If my child is placed on probation, how long will it last?

A probation term is a minimum of 1 year with an indefinite maximum term.

When I turn 18, will I automatically be terminated from probation supervision?

Typically, probation will terminate at the age of 18. However, there are circumstances when this does not occur. The following are examples (the listing is not all inclusive):

  • Youth is non-compliant with the terms of probation
  • Youth has absconded from jurisdiction
  • A warrant is issued for the youth
Are my juvenile records automatically sealed after I turn 18?

In 2006, House Bill 137 went into effect regarding Sealing and Expunging Juvenile Files. The sealing of records (ORC 2151.356) – records are divided into three types.

Records that must sealed immediately

  • Juvenile arrested but no complaint filed
  • Juvenile brought before the court but the matter is resolved without the filing of a complaint (unruly or delinquent)
  • Juvenile was charged as a delinquent, unruly or traffic offender and the court dismisses complaint after trial on the merits
  • Juvenile is adjudicated unruly and upon turning 18 and not under jurisdiction of the court for delinquency.

Records that Court shall consider sealing – upon the Court’s own motion or upon juvenile’s application.

  • Juvenile is adjudicated unruly and not under jurisdiction of the court for delinquency
  • Juvenile is adjudicated delinquent and not under jurisdiction of the court
  • Juvenile is adjudicated traffic offender and not under jurisdiction of the court

Records the Court cannot seal: juvenile adjudicated for aggravated murder, murder, rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition

Expungement of Records (ORC 2151.358)

  • Automatic – the Court must expunge all sealed records either 5 years from sealing or at the age of 23, whichever comes first.
  • By application of juvenile – the juvenile may apply for earlier expungement
What is emancipation?

In general, a child is “emancipated” or freed from parental control, care and custody upon reaching the age of 18 or upon graduation from high school, if a child turns 18 in his/her senior year. In Ohio, emancipation can also occur before that time if the child gets married or joins the military service. Ohio law does not provide for such a court order where someone under the age of 18 can go to court and “get emancipated”.

What are a pre-hearing and a preliminary conference?

A pre-trial is a conference between the prosecutor and the respondent (and/or his/her defense attorney) in an attempt to come to an agreement to resolve the case/charge filed against the respondent.

What does adjudication mean?

An adjudication is a decision of the Court (Judge or Magistrate) that a case is proven or dismissed based on the facts presented.

My child is involved in unruly behaviors, what can I do?

Unruly behaviors (status offenses) are acts that are only applicable to those under the age of 18. Examples include: curfew, running away from home, truancy, habitual disobedience (a continual disregard for following rules).

Court involvement should seldom (or never) be the first step when addressing these behaviors. The following are some suggestions: talk with your child, place consistent rules and limits on your child, talk with and use other parents as resources (especially when dealing with teenagers – some of their rebellious / independent / snotty / disrespectful / behavior, although frustrating, is normal for that developing stage), involve your child’s guidance counselor as appropriate, seek counseling or other community resources for your child and/or family as appropriate and if all else fails, contact law enforcement or file a complaint with the Court via the prosecutor’s office.

What is an arrest? How is it conducted? What factors are used in determining who will be arrested?

Youths can be arrested via different avenues:

  • Law enforcement can at the time of the crime, investigation or responding to the incident, make an arrest
  • Warrant: the prosecutor can request and the court can order the issuance of a warrant for arrest
  • Probation department – if a youth is on probation, the probation officer can arrest on site

Factors used to determine an arrest ( listing is not all inclusive):

  • Seriousness of incident/alleged crime
  • Behaviors the youth is exhibiting

Factors used to determine if an arrested youth should be detained in juvenile detention:

  • There is no parent/guardian available for which to release the youth back into their care and custody
  • The youth is likely to abscond
  • The youth is a danger to himself
  • The youth is a danger to others