Hearings In Juvenile Cases

WAIVER HEARING:  A hearing held to determine if the matter should be held in juvenile court or be “waived” to adult jurisdiction.  There must be grounds showing why the juvenile should be handled in adult court. 

INITIAL APPEARANCE:  The Initial Appearance is the first time a juvenile reports to court regarding a delinquency petition.  As this hearing, the judge reads the petition, advises the juvenile of the right to an attorney, and the juvenile either admits or denies the allegation.  

FACT FINDING HEARING:  This could be referred to as a trial.   There are no juries in juvenile cases.   All testimony of witnesses is heard by the judge who makes the decision of guilt or innocence.   If your testimony is needed, you will receive a subpoena and will be required to attend. 

A disposition hearing occurs after a juvenile pleads guilty or is found guilty.   Victims may be present in the court room and have the right to provide an oral or written victim impact statement to the court at this time.