Juvenile Charges in Pennsylvania?

Understanding the Pennsylvania Juvenile Courts

Your child is entitled to be represented by an attorney at every stage of the juvenile justice process. Having an experienced juvenile defense attorney can increase the chance that his or her case will be resolved fairly and end favorably. Knowing that you have a strong and experienced legal advocate on your side  can also put your mind at ease during a stressful time.

I know you are concerned about the long term implications of a juvenile charge, and how that can impact a young person’s criminal record and his or her future.

We can discuss specific details in a free legal consultation. But here is a basic outline of the juvenile court process as it plays out in Pennsylvania.

Also see my page on the juvenile arrest process in Pennsylvania.


Adjudication simply refers to the trial process in juvenile courts. If your child is “adjudicated” this means they have been found guilty of the charges against them.

The adjudicatory hearing is the trial where your child’s guilt will be at question.

Before the hearing

Before the adjudicatory hearing your son or daughter will be subjected to many smaller hearings and meetings. During this time, it would be my job to work with the prosecutor and the probation office to see if some sort of agreement could be met on your child’s fate.

Similar to plea agreements, many juvenile cases are resolved before they ever reach the adjudicatory hearing.

Adjudicatory Hearing

The adjudicatory hearing resembles a criminal trial in many aspects. This is where it will be determined if your child will be classified as a delinquent. As your child’s defense attorney it would be my duty to ensure their rights were protected throughout the hearing and their side of the story was accurately represented.


If your child is adjudicated, the disposition is where the judge will determine the penalty they will face. Depending on your child’s offense, they could potentially serve a period of time in a detention center, if we are talking about a serious criminal charge.

I would do everything in my power to assist your child during this stage, striving to an end where your child can remain in the home and possibly serve probation in lieu of detainment.


There are many variables that can change how your child’s case will move through the Pennsylvania system of Juvenile Courts. In some cases, albeit few, the prosecution could actually move to have your child’s case heard in adult court, with adult charges, and adult penalties.

Given the chance, I would work tirelessly to ensure your child gets another chance. Together, you and I can work with your child’s best interests in mind.

Call me today to discuss the next step in the case against your child.

– The Attorneys of Pennsylvania-Criminal-Defense.com

We defend all criminal charges in Pennsylvania, in juvenile and regular criminal courts.


We represent clients in criminal cases across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Carlisle and Lancaster, and Bucks, Montgomery, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties, as well as all of Western PA, the Pittsburgh, Pa metro area, South Hills, and Century III areas, including Greensburg, Mt Lebanon, Kittanning, Cranberry, Allegheny County, Westmoreland County, Washington County. Call today, no obligation!

(888) 412-3298