This is a special division of the circuit and district court system of Alabama. A circuit or district court judge acts as the juvenile judge. Juvenile Court is for young people under the age of 18 who have been referred for violating the law or who are in need of supervision. A person can be referred to Juvenile Court if a petition is filed alleging the child to be dependant, delinquent, or a “child in need of supervision” (CHINS).
A dependant child is one who:
· Is in immediate danger in his or her current surroundings
· Does not have anyone to take care of him or her
· Is homeless, destitute, or dependant on the public for support
· Is without a parent or guardian for support; or
· Is neglected by his or her parents or guardian.
A delinquent child is one who has committed a crime whether it is a violation, misdemeanor, or felony.
A child in need of supervision (CHINS) is one who:
· Is habitually truant (excessive school absences or tardies)
· Runs away from home;
· Continuously disobeys parents; or
· Violates curfew as set by a governmental agency
The Madison County District Attorney’s Office Juvenile Unit has one full-time prosecutor and a Legal Assistant.