Sylmar Juvenile Courthouse Criminal Lawyer


In my experience the juvenile courts (including Sylmar) are looking to make sure that the public is protected from the juvenile’s actions and they are looking for clues that the minor is a life worth saving. In other words, are they on the right or wrong path? How are they doing in school? Are they using drugs or in a gang?

Did they hurt someone in the public? Do they cooperate with their parents? These are all very important considerations when it comes to successfully defending a criminal juvenile case. I know what to do and how to advise you.

Sylmar Juvenile Courthouse
16350 Filbert Street
Sylmar, CA 91342
(818) 256-1180
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When I meet with my client and his or her parents I have the goal of developing a plan to protect the minor’s record (making sure that in the end the young person’s record is clean), gathering evidence to show to the judge and prosecutor that indicates that my client is not going to do anything else that causes them to come back into court and showing the court that we have a plan to make sure the minor gets and stays on the right path.

The judges love to see success stories and will do what they can to give the minor a break. However, if they do not think the minor is taking things seriously, they will not hesitate to punish them is a very harsh manner.

They are not like parents who can not handle their children, the courts do not have sympathy for someone they believe is playing games with them, are not going to enable the minor to continue their bad behavior and will take them and their parents to task.

If you or a loved one is in trouble in the Sylmar Juvenile court system, I am more than happy to meet with you and begin process of taking control of the case and setting the minor and your family up for success. You deserve to enjoy your children and not have to clean up after their messes.

Allow me to assist you in cleaning this case up and set your loved one on the right course. I am a father of four and know what it takes to make the right moves to get the job done! Contact the Hedding Law Firm to review your case.


This is really what you should be focusing on if your minor son, daughter or grandchild has a criminal matter pending in the juvenile court. What you should be targeting is making sure that when all is said and done the minor’s record is clean.

As you can probably guess, it is almost impossible to get accepted to a good school or obtain a rewarding job if you have a criminal mark on your record. Over the course of the past twenty five years, I have learned how to resolve these cases so in the end my client is on a solid successful path with a clean record!

It is very rare that I can not work out some sort of a resolution that does not give my client a road to success, freedom and an unblemished record. One phone call is all it takes and we will take the first step to putting this matter behind your loved one and a healthy path to the future.

Sylmar Juvenile Court handles all Juvenile Crimes committed in the San Fernando Valley. Our firm defends minors charged with crimes in Sylmar Juvenile Court on a daily basis. We are familiar with how the system works, the judges, prosecutors and court staff. If you are looking for an attorney to defend / protect a minor’s interests.

I encourage you to call us and set up a confidential free face to face consultation……so we can educate you on how the system works and design a strategy to protect the minor’s future record, freedom and reputation.

We understand the devastating consequences a juvenile conviction can have on a young person’s life. We will assist you in doing everything possible to get the minor back on the right track and your family as well.

When minors are charged with a crime, they face serious legal repercussions if they are convicted. If a person is convicted of a criminal offense, he/she may have to spend time in jail, pay huge fines, or be placed on probation.

Once a person is convicted of a crime, it will always appear on his/her criminal record, which may limit his/her future employment, housing, and educational opportunities. If you have been charged with a crime, you need to be aware that a conviction can lead to life altering consequences.

For this reason, you should retain the services of a qualified Sylmar criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney has the training, knowledge, and experience it takes to successfully fight your criminal charges.


I started defending minors in the Sylmar juvenile court many years ago and I believe I have a pretty solid perspective on the courthouse, its judges and the prosecution who deals with the juvenile matters that come through its doors everyday.

The courthouse itself has five courtrooms that handle matters that occur in the San Fernando Valley that involve juveniles. Department 275 typically handles traffic related offenses, while the other four courtrooms deal with all of the more serious criminal matters.

In the years since it opened its doors, the prosecutors made the decision on which case would be filed and which cases would either be rejected or given an opportunity for an informal (without having to go to court) resolution.

Today the Probation Department has been given the authority to decide which cases go to court and which cases will be dealt with in another manner. There are a number of factors that determine whether a case is actually filed in the juvenile court or dealt with outside the court’s jurisdiction.

The key thing that is evaluated is whether the court and its various programs can actually benefit the minor who finds themselves caught up in the system. Another important consideration is whether the minor is a danger to the community.

If the authorities believe the minor is a danger and the minor has committed a crime, then they will definitely file a juvenile case and the minor will be facing time in custody, depending on what they did and how good their attorney is at defending their case.


Cases that are filed related to crimes that occur in the San Fernando Valley are heard in the Sylmar Juvenile court if the person involved is a minor at the time that they committed the alleged crime.

If the case is tried in the juvenile court, then the person is not entitled to a jury trial. A judge alone will decide that person’s fate if they decide to take the case to trial. In an adult case, the defendant is entitled to have a jury of his or her peers decide their fate.

This is a huge difference between adult and juvenile cases. Even though I have a great deal of respect for the judges in the Sylmar Juvenile Courthouse, in my opinion a criminal defendant has a much better chance of being found not guilty if they have their case tried in front of a jury.

Another big difference between adult and juvenile cases is the ability of a juvenile to seal their criminal record in most case. This is a significant difference when you consider that there is no such thing as a true expungement in adult criminal cases in California.

This means that the best an adult can do is to get their case dismissed, however it will still show on their record that they had to deal with a criminal case. Whereas in a juvenile case, when we do a motion to seal and destroy their case and it is granted, everything is gone!

Not even the police can find it. Finally, in my experience there are many more programs available for juveniles that give them a chance to keep their record clean. If a good Sylmar criminal defense attorney knows the right avenues to protect their client’s record, they can do wonders for a juvenile in making sure that their record remains clean for the future.

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