of Juvenile Court
As a general rule, the Juvenile Court has exclusive
jurisdiction in all cases where the person, before
reaching 18 years of age, commits an offense that would
be a felony or misdemeanor for an adult. In such cases,
the juvenile defendant is referred to as a "child."
Proceedings are begun by the Prosecuting Attorney filing
a petition in the Juvenile Court alleging that the child
is a "delinquent child." The offense is defined as a
delinquent act, not a crime.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Even when the person charged is less than 18 years old, the following cases must be filed in adult court: infractions or ordinance violations (for example, speeding). Nevertheless, if the infraction charge relates to certain alcohol offenses, Juvenile Court retains exclusive jurisdiction.
When the child is at least 16 years of age and is
charged with any of the following:
- Criminal Deviate Conduct
- Robbery while armed, or resulting in bodily injury or
serious bodily injury
- Criminal gang activity
- Criminal gang intimidation
- Dealing in a sawed-off shotgun
- Dealing in Cocaine, Narcotics, or Schedule I, II, III,
or IV Controlled Substance
When the child has previously been waived to adult