If you are under 18 years old and break the law, you may be charged with a juvenile delinquent act. You may also be charged with a juvenile delinquent act if you are found to be a Child in Need of Supervision (a child who is repeatedly truant from school, a child who repeatedly doesn't follow their parents' reasonable rules, or a child that runs away from home).
If you fit into either of the above categories, your case will be handled by the Department of Juvenile Services and the Juvenile Court System.
If you are arrested and detained at the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center (detention center for kids) an attorney from our office will speak with you before your detention hearing. The law says that you must have an attorney represent you in Juvenile Court, even if you have already decided to admit to the charges.
The Public Defender's Office is appointed to represent every kid. You, or your parents, may hire a private attorney to represent you if you wish. Either way, an attorney will represent you in Juvenile Court. Your attorney will be present and represent you at your detention hearing.
If juvenile charges are filed against you, you will need to meet with your Public Defender again before going to court. You must call us to make an appointment to see your attorney before your court date. The number to call for an appointment is 337-4844. Please call as soon as possible to schedule your appointment. Once you have made an appointment to meet with your attorney, make sure you are on time. We may not be able to meet with you if you are late.
The first part of the appointment will be done with just you and the attorney in the room. This is because when the attorney and client are by themselves an attorney-client privilege exists. This means that whatever you tell the attorney is confidential. During the second part of the interview, your parent or guardian is welcome to be present. At the appointment, your attorney will make sure you understand the charges against you. The attorney will also tell you what your legal rights are and what choices you have. The attorney will give you advice regarding the best way to handle your case.