Juvenile Division Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the Juvenile Division of the Public Defender’s Office represent?

We represent children charged with delinquent offenses, children for whom we are appointed Guardian ad Litem, and children in need of educational advocacy. We do not represent adults on matters involving child support, visitation, custody, paternity, or orders of protection.

How do I get a Public Defender in a delinquency matter?

You must go through the Juvenile Court to qualify for a public defender and the court must appoint us. Once we are appointed your case will be assigned to the attorney who works in the court in which your case will be heard.

How can my juvenile record affect my future?

Even of a delinquent offense occurred before your 18th birthday, you can be under the supervision of Juvenile Court until you turn 19 years old. Colleges and certain employers may ask about or be given access to juvenile records. Also, your juvenile court record can be used against you to increase your punishment if you are ever convicted of a crime in adult court.

How can I get my juvenile record expunged?

Many juvenile adjudications can be expunged. One of our lawyers can file an expungement motion for you in the appropriate court. Contact your previous attorney or our front desk at 862-5740 to start the process.

Can I have a trial on my juvenile court charges?

Yes. Every child charged with any offense has a right to a trial. In Juvenile Court the trial is decided by a Juvenile Court Magistrate rather than a Jury.

What if parents disagree with their child about how to handle a case?

In all delinquency matters attorneys are appointed to represent the child charged with an offense, not the child’s parents. Therefore when the parents and child disagree we must advocate for the child’s position.

I have a hold on my driver’s license from Juvenile Court. What can I do?

If Juvenile Court has issued an Order of Denial to the Department of Safety, a motion to withdraw the order will have to be granted before you will be able to get your driver’s license. Contact our office at 862-5740 and we will see if one of our attorneys can file this motion for you.