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Juvenile Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Your child was most likely taken to Marin County Juvenile Hall at 16 Jeannette Prandi Way in San Rafael. The phone number is (415) 473-6705.

Yes. Your child has a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney for your child, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent him or her.

No, not usually. But please note that if your child has an attorney, the attorney represents your child and not you. To find out more about whether you need an attorney to represent you, please contact:

Legal Self Help Services
Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room C-44
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: (415) 444-7130

Legal Aid of Marin
1401 Los Gamos Drive, Suite 101
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: (415) 492-0230

Marin San Francisco Lawyer's Referral Service
Phone: (415) 989-1616

You and your child will be required to attend all hearings, unless your appearance is specifically waived by your child's attorney. The hearings include:

  • Detention Hearing or Arraignment Hearing: If your child is detained in Juvenile Hall for more than 48 hours, there will be a detention hearing within 72 hours, counting only court business days. The purposes of the detention hearing are for the judicial officer to:
    • Decide whether your child can go home before the next hearing,
    • Appoint an attorney for your child if you cannot afford one, and
    • Read the petition containing the charges against your child into the court record.

If your child was arrested, but was not detained in Juvenile Hall, you will receive notice of an arraignment hearing in the mail.

  • Pre-Trial Hearing: A pre-trial hearing will occur the day before trial to allow the parties in the matter to either resolve the case or to advise the Court that they are ready to proceed to trial.
  • Jurisdiction Hearing: At the jurisdiction hearing, the judicial officer will decide whether or not your child committed the offense.
  • Disposition Hearing: A disposition hearing is similar to a sentencing hearing in adult court. If the judicial officer finds that your child committed the offense, then at the disposition hearing the judicial officer will make orders that you and your child must abide by to resolve your child's delinquency case. Sometimes the disposition hearing is held right after the jurisdiction hearing, on the same day. Otherwise, it is held ten (10) court business days after the jurisdiction hearing.

In addition to the above hearings, you and your child may be required to attend any of the following hearings:

  • Early Resolution Hearing: A court appearance is scheduled to try to resolve the matter prior to trial.
  • Hearings on Motions: There may be court appearances for the Court to hear additional issues that come up before the underlying case is resolved.
  • Fitness Hearing: If your child is at least 14 years old and is charged with committing certain serious crimes, the District Attorney may ask the Juvenile Court to make a decision on whether your child should be tried as an adult. At the fitness hearing, the judicial officer will decide whether your child will be tried in adult court or in juvenile court. (Note: Effective March 2000, a law was enacted giving the District Attorney authority in some instances to directly file complaints in adult court against minors 14 years of age and older who commit certain serious crimes.)
  • Review Hearings: In some cases, the law or the Court may set hearings to review your child's progress and performance under supervision provided by the Probation Department, Juvenile Services Division.
  • Restitution Hearing: If the Court so orders, you and your child may have to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution is money to compensate the victim for losses caused by your child's unlawful conduct. Examples of restitution might include the value of stolen or damaged property, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Juvenile traffic infractions and non-traffic infractions are now being handled just like adult traffic violations. Please wait for the Court to send you a courtesy notice and follow the instructions provided on that notice. If your child's traffic violation was more serious, and was cited as a misdemeanor, Marin County Probation Department, Juvenile Services Division will contact you regarding when you and your child must appear to adjudicate this matter.

Contact the Marin County Probation Department, Juvenile Services Division to get an application to seal a juvenile record. Once the application is received, it can take up to ten months to complete the sealing process.

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