What If A Juvenile Wants To Reschedule A Hearing?
The prosecutor's office does not have the power
to reschedule a hearing. Only the court can grant a continuance of a hearing.
The court cannot do this until the juvenile's parents or legal guardians make a
formal request as discussed below.
A juvenile who wants or needs to reschedule a
hearing needs to make a formal request to the court and provide a copy of that
request to the prosecutor's office. This request needs to be made in writing and
be in the format required by the Idaho Court Rules. To read the rule setting out
the format requirements, click on this link to
Idaho Criminal Rule
12. The prosecutor's office does not prepare or file a request with the
court on behalf of the juvenile. This is solely the responsibility of the
juvenile's parents or legal guardians.
If a juvenile contacts the prosecutor's office
about continuing a hearing, the prosecutor's office will listen to the reason
the continuance is being requested and give an opinion on whether the
prosecution will object to or agree to continue the hearing to another day. If
the prosecutor states that the prosecution does not object to rescheduling the
hearing, that statement does not guarantee the hearing will be continued and is
not a substitute for making a written request to the court and receiving an
order from the court continuing the hearing.
People often contact the clerk's office to
request to reschedule a hearing. The common practice of the court clerks in this
situation is to refer the people to the prosecutor's office. As indicated above,
the prosecution does not have the authority to continue a hearing. All the
office staff can provide is some direction to the juvenile as to whether the
prosecution will agree to or object to the request to reschedule the hearing.
What If A Juvenile Wants To Discuss The Case Before Their First Court
Appearance Or the Pretrial Conference?
Many parents or legal guardians of juveniles
will contact the prosecutor's office immediately after they receive a notice of
an Admit/Deny Hearing or after their first court appearance to try to discuss
the case with the prosecutor. This is normally done in an attempt to avoid
having to appearing in court.
If the parents or legal guardians wish to speak
the prosecuting attorney about a case before the Admit/Deny Hearing, then they
should make an appointment to meet with the prosecutor. Generally, the
prosecutor does not discuss cases with a juvenile or his/her family after the
Admit/Deny Hearing because the juvenile is usually appointed an attorney and
such discussions would be an ethical violation (see below for more details).
However, in those rare instances when a juvenile is not represented by an
attorney, then a parent or legal guardian must once again make an appointment to
meet with the prosecutor.
What If A Juvenile Wants To Appear At Court Before The Admit/Deny
Juveniles should contact the clerk's office
about their juvenile petition before coming to the courthouse to either admit or
deny the petition. Normally, the court does not allow juveniles to come to court
to enter a plea before their scheduled Admit/Deny Hearing. If extraordinary
circumstances exist, then the clerk will probably check to see if the judge will
allow the juvenile to appear before his/her regularly scheduled court date.
Why Won't The Prosecutor Talk Directly With
A Juvenile, Or His/Her Parents Or Legal
Guardians, Who Is Represeted By An Attorney?
The Idaho Rules of
Professional Conduct prohibit an attorney from discussing a case with a
party who is represented by an attorney. It is an ethical violation which can
result in sanctions, even revocation of the prosecutor's license to practice
law, if the prosecutor discusses the case with a juvenile who he knows to be
represented by an attorney. The juvenile's attorney can give consent for the
prosecution to talk to the juvenile without the defense attorney present. This
occurs in very rare circumstances. The prosecuting attorney will usually decline
to talk to the juvenile in such a situation unless the defense attorney's
consent is in writing.
What If A Juvenile Cannot Get Their Attorney To Discuss The Case With
The parents of legal guardians of a juvenile
will occasionally call the prosecutor's office to discuss the case because they
are not satisfied with the amount or quality of the conversations they are
having with their attorney. As indicated in the previous section, the prosecutor
cannot discuss the case with a juvenile who is represented by counsel.
It is suggested that if the issue is one of the
lawyer not returning phone calls, that the juvenile's adult family member write
a letter to the attorney about what it is the juvenile needs to know. This
provides proof of the contact with the defense attorney and may allow the
attorney to ask a member of their staff to address the concern because the
attorney's schedule prevents them from responding in a timely fashion.
If writing a letter to the attorney does not
work, it is suggested that the juvenile's parents or legal guardian write a
letter to the judge explaining the communication problem with the attorney. They
should not discuss specific items in the case, strategy items, or make any
incriminating remarks. Any statements the juvenile, or his parents or legal
guardians, make to the judge must be disclosed to the prosecution and can by
used against the juvenile during any part of the case.
As a client, a juvenile can also report the
lawyer to the Idaho State Bar if they believe one of the rules of professional
conduct has been violated. This will trigger an investigation into the incident
by the Idaho State Bar's ethics attorney. It is suggested that a juvenile be
assured that the attorney does not have a reasonable and valid explanation for
the lack of communication before making such a referral.
Will A Conviction Affect A Juvenile's
The juvenile court can affect the driving
privileges of a juvenile – regardless of what criminal act he/she was found of
to which he/she has pled guilty. Idaho's criminal statutes can be researched by
clicking on the following link to Idaho Statutes.
What If I Am A Victim Of The Offense?
If you are a victim of an offense you have
certain rights. To learn more about victim-related issues, please review the
victim information provided on this web site by clicking this link to our Victim
Services web page.