The Criminal Courts Process For Juveniles

  1. The grand-jury system does not exist in juvenile court. Instead, law enforcement charges the juvenile offender with a specific charge. The child could be placed in Juvenile Detention Center at that time.
  2. An arraignment hearing is scheduled, at which time the juvenile can admit to the charge or request representation by an attorney. If the juvenile denies the charge or requests representation, a pretrial hearing is scheduled. Sometimes at the pretrial hearing all the parties agree to the charge. If that happens, then the judge orders a pre-sentence investigation and schedules a disposition hearing, which is like sentencing for adults. An offender may have to pay fines, do prison time by being committed to the Department of Youth Services, and/or be placed on probation with required counseling or other required programs as ordered by the judge. An offender may also have to register as a sex offender.
Even if the case does not go to trial, it is important to remember that your child and family may need some help in dealing with the after effects of your experience.