PLEASE NOTE: Juvenile case information is confidential and no information will be provided over the phone.
In California, as in all states, there is a separate court system for persons under the age of 18, who are known as minors or juveniles. The juvenile court system was established with the belief that children could be successfully rehabilitated through intensive counseling, education and guidance, rather than punishing them in the adult criminal justice system.
What are the types of Juvenile cases heard by the Court?
The juvenile courts have the ability to intervene in three different types of circumstances:
- Delinquents are persons under 18 years of age who have committed an illegal act which, if committed by an adult, would be considered a criminal offense, such as a felony or misdemeanor. (Welfare & Institutions Code §602.)
- Status offenders are minors who have committed offenses which are only illegal due to their age and would not be considered illegal if committed by adults. Examples: truancy, running away from home etc. (Welfare & Institutions Code §601.)
- Dependent children are those who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. (Welfare & Institutions Code §300.) The juvenile court must decide who will be responsible for the care of these children.
Probation is a juvenile justice alternative which assigns a probation officer to a minor. The probation officer supervises the minor to ensure that he/she obeys all laws. If the minor successfully completes the conditions of probation, the case against the minor will be dismissed. If the minor does not successfully complete the conditions of his probation, the officer will request the district attorney’s office to file the petition against the minor and court action will proceed.
- California Courts Juvenile Delinquency Information
- Guide to Juvenile Court
- Juvenile Delinquency FAQs
- Center for Families, Children & the Courts
The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts' Center for Families, Children & the Courts was established to maximize the effectiveness of court services for children and families, implement innovative court-related programs for them, and promote those services in the legal community and to the public. Visit the Center's Web site at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-family.htm
Juvenile dependency and juvenile delinquency offices are located at:
Santa Barbara Juvenile Court
4500 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Santa Maria Juvenile Court
4263 California Boulevard
Santa Maria, CA 93455