Will my child have to go to court for a juvenile crime charge?

A juvenile criminal case can be handled in one of three ways:

  • First, a juvenile may be referred to an Intake Services Conference conducted by staff or a Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) made up of citizen volunteers who work with all the parties involved to recommend a disposition of the case for the court’s approval.
  • Alternatively, a juvenile may be referred to a hearing before a referee, who will conduct a fact-finding hearing and recommend a disposition for the court’s approval.
  • Finally, a juvenile may go before a judge in a formal court hearing.

The process that will be used in a juvenile’s case will depend on the severity of the charge, the age of the juvenile, the juvenile’s prior record (if any), and the willingness of the juvenile’s family and the alleged victim(s) to cooperate on a resolution of the case.