If your child is accused of a law violation or status offense, you will be notified via a letter from the Family Court. The letter states the date and time of your meeting with a Family Court officer. The purpose of this meeting is to:
Please be on time for your meeting and make sure you have all the required documents. If you have any questions, contact the Family Court officer whose name and phone number are in the letter.
On the date of your appearance before a judge, an attorney of your choosing may accompany you. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Family Court will refer you to a public defender.
If your child denies committing the law violation or status offense, a trial will take place, then the judge will decide whether your child is responsible for the crime.
In reaching a decision, the judge considers your child's home behavior, school performance, community activities, any previous offenses and other relevant information. If your child is found responsible, the judge will order punitive measures that can include:
When you go to Family Court, be prepared to spend several hours there. If you need more information, call the Family Court officer whose name and telephone number are on the letter.