What You Should Know about Family Law Cases on Juvenile Matters
Juvenile matters involve cases such as child neglect and allegations of child abuse. Meanwhile, the Juvenile Court is the one responsible for handling these juvenile cases.
The Court safeguards the rights of the children and families involved. The records are all confidential and the court hearings are limited to the public.
There are certain things that you should know if your child is involved in any of the juvenile cases. Among them are the following:
- Child Protection Cases
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will file a petition at the juvenile court, which contains allegations that a minor has been abused or neglected by a parent or a caregiver. Then, the Court will hear the matter and decides what will happen to protect the child from any kind of harm.
- Delinquency Cases
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If in case your child is accused of the crime, the following are the things that might happen to your child depending on situations:
- The child who is accused of violation of the federal or state law will be arrested. Meanwhile, the juvenile justice system will provide the accused child with individualized supervision care, accountability, and treatment in a manner that is consistent with public safety during the child’s initial arrest.
- If the case of your child is serious, he might be detained in a juvenile correction facility and then he could be sent to another facility such as group home, foster home or shelter.
- The court intake office assesses the case. It will identify the necessary action to be taken, whether your child should be consulted to the social service agency or brought to juvenile court etc.
- If the case has not been brought to juvenile court, the child will be aided by the school counselors, mental health services or youth service agencies.
- If the case is brought to juvenile court, there would be a petition filed with the court stating that the child is alleged to have violated.
- If the case involves murder or rape, this will be brought to district or county attorney’s office. The minor will be charged as the adult and tried to criminal courts. He could also be sentenced to an adult correctional facility.
- If the child admits to the allegations in the juvenile court, then a treatment program will be ordered.
- If the child denies the allegations, there would be hearing in court. The minor has the right to be represented by counsel during this hearing. The judge will decide whether the minor commits the allegations in the petition or not.
- If the allegations to your child have not been proven in court, then the case will be dismissed.
- If the allegations have been proven, then the child will become a status offender or a delinquent.
- A second juvenile court hearing could identify the disposition of the situation. If the minor is not harmful to people, he could be put on probation. He must follow the rules of the court while on probation. On the other hand, if he is considered as a serious offender, he could be brought to a juvenile correction facility.
- There are also treatment options that your child might get. These include the community treatment, residential treatment, and nonresidential community treatment.
In community treatment, the child makes restitution to the victim by doing community service. Residential treatment focuses on rehabilitation and the child might be taken to a group home or work camp. Meanwhile, in nonresidential community treatment, the child will live at his home, yet given services from mental health clinics and other social service agencies.
- Status Offenses
In this offense, the juvenile is considered to have behavioral problems like nonattendance, possession of alcohol, tobacco or has ran away from home. To resolve this case, the juvenile is referred to community-based programs and services. This could inhibit the child from being involved in any criminal conduct. In Connecticut, these cases are known as Families with Service Needs (FWSN).
If in case your child, who is a minor, has been accused or arrested for a crime or involved in other offenses, it is advisable to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. He will guide and advise you on what is best for your child in the legal process.
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