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Outline of a Juvenile Delinquency proceeding:
A crime is allegedly committed by a juvenile.
A police agency investigates the alleged crime and writes a report.
The report is forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office for review.
If the Prosecutor believes there is sufficient evidence that the crime was committed a Petition will be prepared.
A Petition is a complaint that a Juvenile has committed an offense. The Petition has two functions (1) to allow a Court to determine if a statutory basis for jurisdiction exists, and (2) to provide the Juvenile notice of the charges against him/her.
If the Prosecutor believes there is not sufficient evidence that a crime was committed the matter does not proceed any further.
The Petition is then forwarded to Juvenile Probation Department.
The Juvenile Probation Department will call the parents to schedule an intake with the Director and the Probation Officer assigned to the case to obtain information. Both parents, or guardian, and the Juvenile must attend the intake. At the time of the intake the parents/guardian must bring the following:
Juvenile’s Social Security card;
Juvenile’s birth certificate;
Juvenile’s driver’s license;
Health insurance card
Juvenile’s vaccination history (can obtain from the school, Superintendent’s office or doctor)
The following forms are to be completed at or before the intake:
The Court then appoints an attorney to represent the Juvenile (or the parents can retain an attorney). It is required by law that a Juvenile is represented by an attorney. If the parents retain an attorney, they must notify the Court immediately. The Court will also schedule a Pretrial.
The Juvenile meets with his/her attorney before Court.
A Pretrial is held. At the Pretrial the Juvenile can either enter a plea admitting responsibility to the crime or deny responsibility.
If the Juvenile denies responsibility, a Final Pretrial and/or a trial will be scheduled.
If the Juvenile admits responsibility or is found responsible after a trial, the Court proceeds to disposition. which is similar to sentencing in an adult criminal case. Disposition is where the Judge imposes the appropriate sanctions and/or services, which may include Juvenile detention, community service, Compass Academy, fines/costs/restitution and/or probation. Fines/costs/restitution are due at the time of disposition. A payment plan can be made at that time depending on circumstances. If probation is imposed, the standard terms of probation are as follows: