Children in Indianapolis are still growing mentally and do not always make the best decisions. They may be influenced by the wrong crowd or they may not understand the consequences of their actions.
If your child makes a mistake, it could lead to accusations of illegal activity. If so, your child will face the juvenile court process, which includes attending several types of hearings.
Hearings in the juvenile court process
Your child will go through several hearings as their case moves through the juvenile court system.
First, there are detention hearings. If your child is placed under arrest and is kept at a detention center, they will have a hearing within 48 hours.
At this hearing, a judge will determine whether your child can go home or must remain at the detention center.
Second, there are initial hearings. Your child is informed of the charges against them. Your child then responds to the charges.
Third, there are waiver hearings. These hearings only take place if the prosecution moves the court to move your child’s case to adult court.
Fourth, there are fact-finding hearings. These hearings are similar to a trial.
Witness testimony will be given, and evidence will be presented. After that, the judge will decide whether your child broke the law.
Fifth, there are dispositional hearings. A dispositional hearing will be held if the judge determined at the fact-finding hearing that your child did something illegal.
At this hearing, the judge will determine whether to place your child on probation, live in a secure facility or participate in a treatment program.
Finally, there are review hearings. At review hearings, the judge checks in to assess your child’s progress. Review hearings will occur every six months until your child’s case is closed.
It is important that your child has legal representation at these hearings. These hearings can impact your child’s future for years to come, even after your child turns 18.
Attorneys can explain your child’s rights, help your child understand the court process, advocate for your child and ensure that the process is fair.