Q.  What can I do if my child is out of control?
A.    If your child has become destructive or is a danger to himself/herself or others at the moment, you should call your local police department for assistance.  If the reference is to being out of control in general, you can seek assistance from community resources such as Community Mental Heal, Highfields community programs or individual counselors.

Q.  If I suspect that my child is using illegal drugs what can I do to get them tested? 
A.    Home test kits are available at local drug stores.  Some physicians will assist in sending urine samples for testing.  Some testing facilities allow for patron paid testing, but this may be a more expensive option.

Q.  Am I responsible for my child after they turn 17 years old?
A.    Parenting responsibilities continue until a child turns 18.  If a person commits a crime at the age of 17, he/she will be charged criminally as an adult.  Parents are still responsible for costs after the child turns 17 if the crime was committed before the age of 17.

Q.  My child received a notice of hearing for a preliminary hearing, what can we expect?
A.    You must attend the hearing.  You and your child will be advised of the criminal charge, rights, and procedures that the Court will follow.  Some cases are handled informally, which means that if it is a first offense and not serious, after completing certain, requirements, the case would be dismissed without a public record.  Other more serious cases will be handled formally, which means that further hearings will be scheduled with a judge or attorney referee.  Also, for the more serious cases, the person holding the hearing will decide if the child should remain in the Youth Center or be released on certain conditions.

Q.  What if I can't afford an attorney?
A.    After filling out a financial statement, an attorney would be appointed to represent the juvenile if certain financial criteria are met.

Q.  How do I get a court appointed attorney?
A.    You would need to sign a form requesting a court appointed attorney and fill out a financial form.

Q.  If I am required to pay, but am unable to pay it all at once, can I make payments?
A.    Yes.

Q.  Can I pay with a credit card?
A.    Yes.

Q.  Where do I report child abuse or neglect?
A.    For Ingham County residents contact the Department of Human Services, Protective Services, Protective Services at (855) 444-3911 (Toll Free Number). 

Q.  How can a juvenile record effect a person after they become an adult?
A.    There are several ways it effects an adult:  
  • Certain juvenile crimes can be considered when sentencing as an adult on a crime.
  • Military entrance can be effected by certain juvenile crimes.
  • Juvenile's convicted of sexual crimes and placed on the registry could remain on the registry into adulthood.
  • Juvenile crimes which result in notification being sent to the Secretary of State (generally drug related crimes) can result in fees when an adult seeks to obtain a license.
  • Young parents who become involved with Child Protective proceedings may have their juvenile records examined and considered.