Going through the Juvenile System one step at a time

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 Referrals begin with Law Enforcement

When law enforcement responds to a call:

A. They assess the situation: Is there immediate danger to anyone? Does the juvenile have a history in the Juvenile Justice System? Is the crime serious enough to involve outside agencies?

B. Based on the initial assessment, they determine which course of action will be taken.

1. Counsel at the scene or send the juvenile home.
2. Issue a citation and send to Municipal or Justice Court.
3. Prepares report and sends to Juvenile Justice Department.
4. Arrest at the scene and transport to Juvenile Detention.
5. Obtain a Directive to Apprehend then transport to Juvenile Detention once located.

Once a police agency or school official sends a case to the Juvenile Justice Department, the agency closes their case unless further investigation is needed. At this point, the Juvenile Justice Department is who the juvenile's family should contact regarding further action.

Justice of the Peace  & Municipal Court

Law enforcement may issue a citation and require a juvenile to appear before a Justice of the Peace or a Municipal Judge for offenses or crimes that are Class C Misdemeanors.

Class C Misdemeanor crimes include but are not limited to:

Theft of less than $100.00, Criminal Mischief or damaging property valued at less than $100.00 and is not graffiti, assaultive behavior that does not cause serious bodily injury, disorderly conduct, disruption of class, violation of a city curfew, truancy, failure to attend school and minor in possession.

The Justice of the Peace or Municipal Court Judge will assess the referral by looking at the juvenile's history in their court, family involvement, school recommendations and the attitude of the juvenile in court. The judge can dispose of the case in many ways. Below are listed several of the most common:

A. Counsel and release.
B. Issue a fine to the parents as little as $50.00 and as much as $500.00 per day in the case of truancy.
C. Order the juvenile to perform community service.
D. Place on 90 or 180 day probation.
E. Order the juvenile into counseling.
F. Waive jurisdiction and refer to Juvenile Court