Offenses Eligible for Teen Court:
- CRIMINAL MISCHIEF
- DISORDERLY CONDUCT
- PETTY THEFT
- THROWING MISSILES
- OTHER YOUTH OFFENSES
Sentences are constructed by the magistrate panel or jury to fit the specific defendant and his/her offense; sentences may include the following:
ALL defendants will receive between 12-60 hours of community service, which must be completed at a non-profit organization.
Magistrate Panels and Juries can also sentence defendants to attend a one-day class related to his/her offense, such as Anger Management, Discovery, Petty Theft Prevention, Female Offender, or Substance Abuse Education.
The defendant may also be required to write letters of apology or provide an oral apology to the victim.
Repayment for damaged or broken items, or for items in a store that cannot be resold may be ordered. In-kind restitution (fixing damage) is also a possibility.
The Eligibility Process:
The Coordinator mails a letter of eligibility to the defendant and his/her parent(s). If the defendant does not receive a letter, parents can request that a case be reviewed for eligibility.
When a defendant chooses Teen Court, they will enter a guilty plea with a deferred judgment and pay a $80.00 fee.
The Coordinator then sets the hearing date on a Wednesday night, approximately two weeks after arraignment, and the case is given to the magistrate panel or teen attorneys.
If the case is set for a sentencing hearing with attorneys:
The teen attorneys prepare the case. The defense attorney will work with the defendant to prepare their case.
The teen attorneys present the case to a teen jury.
After hearing the evidence, the teen jury will deliberate and create a fair and constructive sentence for the defendant.
If the case is set to be heard before a magistrate panel:
The defendant and parent(s) will appear before the panel and answer questions about the incident, harm caused, community involvement, etc.
The magistrate panel will decide on a fair and constructive sentence for the defendant.
The charge will be dismissed, providing the defendant is not found guilty of any criminal convictions for the 6-month probaton period and completes the sentence as imposed by the deciding body.