Depending on the jurisdiction (or county, in the instance of juvenile court) where your child is charged, the time frame from the actual incident in question to the first court date may vary.
The larger metro counties are processing a larger number of cases and may take 3 to 4 months to issue your child a court date. Smaller counties may summon your child to court the same month of the incident date.
Once your child has been given their first court date, the time frame is much more predictable. The juvenile court system moves at a fast pace. A typical juvenile case will be resolved within 3-6 months. This means that the outcome in your child's case will be determined within this time frame. There are always exceptions, or course, for instance if you are awaiting the production of evidence, lab tests, etc, or perhaps waiting for the results from a required evaluation or counselor's assessment.
If the resolution is an informal adjustment or dismissal, a mediation session, or probation, the child will have requirements they will need to fulfill by a later date. These requirements may take your child several months to complete, beyond the final court date. If the child is placed on probation, this could last anywhere from 6 months to a few years beyond the final court date, depending on the resolution.
If your child has requirements to fulfill, often the judge will require the child and family to come back to court for periodic compliance hearings. These hearings are fairly straightforward. Sometimes the judge will want to be involved and ask questions, other times, a court administrator will update the judge on your child's progress. Many times, the judge will allow the child's attorney to report to court on their behalf (to minimize the child having to miss school) or contact the court by phone, letter, or email to give a compliance update. Sometimes other service providers, such as counselors will have to submit the letter of compliance to the judge. It is very important that you are clear on how the judge handling your child's case handles these types of hearings so that you can make arrangements to ensure your child's presence when necessary.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.