Juvenile Division

Juvenile Court is a special Court branch that handles two main types of cases: delinquency cases and dependency cases.

Delinquency cases are cases where a person under the age of 18 is charged with committing a crime. While some violent crimes and traffic crimes may be handled as misdemeanor or felony cases in regular Circuit Court, many cases with juveniles are addressed through the delinquency process. The Deputy District Attorney advises Juvenile Department staff about whether criminal charges are appropriate, and acts similar to a traditional prosecutor to protect the community's safety and prevent the youth from reoffending. This can sometimes mean placing the youth in a juvenile detention or correctional facility, but often involves diversionary programs (such as Juvenile Drug Court) or participation in services while on probation.

Dependency cases are cases where a child's welfare is seriously endangered, and DHS has petitioned the court for temporary legal control of the child. In these cases the Deputy District Attorney works closely with DHS and other stakeholders to advocate for the best interests of the endangered child.

Juvenile Court is located across the street from the courthouse in the Juvenile Department Building at 222 N. 1st Avenue in Hillsboro.