Navigating the court process can be confusing, we try to make it easier by explaining some of the people and processes you will encounter in juvenile criminal court.
OVERVIEW OF THE COURT PROCESS
When a juvenile commits a crime or violation of law, the juvenile will either be arrested and taken to the juvenile detention center or will be sent home with parents along with a promise to appear in court.
Police are not the only ones who can bring charges against a juvenile, a parent, school official, or victim can go to the Court Designated Worker and open a case.
If the child is arrested a detention hearing will be held to determine if the child will stay in the detention center or go home with parents or guardians.
If the charges are brought through the CDW, and the child is not arrested the case will follow the CDW processes and either be sent on to court, handled informally through the CDW, or dropped. Cases that are handled informally do not go to court and are not on the child’s criminal record.
Charges can fall into one of two categories, Status Offenses or Public Offenses. Status offenses are crimes that are a crime because of the age of the person committing the crime. Public Offenses are crimes that would be a crime no matter what the age of the offender.
Kentucky, through Senate Bill 200, has added a FAIR Team who will help find additional resources for the juveniles and their familes. They will work with juveniles prior to court in an attempt to keep cases out of the courtroom and instead handled more informally.
Cases that go to court will generally first have an Arraignment, then Pre-Trial Conferences, Guilty Plea or Adjudication Hearing (Trial), Sentencing, and Review.
Juveniles can also be tried as adults through a Transfer Hearing. If a juvenile is transferred to Circuit Court, that juvenile case will follow the same path as an adult case.
This is a typical case, many cases differ so it is best to consult an attorney about the specifics of a case in which you are involved.
Typical Court Case Flow Chart
Senate Bill 200 is now in effect
CDW puts the juvenile into the diversion program or refers to FAIR Team