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Juvenile Defense Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada

If your child has been accused of a crime or delinquent act in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas in Clark County, Nevada, then call an attorney at Gallo Law Office. Attorney James C. Gallo is experienced in representing children facing charges in juvenile court. If your child is being detained at the Clark County Juvenile Hall, then call for a free consultation to discuss the case and possible ways to resolve the case for the best result.

Even after your child is released from custody, you must determine the best schooling and counseling options available to help resolve the case for the best terms. Protecting the child from a criminal record that will follow the child into adulthood is the primary concern.

Anyone under the age of 18 accused of violating a criminal statute can be charged with a delinquent act in juvenile court. If an adult committed the same act, it can be charged as a criminal offense which can be prosecuted in adult court. In some cases, a juvenile can be charged in adult court after a hearing.

In Nevada, this is known as a "certification hearing." The importance of keeping the juvenile out of Adult Court cannot be overstated. Moving the case to adult court is more likely if the charges are particularly serious, if the child is almost 18, or if the child has prior referrals or adjudicated referrals within the juvenile justice system.


Resolutions in Juvenile Court in Clark County

Although some of these cases involve children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents or guardians, other cases involving a one-time mistake by a child who comes from a loving and supportive home. When parents have the time and resources to help the child and make sure the behavior doesn’t happen again, the programs offered in juvenile court are often counter-productive.

Many parents understand this problem and do not want their child grouped with troubled children with more serious behavioral problems. Many parents fear that the punishments and treatments offered in juvenile court will simply make the problems worse for their child.

Any criminal allegation of delinquent conduct can cause your child to face serious penalties and punishments. Call James C. Gallo, an experienced juvenile defense attorney with offices in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada. He represents children and young adults throughout Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, NV.


Differences in the Juvenile Justice System in Clark County

The goal in many of these cases is getting the case closed without any formal action taken by the department or the court. Other cases are resulted with informal supervision by the DJJS for a short period of time during which the child typically completes counseling and community service. Court intervention can include further detention or probation.

Most of the rules and procedures in Nevada’s Juvenile Justice System are different from the adult system. For instance, a child in juvenile court does not have a right to a jury trial. Instead, the trial is in front of a judge. The most striking difference is that juveniles are not entitled to bail and often remain in custody in juvenile detention until they appear in front of a “Hearing Master.” For serious charges, the child might be detained in the Clark County Juvenile Hall until the trial or plea resolving the case.


Nevada's Juvenile Justice Statistics

In 2013, statistic compiled by Clark County Juvenile Justice Services show that the most common offenses prosecuted in juvenile court included: battery, habitual truancy, petty larceny (including shoplifting); possession of marijuana, curfew, violation of probation, burglary, possession or consumption of alcohol, violation of judicial orders, and trespass.

Juvenile crimes are often centered around unsophisticated activities that can include:

  • crimes against health and safety such as possession of alcohol or tobacco and possession of a weapon or firearm;
  • crimes for drugs and controlled substances such as possession of marijuana;
  • crimes against a person such as domestic violence, assault, and battery; or
  • crimes against property such as theft, larceny, shoplifting, receiving stolen goods, malicious mischief crimes, trespass, and embezzlement; or
  • sexually motivated crimes including molesting a younger child or lewd conduct.

Types of Referrals to the Department of Juvenile Justice Services

Many of the referrals to the department involve citations. The citation is issued by a law enforcement officer instructing the child to appear for an intake appointment at the DJJS. The office can also present the youth to the department to be booked and evaluated for further detention or a release back to the parent or guardian. A field booking is where the child is charged without being brought in for formal booking.

Other referrals result from a Writ of Attachment which is generated by the court and requires the juvenile to appear in court. Juveniles can also be referred to the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services through the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICOJ) which is the transfer of a child being supervised on probation from one state to another.


Chapter 8.40.10 of the North Las Vegas Police Department Manual, last revised in January of 2011, sets out the requirements for taking juveniles into custody. When applied to these provisions for taking juveniles into custody, the term “taking into custody” encompasses the concept of protective custody for juveniles.

The manual provides that it is the policy of the North Las Vegas Police Department when taking a juvenile into custody, that the following provisions be included:

  • Determine whether the juvenile is alleged to have engaged in noncriminal misbehavior (a status offense is defined as an act or conduct declared by statute to be an offense only when committed or engaged in by a juvenile, and adjudicated only by a juvenile court); 
  • Determine whether the juvenile is alleged to have been harmed or to be in danger;
  • Ensure that the constitutional rights of the juvenile are protected;
  • Bring the juvenile to the intake facility or the juvenile component without delay (unless the juvenile is in need of emergency medical treatment);
  • Ask the Intake Facility to notify parents or guardians of the juvenile having been taken into custody, when such notification is appropriate and will not impede the progress of the investigation.

Additional Resources

Juvenile Courts in Clark County - Visit the website for the Eighth Judicial District Court to learn move about juvenile court and delinquent acts. Find information on the definition of “status offenders” (or “children in need of supervision”) who commit unlawful acts related to their age such as truancy, incorrigibility and being a runaway. Also find information about charging a juvenile between the age of 16 and 18 in adult court for a felony or gross misdemeanor.  

Juvenile Division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office - Visit the website for the District Attorney’s Office in Clark County to learn more about the juvenile division. The goals of the division are to reduce juvenile crime, child abuse, and neglect.

Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services - Visit the Clark County website to find out more about the Department of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS). The department performs the functions of probation and detention in the juvenile justice system for children 18 years and younger involved in delinquent acts that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult. The Clark County Detention Center is a 192-bed facility located at the DJJS campus which provides temporarily housing to male and female youth with pending court hearings or correctional placements.


Finding a Juvenile Defense Attorney in Clark County, Nevada

If your child has been arrested for a crime or charged with a delinquent act then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Gallo Law Office. We listen carefully to help you decide the best course of action to help your child. We can visit your child at the Clark County Juvenile Hall and help find a way to gain their release. If the child is already home, we work with the child and his or her parents to find a private counseling program that is better than those programs offered by the State.

The goal of juvenile court proceedings is to rehabilitate the child and protect the community. As a result, more of an emphasis is placed on treatment and education. Juvenile courts have programs that group troubled children together. Many parents have the resources to help their child address a behavioral problem through private counseling rather than group counseling. Many of the programs offered by the state are just not acceptable to the well-informed parent.

We work with you to get to the root of the problem so that court’s intervention becomes unnecessary. Call Attorney James C. Gallo to discuss your child’s case today for any juvenile court case in Las Vegas, Henderson or North Las Vegas, Clark County. NV. We offer a free consultation and are here to help with your situation. Our staff is ready to answer your call when you call (702) 385-3131 now.


This article was last updated on Friday, February 26, 2016.