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African-American Youth in The Juvenile Justice System

African-American Youth in The Juvenile Justice System

Next, the County

Next, the County Attorney's staff will review the information, decide whether the evidence supports charges, and, if so, file charges. If there is not enough evidence, the case may be rejected or returned to the officer for additional investigation. Detention In some situations, a juvenile may be taken into custody and detained. The police officer may release the juvenile to the custody of a parent or guardian, place the juvenile in a shelter care facility, or continue the detention. The law requires that a juvenile be released from detention unless certain extreme circumstances exist. Most juveniles in detention must come before the court within 24 to 48 hours for a detention hearing. Most juvenile offenders are not detained. They are summoned to court by a mailed notice. Locations of Hearings The hearings, described on the following page, may take place in different locations. A juvenile offender's arraignment hearing, pre-trial hearing and trial occurs in the county where the crime was committed. The disposition hearing takes place in the county of residence. Arraignment At the arraignment hearing, the juvenile will appear in court and be asked to "admit" or "deny" the offense alleged in the petition. Juveniles are entitled to an attorney and may apply for an attorney to be appointed to represent them. An admission is equivalent to a guilty plea. Upon admission, the juvenile's case goes to disposition, either immediately or in the future. A denial leads to a trial. Pretrial Hearing In some jurisdictions, the judge may order a pretrial hearing to decide issues of law before trial. Citizen witnesses are usually not called to testify at these hearings. The juvenile may admit at this hearing. Trial In most cases, juvenile trials are held before the judge. However, in some instances a juvenile can request a jury trial. A juvenile offender has the same legal protections during trial as an adult charged with a similar crime. The judge or jury will make a determination that the petition is "proven" or "not proven." If the judge finds that the petition has been proven, the case proceeds to a disposition hearing. Page 44 of 114

Disposition Once the juvenile is convicted by a judge or jury (or enters an admission), a disposition hearing is scheduled. The judge has many options, including a warning, restitution, fines, community service, probation, foster care, out-of-home placement, or detention. The disposition will depend on the offense, the juvenile's attitude, the juvenile's criminal history, or the availability of appropriate services. Crime Victims and Juvenile Hearings State laws may prohibit the public from attending juvenile hearings in most cases. However, the court can grant exceptions to this rule: if a person has a direct interest in the case, such as a crime victim; if a person has a direct interest in the work of the court; or if a juvenile is alleged to have committed an offense or has been proven to have committed an offense that is a felony and was at least 16 years old at the time of the offense. a victim has the right to attend the disposition hearing. If you would like to attend a juvenile hearing, you should contact the Victim Assistance Coordinators in the County Attorney's Office for Court information. Medical Expenses? Loss of Property? Counseling Expenses? Out-of-Pocket Expenses? Victims may be eligible for financial assistance from the state if they have suffered economic loss as a result of a violent crime. Victims can request the court to order the juvenile to pay restitution if the juvenile is found to have committed the offense. Victims may be eligible for emergency financial assistance for the replacement of necessary property that was lost, stolen or damaged as a result of a crime, transportation related to the victim's needs and cleanup of a crime scene. Page 45 of 114

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