Juvenile 101 

Juvenile Terminology


Detention Hearing: The first court appearance for a youth who has been arrested and detained at a Juvenile Detention and Assessment Center.  The purpose of the hearing is for the court to decide whether or not the youth is to remain in custody.

Detention Rehearing: When a minor appears before the court following his/her detention for a new crime or probation violation. 

Jurisdictional Hearing: Also known as a prehearing.  The first court appearance for a youth who is not detained.  The juvenile court makes a determination that a youth comes under its jurisdiction based on age, legal residence and the alleged offense.  

Pre-Trial Hearing: A hearing which is scheduled for the District Attorney (DA) and defense counsel to attempt to negotiate a plea.

Dispositional Hearing: Prior to disposition, the probation officer conducts an investigation and then submits a dispositional report to the court. The report includes circumstances of the offense, the youth’s statement, school information, family information and and a recommendation to the Court. The Dispositional Hearing is the proceeding used to consider the dispositional report, recommendation and to impose court sanctions. 

Review Hearing: A hearing to review a youth’s progress or status under probation supervision.  

W&I 707 or Fitness Hearing: A hearing where suitability for juvenile court is determined.  Under certain circumstances, when charged with a serious or violent crime, a youth 14 years of age or older can be found unfit for juvenile court and may be tried in adult court.  

Harvey Waiver: When allegations are dismissed but subject to discussion in the dispositional report. 

Dismissed with Prejudice: Charges contained in a Juvenile Court petition that are dismissed and but cannot be re-filed.

Ward of the Court: Any person who is under the age of 18 when he or she violated a criminal law, and receives a grant of formal probation. 

Willie T. Waiver: In a Willie T. Waiver, the Court orders a youth into placement and then stays that order, allowing the youth the opportunity to remain in the community with terms and conditions of probation for a period of 60-90 days.  The youth waives the right to contest the placement order if the stay is lifted and the placement order is imposed.

Adjudicated: In Juvenile Court, youth are not convicted of a crime, they are adjudicated. 

Maximum confinement: The maximum term of physical confinement set by the court for the offense or offenses the youth is charged with.

Placement: When a ward of the court is removed from the home and ordered to reside in a rehabilitative program. 


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