We handle Juvenile Delinquency, Abuse, and Neglect cases. Every child has the right to an attorney or public defender. The attorney will help the child understand case proceedings, and will work to get the child the result they desire. Please reach out with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
Most children under 18 years old who are arrested or break the law will have their case in juvenile court. They may be there because of a delinquent offense or a status offense. Delinquent offenses include shoplifting, battery, and other crimes that can also be committed by adults. Status offenses are truancy from school, curfew violations, underage drinking, and running away from home. Only children can commit status offenses.
If a child is sent to juvenile court, the judge can decide whether to put the child on probation, close the case, or send the child to Department of Correction. Additionally, the judge may order the child to complete community service, go to counseling, or meet with a mentor.
Detention Hearing. When a child is arrested and kept at a detention center, the child has to see a judge within 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays). During this hearing the judge will decide whether the child has to stay at the detention center or if they can go home. The child should have an attorney at this hearing to express the child's wants and to provide information on the child's caretaker/supervisor if the child is released.
Informal Adjustment/Diversion. This is a program the judge can put a child into that requires the child to stay out of trouble for a certain period of time. The program may require the child to do certain things like community service and other activities that a probation officer will check on. If the child completes the program, he or she will not have to go to court.
Initial Hearing. This is the hearing where the child will be told what charges he or she is being accused of. The child should have an attorney at this hearing to help the child decide how to respond to the charges.
Waiver Hearing. This hearing only happens when the prosecutor asks the judge to take the child’s case out of juvenile court and send it to adult court. The judge will hear information about the child and the case. The judge will use this information to decide which court is best for case to be heard. It is imperative that the child is represented by an attorney at this hearing.
Fact-Finding Hearing. This is a trial where witness testify about what did or did not happen in the case.
Dispositional Hearing. This hearing happens after a judge has decided that a child broke the law. During the hearing, the judge will decide what should happen to the child: probation, treatment, Department of Correction, etc.
Review Hearing. The judge will check to see how the child is doing on probation during this hearing. Review hearings typically happen every 6 months until the child's case is closed.