What is a Disposition Hearing in Juvenile CourtJuvenile Court is a lot different than adult court in many ways.  Juvenile court can serve the same functions as adult court with the exception of the terminology being so different.  This is one of the reasons that obtaining a lawyer who practices Montgomery County Juvenile law is important if the family is to navigate the juvenile system with the least damage done to the child who is is involved in the juvenile system.  In Montgomery County PA there is something called a “disposition hearing” that the young person will at some point going to attend as the culmination of the juvenile nears.  Here is what a Disposition Hearing is and how it works:

If a child is initially found to be delinquent, a disposition hearing is scheduled.  A Disposition Hearing is equivalent to the sentencing phase of a criminal court hearing for adults.  At this hearing, the court hears evidence regarding the type of treatment, supervision and/or rehabilitation that would best suite the needs of the young person.  The factors the court considers when fashioning a disposition for the child are ones that strive to:

  • Provide balanced attention to the protection of the community;
  • Provide the juvenile with accountability of the offenses committed, and;
  • Provide for the development of competencies to enable the child to become a responsible and productive member of the community.

Here are some possible dispositions in juvenile court:

  • Fines;
  • Community service;
  • Restitution;
  • In-home probation;
  • Electronic monitoring;
  • Group home placement;
  • Secure detention

Notice how the penalties get more severe as we go down the list.   A child adjudicated delinquent may also obtain any of the following services:  psychological or psychiatric services; an educational evaluation, individual and/or family counseling, substance abuse treatment, and/or medical care.

When your child has been ensnared in the Montgomery County juvenile system it is important to be aware that the Disposition Hearing is a crucial stage of the juvenile proceeding and one to be taken with the utmost seriousness.   It is equally important that the parent(s) or guardian(s) enlist the services of a Montgomery County Juvenile lawyer to smooth the path towards the best result for the child.

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