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Questions and answers regarding Alabama’s juvenile courts

All of the courts in Alabama have special divisions that are known as juvenile courts. Generally speaking, these courts deal with people under the age of 18 who have been accused of things that are crimes if adults do them. Here are a few common questions and answers that everyone in Alabama should know when sent to juvenile court in order to fully understand their rights.

1. Will alleged offenders be released to their parents?

In a lot of cases, those who have been arrested or accused will simply be released to their parents while awaiting trial. However, this is at the discretion of the intake officer, and some situations do not allow it.

2. Do parents have to pay the fees?

In some cases, parents may be told that they need to cover any applicable court fees. Again, this doesn’t happen in every case, but it is a legal possibility.

3. When will the hearing be?

The first hearing has to be take place within three days, or 72 hours. This initial hearing gives the judge a chance to decide if a child who has been accused of a crime can be sent back to his or her parents or if he or she should remain in juvenile custody.

4. Can children be tried as adults?

They can. A petition has to be created to ask for the child to be moved to adult court, and it is not always granted. Only minors 14 and older can be considered, and this just happens in cases where adults in the same situation would be given felony charges—such as in a murder case.

Source: alacourt.gov, “COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT JUVENILE COURTS,” accessed Nov. 06, 2015

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