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Juvenile Court Trial Division

The State Attorney’s Office Juvenile Division is responsible for the prosecution of all juvenile felony and misdemeanor offenses, excluding misdemeanor traffic offenses, for the Fifteen Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County).

The division makes all juvenile intake and filing decisions, including diversion, direct files to adult court and grand jury presentations.  The division reviews approximately 600 cases per month for filing.  Each trial prosecutor carries a caseload of approximately 225 to 250 cases at any given time.

The majority of the Juvenile Division prosecutors have substantial trial experience.  One prosecutor, who is assigned to the Juvenile Division, is on call 24 hours per day to respond to questions regarding juvenile law from police and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) employees.

All juvenile trials are non-jury trials.  The cases are heard in front of a judge only. 

When the police take a juvenile into custody for committing a crime, the police can either release the youth to the parents or release the youth to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) where the detention process is initiated.  The JAC is run by the DJJ. 

The JAC is located at 3400 Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, just west of Congress Avenue.  The facility houses a screening and detainment area, a substance abuse assessment unit, and offices for Juvenile Justice  agencies such as the School District Police Department’s Youth Court programs, the DJJ, Intensive Delinquency Diversion Services (IDDS), Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office J.A.M. Unit and Juvenile First Offender Program and the State Attorney.  There is one prosecutor assigned to the JAC who works with police and the DJJ on cases.

If parents have children who are truant, runaways or are just having difficulty with their kids, there are programs that can help.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

Children’s Home Society:
561-868-4448

Urban League of Palm Beach County:
561-833-1461

Palm Beach County offers family, individual and group counseling through its Youth Services Bureau. The service is free to all Palm Beach County residents.

North County:
561-625-2520

Central County:
561-712-6640

West County (Belle Glade):
561-992-1233

South County:
561-276-1340