juvenile court process
A juvenile attorney will normally advise your child to enter a plea of not guilty. All Rights Reserved. Outcomes that result from negotiations with the prosecutor can be more favorable and less risky than a juvenile trial. The Juvenile Court Process . However, an attorney should carefully advise the juvenile of all their options before a decision about trial is made. The probation department files this petition. Flowchart of the Juvenile Court Process This flowchart is a general explanation of the various stages of a the juvenile court process, beginning from arrest and continuing until expungement. How juvenile cases are handled. Disclaimer, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Kent, Shoreline, Everett, Renton, Tacoma, Federal Way, Sammamish, Issaquah, Case transferred to Diversion (alternative program that prevents a juvenile conviction), Preventing a Decline Hearing (hearing that determines if a juvenile will be tried as an adult), The age of the juvenile defendant (minors who have reached the age of 16 are more likely to be tried as an adult), Restitution (Money paid to the victim for damages). The judge will then make a determination that is based on: Prosecutors in Washington State can elect to keep a juvenile case out of the Juvenile Court System by “diverting” the case to a community board. Click image for PDF The Juvenile Court Case Process The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published material charting the flow of the typical juvenile court case process . A juvenile attorney should be contacted as soon as possible so they can negotiate with the prosecutor before charges are filed. The majority of juvenile cases are resolved before trial. If the defense can successfully argue that probable cause was not established, the case can be dismissed, even if there is strong evidence that the juvenil… If an arrest is made in Washington State, the police will normally turn the case over to the prosecutor’s office. 601 Petition. A victory at trial will result in a complete case dismissal, but a loss will normally result in consequences that are much harsher than what could have been negotiated before trial. In most cases, juvenile court procedures are held before the judge. There are normally several hearings that occur after the arraignment and before the trial date. Instead of filing charges in the WA State Juvenile Court System, a prosecutor can file a motion for a Decline Hearing. Terms of the diversion agreement can include: If the diversion agreement is not signed or if the conditions are not followed, the case would be given to the prosecutor for charges to be filed. The judge will make this determination based on the seriousness of the charges, the juvenile’s criminal history, and whether or not the juvenile is perceived as a safety threat to the community. In a juvenile case, the victim does not bring charges against the accused. The prosecutor will decide if charges should be filed and determine what offense(s) they will seek a conviction for. Adolescence is a critical transition period in human development. Where the juvenile court sits has profound implications for the juvenile process. At this meeting, the juvenile and their parent meet with volunteer members of a community board to form an agreement. In some cases, arrests are made without adequate probable cause. At this hearing, the judge will determine if your child will be released to a parent or kept in detention. Trials (referred to as Adjudication Hearings) must be held within 30 days of the Arraignment Hearing if the juvenile is in detention or within 60 days if the juvenile is not in detention. A juvenile court (or young offender's court) is a tribunal having special authority to pass judgements for crimes that are committed by children or adolescents who have not attained the age of majority.In most modern legal systems, children or teens who commit a crime are treated differently from legal adults that have committed the same offense. A juvenile offender has the same legal protections during trial as an adult charged with a similar crime. If the defendant is in detention, a hearing can be requested to return the juvenile to a parent. If law enforcement does not have a court ordered arrest warrant, they are supposed to have probable cause beforean arrest is made. The defense attorney will present arguments to keep the case in the Juvenile Court system, where the penalties are less severe. It is the judge’s job to decide if the petition is true.There are 2 kinds of petitions: 1. The defense will also attempt to prevent questionable evidence from being used during the trial. These negotiations can sometimes result in the following outcomes: It is less common for Juveniles to be booked into a Juvenile Detention Center immediately after an arrest. This decision is made at the very early stages of the case, before charges are filed. Prosecuting attorneys often times file charges when they shouldn’t or charge juveniles with a more serious charge than would be expected, given the information in the police report. Prosecutors normally allow cases to go to the Diversion Unit when the criminal allegations are less serious and the youth does not already have a juvenile record. At this hearing, the prosecutor will argue that the case should be transferred to adult court, due to the seriousness of the charges. In some cases, arrests are made without adequate probable cause. During these hearings, the defense and prosecutor will have an opportunity to interview witnesses, the alleged victim, and the evidence that will be used if the case proceeds to trial. Why does juvenile court exist? Juvenile court exists to address the unique needs and characteristics of youth. It says that a child ran away, skipped school, broke curfew, or disobeyed his or her parents — things that are only against the law because they are done by children. A petition asks the court to get involved. It says what the state thinks your child did. If law enforcement does not have a court ordered arrest warrant, they are supposed to have probable cause before an arrest is made. A plea of guilty or not guilty is entered at arraignment. As many cases are processed informally, and court decisions are highly individualized, the model "case flow" is rather general; however, the basic procedures described are standard nationwide. The arresting officer will decide if the child should be turned over to a parent or taken to a juvenile detention facility. Any evidence that your attorney has that can weaken the case against your child should be presented to the prosecutor during pre-charge negotiations. Meet Cristine Beckwith, owner & lead attorney for Juvenile Crimes, Copyright © 2020 Beckwith Juvenile Law. If the defense can successfully argue that probable cause was not established, the case can be dismissed, even if there is strong evidence that the juvenile committed the crime. A trial date will then be set. Stearns County Attorney Janelle P. Kendall. There is no finding of guilty or not guilty during this meeting. A crime is considered a wrong against the State, and the people of the State file charges. The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. During adolescence, youth attempt to develop and express an individual identity, and this process of character formation involves heightened risk-taking. The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. If charges are filed, your child will be mailed a Summons or notice to appear at the Arraignment Hearing. If your child is taken to a juvenile jail after they are arrested, they must be given a Detention Hearing before the end of the next court day. The below will explain the age of responsibility by states However, in some instances a juvenile can request a jury trial. Like we said above there are no national uniform age that child would be accountable in the court systemsfor Juveniles. Get Legal Help Understanding the Juvenile Court Procedure Although the juvenile justice system is generally more lenient than the adult criminal justice system a conviction can still have a … The arraignment will be your child’s first hearing, unless they were jailed after the arrest. Juvenile trials in WA State are decided by a Juvenile Court judge and not by a jury. Successful completion of the terms of the diversion agreement will prevent the minor from having a juvenile criminal record.