About the Juvenile Court Process

Law violations involving crimes against persons, weapons or felonies are normally referred to the court services unit. These cases are usually reviewed by the District Attorney, who decides whether a petition of delinquent conduct should be filed. When the District Attorney files a petition, the matter will be set in one of the four courts. Your child may be notified to come to the center to receive a citation for the hearing. If your child is in detention, the court hearing normally will be set within 10 working days following the detention hearing. If your child is not in detention, the hearing normally will be scheduled in approximately two to three weeks. If the District Attorney decides not to file a petition, or if the child is recommended for Deferred Prosecution supervision, the parent will be notified by mail that there will not be a hearing in this matter.

When a child’s case is set for a court hearing, the child must be represented by a lawyer. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide this. If a parent cannot afford to hire an attorney, a request for appointment of a lawyer can be filled out by the parent. A parent should make efforts to retain an attorney, however, before seeking an appointment from the Court.