When a minor has to go to juvenile court, it can be hard on any parents. It can be particularly difficult when those parents are no longer married. Parents are in one of the best positions to advocate for their children during a juvenile crimes case. A lawyer can step in and help those parents work together — even when they are no longer married — for the benefit of their child.
The Juvenile Court Process
For many parents, the thought of their child committing a crime can be an awful one to consider. If you find yourself preparing to accompany your child to juvenile court, it’s important to be prepared for the steps that will most likely follow. According to the National Juvenile Justice Network, the process in Ohio may include the following steps.
- Intake is the first step in juvenile court proceedings. It can take place at a juvenile court or a detention facility. When a complaint is filed, it is then the responsibility of the court to issue a summons for the child to appear in court.
- Detention may occur depending on the severity of the crime and the ruling of the judge. If your child is detained, they will most likely be held at a county-run juvenile detention facility.
- Arraignment will either occur while the child is in detention or in court (if they were not detained). This is the opportunity for the child to make a plea or a plea bargain in response to the charges.
- Pretrial may or may not occur, but its purpose is to consider alternative resolution methods.
- An adjudicatory hearing is very similar to a trial. After your child either admits to or denies the charge, the judge will determine whether the child is guilty or not guilty.
Within seven days of the trial, the judge will provide a written decision regarding the next steps for your child. Common sentences may involve probation or transfer to adult court.