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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do as a parent?
All your parental responsibilities continue when your child receives a citation. You may want to contact a lawyer for assistance.

If your child is placed in a group home or committed to a probation camp or the Division of Juvenile Justice, do your best to maintain contact with your child and support the positive activities he or she does there. Understand what is happening in your child’s life so that you can prepare for his or her return. Explore ways of creating a protective and supportive environment for your child’s return to school or work. Develop strategies to hold your child accountable for his or her behavior.

Contact your child’s parole agent or probation officer to ask for referrals to community organizations that can assist you, such as parent groups or counseling. Your school district and local hospital or mental health department may also offer programs.

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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?