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Frequently Asked Questions

If we get a Notice to Appear, what will happen at the meeting with the probation officer? What should I do?
If your child doesn’t already have a lawyer, you may wish to contact the public defender or a private attorney for advice. One of 3 things may happen at the meeting.
  • The probation officer can reprimand your child and then let your child go home without getting the juvenile court involved.
  • The probation officer may offer your child a voluntary program instead of going to court. Each county is different and programs vary, but generally if your son or daughter successfully completes the program (for example, attending special classes or substance abuse counseling, performing community service, cleaning graffiti, or going to a youth or peer court if your county has one), the juvenile court does not need to become involved. If you and your child agree to a voluntary program, the probation department may ask you to sign an informal contract describing what you and your child must do. It can last up to 6 months.
  • The probation officer can refer your child’s case to the district attorney, who will decide whether or not to file a petition.

Show All Answers

1. My child came home after being arrested. What will happen now?
2. My child was arrested and taken into custody. What can the arresting officer do?
3. If we get a Notice to Appear, what will happen at the meeting with the probation officer? What should I do?
4. Do I need a lawyer for myself?
5. Does my child need a lawyer?
6. My child’s probation officer told me that the district attorney will be filing a petition. What does that mean?
7. What will happen if my child is taken to juvenile hall after the arrest?
8. How long could my child have to stay in juvenile hall?
9. Can I visit my child in juvenile hall?
10. What is the role of the probation officer?
11. How will my child and I find out about the court hearings?
12. What hearings will my child go to in juvenile court?
13. What will happen at the jurisdiction hearing?
14. What will happen at the disposition hearing?
15. May I be present at the hearings?
16. May I speak at the hearings?
17. Do we have the right to an interpreter?
18. May the victim attend and speak at the disposition hearing?
19. When can my child be tried as an adult?
20. What felonies are likely to be tried in adult court?
21. Where will my child go if he or she is sent to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)?
22. When would my child go to the Division of Adult Operations instead of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)?
23. Am I financially liable for my child’s acts?
24. Will I be required to pay my child’s fees?
25. Can my child’s juvenile records be sealed?
26. Can my child’s juvenile court record be used against him or her as an adult?
27. What should I do as a parent?