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Questions about Juvenile Court Laws

Dealing with juvenile courts can be a difficult experience for both children and parents. A variety of reasons -- including drug abuse, domestic abuse, and even misunderstandings with agencies like Child Protection Services -- can lead to a case landing in juvenile court. If you have questions regarding juvenile courts, turn to qualified Lawyers on JustAnswer to answer your queries quickly and clearly. A few of the top questions on juvenile courts answered by the Experts are listed below.

What are the similarities and differences between a juvenile court and an adult court?

A juvenile court is similar to an adult court in the sense that its function, set-up, and procedures are essentially the same. However, for the most part juvenile courts take up cases of defendants who are legally minors and focus more on rehabilitation, rather than punishment and deterrence. These courts prefer to label the juvenile’s act as being “delinquent” rather than a ”crime” and focus on seeking ways to rehabilitate them in the best way possible. In some cases, juvenile courts also afford extra rights to the juvenile—a luxury that adult courts do not usually allow for. In addition, they also exercise broader discretion in coming to a decision on how to punish the juvenile, taking his/her age into consideration.

Can a “dismissed” juvenile court case still be taken up by a criminal court?

In some cases, this is possible. For example, there could be an instance where an adult is accused in a juvenile court case and the case is dismissed by the juvenile court because it feels that it doesn’t have jurisdiction over the adult. In such cases, it is possible that the case may be reopened and taken up by the criminal court. However, whether it can or cannot be taken up in a criminal court depends on the individual circumstances in each case. If you need clarity on the specifics of your case, you could ask a Lawyer on JustAnswer to evaluate your case and provide legal insights.

What can I do if Child Protection Services isn’t releasing files to the juvenile court that I have a right to access?

If you have a court order allowing you to access the files, legally you probably can file a contempt motion against Child Protection Services before the juvenile court judge. This is one way of understanding why they are ignoring the order by forcing them to appear in court and explain the situation in person.

How do I drop an appeal case against a juvenile court?

There are usually two ways you could do this. One way is to not do anything at all. When you do not file your appellate brief by the court-ordered deadline, your appeal gets dismissed automatically. The second way is to get in touch with the state court of appeals and inform the clerk of the court that you do not want to go ahead with the appeal. The clerk will give you all the information you need on how to get the appeal dismissed.

Can a juvenile court service unit take photos of clients who are “delinquent” or ”status offenders” for its records, without asking parental permission?

Most courts are turning to electronic methods of record keeping. Placing photographs of juveniles on record, just like fingerprints and other identifying information is common practice. What you could do, however, is check on to how long the records will be maintained and what security measures are in place to protect the confidentiality of the information.

Visiting a juvenile court and fighting a court case can seem quite overwhelming. Hiring an attorney, knowing the best legal steps to take, and understanding how to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to fight the case are extremely important. This is where Lawyers on JustAnswer can help. They can answer any questions you may have on dealing with juvenile court cases in the quickest and most cost-effective manner possible.
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