For Assistance in Allen County Call: 1-877-867-7273 For Assistance in Putnam County Call: 1-877-274-7471
COURT PROCESS FOR JUVENILES
Steps in the Juvenile Justice System
Legal steps for Juvenile Court:
Petition filed in Juvenile Court or Possible Diversion Allows the juvenile to follow special conditions instead of officially filing delinquency charges in juvenile court. If the diversion program is successfully completed, the juvenile has no record of delinquency. Only certain charges qualify for diversion.
Pre-hearing Alleged juvenile offender is informed of charges (at detention hearing if confined) and a plea of admission or denial is entered.
Bind Over Hearing In serious felonies, a bind over hearing may be held to see if the juvenile should be tried as an adult.
Pre-Trial The prosecutor may allow the alleged juvenile offender to admit to reduced or negotiated charges (plea bargaining).
Contested Hearing (Trial) Occurs if no plea agreement is reached. Both sides of the case, defense and prosecution, are presented. Juvenile is found delinquent by the judge (never by a jury), or case is dismissed.
Disposition (Sentencing) Hearing to determine what would most help a youth who is found delinquent. May include restitution for victim losses, restraining order, curfews, community service, probation, house arrest, commitment to treatment/rehabilitation.
What to expect in juvenile court: Juveniles are treated differently than adults when they break the law. The intent of the juvenile justice process is to individually treat (rehabilitate) children and to allow them, at age 18, to have a fresh start from the mistakes of youth.