Offenses that apply to minors only, such as curfew violations
Failure to comply with school attendance requirements
Repeat and continuous misbehavior
Services to foster accountability, address needs, and encourage positive involvement
Youth under the age of 18 alleged to have broken the law are respondents in Juvenile Delinquency cases. Juvenile respondents, are considered innocent until proven “responsible” by a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Youth have the right to have a jury trial on all of the charges before the court.
The court’s role is to support the current and future safety of the community by providing services to support the success of youth and their families in avoiding future system involvement. The court works to provide the most effective services, at the lowest cost to the community and to families, and in a way that keeps youth in their homes, schools, and the community whenever possible.
Families may retain an attorney at any point in the process. To obtain a Court Appointed Attorney, you must complete a Request for Appointment of Attorney and a Financial Statement and return the signed originals to Juvenile Court. You will receive a copy of the Order Appointing an Attorney. You will be responsible for this attorney’s fees.
- Continued Preliminary Inquiry: Continue to gather information and discuss the case to decide on the appropriate course of action.
- Preliminary Hearing or Pre-Trial: At either of these types of hearings, the court will decide whether to “authorize” the petition (make a finding that there is probable cause to believe that the allegations are true) and one of three things happens:
- The juvenile will admit responsibility to the original allegations,
- A plea agreement is reached, OR
- The case moves to the next step, which is Trial
- Trial: The Juvenile has a right to a bench trial before the Referee or the Judge, or a Jury Trial before the Judge.
Livingston County has a team of dedicated and experienced Juvenile Probation Officers who get involved in the case as early as appropriate to get to know the youth/family, assess for strengths and needs, gather information from other sources such as school and service providers, and make a recommendation to the court.
At a Disposition Hearing, the court issues orders that must be followed. These orders generally include that the youth must meet regularly with the Probation Officer, and must participate in certain services or experiences that are designed to address the specific issues identified in the assessment. In some cases, parents are also ordered to participate in services.