Juvenile Delinquency Defense

I am one of the only California Bay Area private attorneys (Stanford B.A./Hastings J.D.) specializing in juvenile delinquency defense law. I am passionate about advocating for kids and during the past seventeen years, I have represented thousands of minors in cases involving nearly every offense listed in both the CA Penal Code and CA Welfare & Institutions Code, including, but not limited to the following: all types of theft and drug offenses, probation violations, DUI cases, first and second-degree burglary, auto theft, robbery, carjacking, assault, all types of sex offenses, attempted homicide and homicide.

While I continue to represent adults in criminal matters on a selective basis, I have developed an expertise in juvenile delinquency defense and it has certainly become the primary focus of my practice. I love working with kids and advocating for them and their parents to achieve the best possible result with respect to both the charge(s) and the sentence (what is known as the “disposition”). Prior to the first court appearance, I spend substantial time meeting with the minor and parent(s) to explain the court process and develop an understanding of the minor’s life and the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense(s). My goal is to make the process more understandable and less daunting, to reduce stress levels, and ultimately, to develop and execute a successful strategy to protect the minor’s record for the future and achieve the best possible case outcome.

Frequently, I am able to obtain a dismissal or reduction of some or all charged offenses by persuading the Court, the D.A. and the Probation Officer to allow a minor to participate in a court-sanctioned program (e.g., Informal Supervision, Deferred Entry of Judgment, Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, etc.). Moreover, as a result of my intensive pre-court preparation and the strong working relationships I have developed over the years with local prosecutors, probation officers and judges in the juvenile system, I am often able to resolve matters favorably at the time of the first or second court hearing. This means you and your child will not have to come to court three or more times, the average in most cases, and miss valuable time from school and/or work.

I would be happy to discuss your son’s or daughter’s juvenile case and my reasonable fee structure with you at no charge. My office can be reached 24 hours/day and I return all telephone calls promptly – typically, within 2 hours. I am based in Redwood City and a significant number of my cases are in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. However, I accept cases in all California Bay Area counties and cities, including the following: Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Jose, San Mateo and Stanford.

I look forward to speaking with you and your son or daughter.

School Expulsion Hearing

In addition to juvenile delinquency proceedings, I represent minors at public school expulsion hearings in all California Bay Area School Districts where lengthy (up to one calendar year) and extremely disruptive district-wide expulsions are at stake. I am very passionate about this work as my experience, especially during the past ten years, has been that many local school districts move to expel students for relatively minor offenses, and even when the student does not present a “continuing danger to the physical safety of the pupil or others”, a finding that is legally required for expulsion under the CA Education Code.

Unlike delinquency proceedings where minors must be represented by an attorney, having counsel at an expulsion hearing is optional. That fact notwithstanding, it has been my experience that minors who are represented by knowledgeable and prepared counsel at expulsion hearings achieve far better results than those who appear without a lawyer. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that the school district’s attorney will become involved in the expulsion process only when the minor is represented, thereby creating an otherwise absent opportunity to negotiate a favorable resolution prior to the commencement of the hearing. Moreover, by their nature, expulsion hearings are often stacked against the minor and having prepared and competent counsel levels the playing field and ensures a fair hearing.

I have been very successful in representing minors in many school districts, including but not limited to the following: Campbell Union High School District, Fremont Union High School District, Jefferson School District, Fremont Unified School District, Jefferson School District, and Sequoia Union High School District. Please see my testimonials page for examples of my legal representation in this specialized area of juvenile law.

Expulsion hearings are controlled by the California Education Code which requires that expulsion hearings be held within 30 days of the commission of the alleged offense and establishes a very swift and uncompromising procedural timeline for the entire expulsion hearing process. Therefore, if your child is facing an expulsion hearing and you choose to retain an attorney, it is critical that you do so without delay. My office can be reached 24 hours/day and I return all telephone calls promptly – typically within 2 hours.
I am also happy to schedule an initial telephone or in-person consultation, without charge, to simply discuss your son’s or daughter’s situation and help you determine if it makes sense to fight a school expulsion based upon the particular facts of your case.

Adult Criminal

I represent adults charged with misdemeanors and/or felonies in all types of criminal proceedings from arraignment through trial and sentencing. After law school, I spent five years in the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office and have been in private practice for the past twelve years. During these seventeen years as a criminal defense lawyer, I have handled thousands of adult cases of all types from drunk driving, battery and domestic violence matters to the most serious felony cases charged under California’s Three Strikes Law.

I spend a great deal of time prior to the first court appearance meeting with each client, preparing his/her case and developing a logical, coherent strategy for obtaining the most favorable resolution to the case. I believe in representing each client as I would want to be represented. Accordingly, I devote a maximum amount of attention, energy and resources to each client’s case, whether it is a simple traffic-related misdemeanor or a felony prosecution which could result in a life sentence in prison. I keep in close contact with all of my clients and return all telephone calls promptly. I do not charge for initial consultations and would be happy to discuss your case with you at your convenience.

I handle adult criminal matters in all Bay Area counties and cities, including but not limited to the following: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Jose, San Mateo and Stanford.