What Is Teen Court?
Teen court is a court for teens, by teens. It is a voluntary program that provides an opportunity for juvenile offenders to make amends to the community and learn the value and reward of community service, rather than paying a fine. It promotes an interest in those considering entering into law enforcement and/or criminal justice workforce.
This program seeks to deter teens from future illegal activities while offering direct experiences in the judiciary system and understanding of their roles in society. In addition, this benefits local nonprofit organizations from the teens performing community service hours.
Teen court aims to disrupt developing patterns of illegal behavior by using the “hands on” approach to emphasize responsibility and accountability. It is a great reference for college and job applications. Teens are able to earn community service hours and learn what it’s like to be part of the judicial system.
Who Is Eligible?
Youths age 10-17, who are enrolled in an accredited secondary school may request teen court. The defendant must enter a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” to be eligible to have their case heard by our teen court. A teen may only enroll once a year and must have parental consent.
Why Should I Go to Teen Court?
- Your case is dismissed from court
- Community service replaces your fine
- You acquire valuable work experience
- You give back to your community
- You gain exposure to the judicial system
How it Works
- Teen receives citation
- Teen appears in court and pleads “Guilty” or “No
Contest” and requests to be heard in teen court.
- Teen appears in teen court. Your case is prosecuted and defended by teens. A jury of teens determine the
- If the teen completes the sentence the charges are dismissed. If the teen does not complete the appropriate sanctions, the teen is sent back to the original court and a fine iş imposed.
All persons entering the courtroom should be dressed in clothing reasonably befitting the dignity and solemnity of the court proceedings. NO shorts, caps or hats, tank tops, flip flops, t-shirts.
You have 90 days to complete your community service, jury terms, and any other sentencing requirements you receive at your teen court Trial. Failure to complete these requirements within 90 days may result in the case being referred back to the Court Judge, possibly resulting in a conviction with a fine.
To volunteer you must be 14-17 years of age, attending school in good standings, have reliable transportation, and have your parents’ consent. You must be able to commit to one evening per month.
Administer the oath to the jury and witness those who testify; delivers the verdict form to the judge.
Listen to the evidence presented in the case; determine constructive sentence for offenders.
Both prosecution and defense review case facts; defense interviews and prepares defendant. Both prepare opening and closing statements and conduct direct and cross examination.
Teen Court Sentencing Guidelines
*Including, but not limited to the following
Speeding 1-10 mph
Failure to yield
|5-15 Community Service Hours & 1 Jury Term|
Disobey Traffic Control
Failure to Control Speed
Speeding 11-20 mph
Running a Red Light
No Driver’s License
Following too Closely
|10-25 Community Service Hours & 1-2 Jury Terms|
Speeding 21-25 mph
Speeding in School Zone 1-20 mph
Disorderly Conduct (language)
Failure to Stop at Accident
Parking in a Handicap Lane
|15-35 Community Service Hours & 2-3 Jury Terms|
Speeding in School Zone over 20 mph
Speeding over 25 mph
Disorderly Conduct (fighting)
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
20-45 Community Service Hours & 2-3 Jury Terms
-If tobacco related defendant MUST complete a Tobacco class
-If alcohol related please look at the Consequences for Alcohol- Related offenses committed by minors (under 21 years old) chart.