Juvenile cases are actions which primarily involve individuals who have not reached their 18th birthday. However, pursuant to Act 94-481, effective April 14, 1994, any person 16 years old or older charged with a capital offense, a Class A felony, a felony which involves the use of a deadly weapon or a felony which has as an element thereof causing of death or serious physical injury or involving the serious physical injury, use of a dangerous instrument against a law enforcement officer, a judicial official, etc., and trafficking in drugs shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of juvenile court. Also, for 16 and 17 years olds charged with traffic offenses, the adult court has jurisdiction, except for DUI offenses which are within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

Juvenile cases may include charges that a child is delinquent, dependent, or in need of supervision. A delinquent child is a one who has committed an offense which, if that child were an adult, would be considered a crime. A dependent child is a one who is orphaned, neglected, or abused and in need of care. A Child in need of supervision (CHINS) is one who committed an act which, if the child was an adult, would not be classified as a crime, but is in need of care or rehabilitation. A child in need of supervision may be habitually truant, disobedient to his parents, or a runaway. A serious juvenile offender is a child adjudicated to be delinquent and the delinquent acts charged in the petition would be similar to an adult committing a Class A felony, a felony resulting in serious physical injury, or a felony involving physical force, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument. A child adjudicated to be a serious juvenile offender must be committed to the Department of Youth Services for a minimum of one year. A multiple needs child is a one coming to the court's attention who is at risk of being placed in a more restrictive environment because of emotional or mental problems, dependency, delinquency, or alcohol or drug dependency and whose needs require the services of two or more state agencies. These children are referred by the court to the county children's services facilitation team for evaluation and recommended service plan. The court may accept or modify the service plan if the court determines it is in the best interest of the child to do so and order the provision of the services.


How a Juvenile Case Begins The Disposition Hearing
The Adjudication Hearing Transfer of Juvenile Cases to the Criminal Courts.
Appeals from Juvenile Court Cases Excepted from Jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court
Special Juvenile Cases Common Questions for Jury of Juvenile Cases