What Happens in Juvenile Court?

Juvenile court is very similar to adult court, and works basically the same way. An officer from the Juvenile Justice System (JJC) will be assigned to handle your child’s case; this is usually an actual officer, a prosecutor, or a probation officer. The JJC officer will review the case and decide how it should be handled, which will be based on how severe the crime is, your child’s school history, whether they’ve ever been in trouble before, or if they have any kind of record. After taking all of these into account, there are several things that may happen:

  1. The case may be dismissed
  2. The case may be handled informally
  3. Charges may be filed

Obviously it’s far preferable if your child’s case is either dismissed or handled informally, but this isn’t always possible and – again – this is where an experienced attorney will be invaluable. If your child’s case is handled “informally,” it means that your child will be placed on some kind of probation, which will have differing parameters. Juvenile probation lasts for a specified period of time, usually a year; and sometimes there are additional stipulations placed on the probation. It’s imperative that your child completes the probation period with no violations, because then the matter will be over and there will be no further repercussions. Your attorney will work with you and your child to get the best possible probational results, and to help you protect your child from recurrent or future consequences.

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