Delinquency cases begin by a person filing a complaint with the court alleging that the child has committed a delinquent act. The child may or may not be placed in the Youth Detention Center. The Juvenile Court intake officer will investigate the case and determine whether it is in the child's interest to file a formal petition. The officer may decide to divert the case or dismiss it. If a petition is filed, it will be given to the child and parent, and the case will be scheduled for an arraignment hearing at which the child and the child's parent or guardian will be advised of the child's rights by a judge.
The child may then be asked whether the child admits or denies the petition (unless the child elects to remain silent). If the child denies the petition or if the child remains silent, the case will be scheduled for a trial at a later date. If the child admits the petition, the court may dispose of the case at that time or may refer the child to the intake / disposition officer and schedule the matter for disposition at a later time. All delinquency petitions are prosecuted by the district attorney of Athens-Clarke County.
For more information on this process, contact the Juvenile Court at 706-613-3300.