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Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen at the jurisdiction hearing?
  • In many cases, the child will admit all or part of the petition.
  • Your child’s attorney will advise your child as to whether or not to make an admission.
  • If there is a contested hearing, or “trial,” the district attorney will present the case against your child. Then your child’s attorney will present your child’s defense. Based on this evidence, the judge makes a “true finding,” this means that there is enough evidence for the judge to find beyond a reasonable doubt that your child did commit the acts.
  • After a “true finding,” the judge schedules a disposition hearing to decide what the consequences will be.
  • If there is not enough evidence for the judge to find that your child committed the act he or she is accused of, the case will be dismissed. If your child is in custody, he or she will be released.

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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?