvenile court. As with her adult criminal cases, Ms. Saffari’s outstanding representation of her juvenile clients won her the hard-earned respect and admiration of her fellow Deputy P.D.’s, her supervisors, the prosecutors, as well as, the judges she appeared before.

During this time, she also worked closely with social workers, probation officers, investigators, experts, and the defendant’s own family members to skillfully represent her juvenile clients. In private practice, she has continued to vigorously advocate and defend juveniles in Los Angeles criminal courts.

She successfully defended cases that ranged from petty theft to serious crimes of violence, including attempted murder, the use of firearms and gang activity, as well as rape and other sex crimes, drug offenses, etc. See her Case Results.


If you or a loved one are currently being investigated or prosecuted for this crime, it is critical that you immediately hire a highly skilled, aggressive and experienced Los Angeles County Juvenile Crimes criminal defense attorney like Ninaz Saffari. Contact the Saffari Law Firm, P.C. now for a free telephone consultation. If Ms. Saffari believes she can help you, she will immediately schedule a free in-person meeting or, if you are in custody, she will visit you in jail (again, for free and with no obligation to hire her).


5670 Wilshire Blvd Ste 1800
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Representing All Of Los Angeles County including:

Downtown Criminal Courts Building
LAX Courthouse
Van Nuys Courthouse
San Fernando Courthouse
Compton Courthouse
Long Beach Courthouse
Norwalk Courthouse

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