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State law defines a juvenile child as a person younger than 17. When the defendant turns 17, the law regards him/her as an adult in reference to criminal charges.

Juvenile defendants are required to appear in person before the judge. Both the juveniles and their parent/legal guardian must be present at all court proceedings. The juvenile will have an opportunity to explain the charges and to receive the options provided by law.  A juvenile must enter a plea before the judge.

If a juvenile receives a citation or is charged with an offense other than traffic, the court will notify the juvenile and parent/legal guardian of all court proceedings.

The child and parent have an obligation to provide the court in writing with a current address and residence of the child. The obligation does not end when the child reaches age 17. On or before the seventh day after the date the child or parent changes residence, the child or parent shall notify the court of the current address. Failing to provide notice may result in arrest and is a Class “C” misdemeanor. The obligation to provide notice terminates on discharge and satisfaction of the judgment or final disposition not requiring a finding of guilt.

If a juvenile or parent/legal guardian has any questions regarding charges other than traffic, call 325-657-4363.