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The Juvenile Courts in Pennsylvania have authority over children between the ages of birth and 18 years of age who are in jeopardy because of their circumstances or surroundings such as children who are abandoned, abused, neglected, or with proper parental guidance or supervision, and children who may be incorrigible, runaways from home our truants. This group of children is classified as dependent children.
Children who are between the ages of 10 and 18 years of age and who are charged with committing a misdemeanor or felony offense also come under the authority of the Juvenile Act as delinquent children.
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Generally they are not open to the public, unless the child was 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged conduct and the alleged conduct would be considered a felony if committed by an adult.
It is recommended that people dress as formal as possible for Court.
A juvenile is entitled to representation by legal counsel at all stages of any proceedings and if he or she is without financial resources or otherwise unable to hire counsel, to have the Court provide counsel for him/her.
The portion of a hearing wherein the Judge or Master determines if the juvenile committed the crime or any portion of the crime with which he or she is charged.
View the Summary of Pennsylvania Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist (PDF) for additional information.
After finding that a juvenile is found delinquent on the acts alleged against him/her, the Court determines what form of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation the juvenile is in need of.
An order of the Court which suspends the delinquent proceedings against the juvenile and places the youth under voluntary supervision in his or her home and community, under terms and conditions established by the probation department and agreed to by all parties affected.
An administratively enacted supervision, typically six months in length and usually has the least amount of conditions, but can be extended for three additional months.
If the juvenile shall remain in detention due to their risk to the community or themselves.
Yes, the Court may determine the appropriateness of guardians being responsible for payments.
In order to expunge or destroy records a motion must be initiated, which is to take the form of a proposed Court Order, and then approved by the Court.
Yes. If a child is fifteen years of age or older, and he is charged with a major felony such as rape, robbery, robbery of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, etc., and the crime is committed with the use of a deadly weapon, the person accused of this offense can be charged as an adult.
Yes. Since the Juvenile Court has the authority to limit or eliminate a child’s freedom, children involved with the Court as defendants are entitled to legal counsel at all stages throughout their involvement with the Court.