Q: My 17 year old son has a juvenile intake conference for something that they say he did almost ten months ago, What will happen?
A: It depends on the county, so I will assume you are in Allegheny. An intake conference is a juvenile’s first appearance in Juvenile Court and usually means that a petition for juvenile delinquency in juvenile court has been filed. At the conference, you will meet the Probation Officer if you haven’t yet and your son will be given his charges (the delinquency petition), be assigned to a judge and given his next court date. More importantly, the Probation Officer’s recommendation is explained. If this is a minor offense and your son has no juvenile court history, the recommendation could be something as simple as counseling. If it is a more serious offense, the recommendation may be to have the case proceed to the judge. The best offer would be for a consent decree, which is basically a dismissal once the child completes certain requirements, like counseling or community service. The next step would be standard probation. The next step after that would be house arrest or a juvenile detention center. To get this type of sentence, the child would have to have a significant history and/or this is a serious offense such as sexual assault, burglary, aggravated assault, etc.