- To arrest a juvenile, the police must have probable cause to believe the
juvenile has committed an offense or have a valid arrest warrant.|
Decision - After placing a juvenile under arrest, the police file a report
with the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The Prosecuting Attorney is a lawyer
who works for the County and represents the community. The Prosecuting
Attorney screens the report for legal sufficiency and decides which offense,
if any, should be charged.
If the case is legally
sufficient and the Prosecuting Attorney determines that charges should be
filed, they may "divert" the case, or file an information with the
- If the prosecutor diverts the case, the juvenile does not go to court.
Instead, the juvenile meets with a diversion worker or with an
"accountability board." The board is a group of people from
the local area. Board members are unpaid volunteers.
The worker or board discuss the
offense with the juvenile and decide on a reasonable consequence. That
consequence is then incorporated into a "Diversion Agreement".
A diversion agreement may
include any of the following: volunteer (unpaid) work; counseling; paying a
fine; and paying "restitution." Restitution is money paid to
the victim for damages they suffered as a result of an offense. It can also be the cost of paying for doctor bills if the juvenile
hurt a person.
The juvenile must agree to the
decision of the worker or board by signing the diversion agreement.
Filing - An information is a legal document, filed with the court,
that names the juvenile and describes the alleged offense.|
and Summons - Subsequent to the filing of an information, a Notice and
Summons is sent to the juvenile and his or her family. This notice sets the
time and day for the juvenile to appear in juvenile court.|
Hearing - If a youth is booked into the juvenile detention center, a
detention hearing will be held on the next judicial day. This usually occurs
within twenty-four hours. At this hearing, a judge decides if continued
detention is necessary.
If released, the judge may set
special release conditions. These conditions may include house arrest or
maintaining attendance at school or work. Restrictions from associating with
alleged co-defendants or victims may also be included.
Hearing - If the juvenile is not in detention, an arraignment is generally
the first court appearance. The juvenile is advised of his or her rights and
asked to either enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
the juvenile pleads guilty, they are admitting that they committed the
offense for which they are charged. The court will then sentence the juvenile
to an appropriate sentence, either at that time, or later, if the court feels
it needs further information.
the juvenile pleads not guilty, the judge will set a future date for a
fact finding hearing.
of Jurisdiction or Remand Hearing - By statute, some offenses require a
juvenile to automatically be remanded to adult court. After a hearing, based
on a juvenile's age, criminal history and the seriousness of the alleged crime,
other juveniles may also be sent to adult court.|
Hearing - A fact-finding hearing or trial is held to allow the Prosecuting
Attorney an opportunity to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the juvenile
in question committed the alleged offense. At a Fact-Finding hearing, the
juvenile is generally represented by a lawyer, who attempts to present the
juvenile's side of the case. The judge then decides if the case has been
proven or not.
the judge decides that the Prosecuting Attorney has not proven the case, the
juvenile is found not guilty.
the judge decides that the case has been proven, the youth will
subsequently be sentenced to appropriate consequences.
Hearing - This is a sentencing hearing. The judge determines the
appropriate consequences for the offense and enters this information on a
Disposition Order. This order may include detention time, a period of time on
community supervision (probation), community service, monetary fines and
assessments and/or restitution. Other case specific conditions may also be
included. In some cases, a disposition order may include state juvenile
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