If My Child Is Found Guilty At The Juvenile Delinquency Hearing, What Are Potential Consequences For Him Or Her?
There are several different things that a judge can do if a child is found guilty or if they, let’s say, plea to have committed an offense. The least restrictive thing is what’s called an ADC, or adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. Basically, that means that the child is to not commit any further offenses for a certain period, usually six to 12 months, and if the child abides by that, then the case is dismissed and sealed against them. There is a conditional discharge that’s normally 12 months where the child has to abide by certain rules (i.e., obeying curfews, going to school, avoiding being charged with any further offenses). At the end of the 12 months, again, the case would be dismissed, and there’d be no finding against them.
If there is a finding against them that they committed the offense or if there’s a consent to a finding, they could be put on probation for a period of up to 24 months. In that case, they would be assigned a probation officer, in a similar way to what an adult would have. They would have to follow a curfew, attend school regularly, obey the rules of their household, and not commit any further juvenile offenses. If they do all of that, then once the period of probation is over, again, their records are sealed; the case wouldn’t be dismissed because there’s a finding against it, but it would be sealed from any outside person being able to see it.
Now, the most serious thing that can happen if a person is found to have committed an offense or consented to committing an offense is that they could be placed away from their home. Normally, that’s for an initial period of up to 12 months, and that could be in a private facility or in a city- or state-run facility. The juvenile would have to stay in that facility for the period of time unless they were discharged early. They would have to cooperate by doing certain programs or following whatever the requirements of that facility are.
They could be released early, or they could also be extended. If, for example, they’re there for 12 months but haven’t done well on the program or have committed offenses, the facility or the corporation council, which is the City Attorney that prosecutes juvenile delinquency cases, can file a petition for extension. Those extensions could run all the way up to the child’s 18th birthday. Again, that’s the most serious outcome of a juvenile delinquency case.
If My Child Is Involved In A Juvenile Delinquency Case, Will This Impact My Parental Rights? Can I Face Charges Or Punishment As Well?
The juvenile delinquency case itself does not impact your parental rights, and you would not be liable for any charges or punishment. You would, however, be liable for hiring an attorney if you do not meet the financial standards that would assign a free attorney to your child.
Though the juvenile delinquency case itself does not affect your rights as a parent, it is often the case that children who are involved in juvenile delinquency cases come from homes where the parents are not model parents and are involved in neglect cases themselves. There is often a tie-in between neglect cases and juvenile delinquency cases, but the juvenile delinquency case itself does not affect your parental rights.