Court Process / Outcomes - Delinquency
The objective of those who process cases through the Family Court is to screen, review, interview, and make legal determination. The Family Court insures that an impartial forum is provided and each person is treated with respect and dignity. The following is the court process:
- Investigation/Charging Process
- A complaint is initiated by law enforcement.
- The prosecutor determines if the person is to be charged and what offense is charged.
- Intake Process
- After a petition is filed by the prosecutor, the court determines how the case will be processed. The Court may proceed either informally (via Diversion) or formally (via formal court docket).
- If the case is placed on the formal docket, detention could occur.
- After a petition has been placed on the formal docket, an attorney will be appointed upon request, if parents qualify financially, or if a parent is the victim or complainant.
- A pretrial conference is scheduled if an attorney is appointed or the charge is denied.
- Cases which are not resolved at pretrial will be set for trial. Cases which are resolved will be set for a plea.
- Adjudication (Plea/Trial)
- This is the phase where the Court makes a formal finding of guilt. This can be done through admission (plea) or by proof (trial).
- If a guilty finding is entered, the case is set for disposition.
- Before disposition, a probation officer conducts a delinquency investigation. Based on this investigation, the probation officer makes dispositional recommendations based on family and community needs assessment.
- A dispositional order is entered by the Court after consideration of recommendations from all parties (including the juvenile and the parents).
- The Court’s authority over the parent and juvenile continues until discharged.
Court Outcomes and Possible Dispositions
Once a juvenile enters into the Family Court system, there are many possible dispositional outcomes that may occur. The Family Court may order any or all of the following (list may not be all inclusive):
- Warn the juvenile
- Temporary wardship (Court Jurisdiction)
- Community Probation
- Community Service (Self-Directed or Supervised)
- Driver’s License sanctions
- Restitution/Apology to Victim
- Court Imposed Curfews
- Counseling/Mental Health Assessments
- Drug Testing
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Foster Care (out of home)
- Detention (out of home)
- In-Home Detention/Tether
- Residential Treatment (out of home)
- Reimbursement for Services
- Reimbursement for Fees and Costs
- Community Justice Surveillance
- Parental Cooperation with all of the above