Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Court Process

The Juvenile Justice System is quite different from the Adult Criminal Justice System. The Juvenile Justice System's primary objective is to rehabilitate the juvenile while the Adult Criminal Justice System's objectives are to deter crime and punish the offender.

The following is a brief description of the process that must be followed to prosecute a juvenile accused of committing a delinquent act. If a juvenile is transferred from the juvenile justice system to stand trial as an adult, the case will proceed differently. This section is also described visually in the flowchart on this page.

  1. The Offense (Crime)

When you are the victim or witness of a crime, you should immediately call 911 or the law enforcement agency (Police or Sheriff) which has the responsibility for the area where the crime occurred. The best thing you can do is call the law enforcement agency immediately; the longer you wait, the harder it will be to catch the criminal.

  1. Initial Investigation
  1. Follow-up Investigation
  1. Formal Charging Procedure
  1. First Appearance
  1. Arraignment
  1. After the Arraignment Hearing, but before Adjudication
  1. Transfer to Adult Court
  1. Competency of the Juvenile Respondent
  1. Plea Agreements
  1. Adjudication
  1. Disposition
  1. Probation, Commitment to Juvenile Rehabilitation Authority, Parole
  1. Appeals
Juvenile Offender Procedure