Juvenile Division

The Juvenile Division attorneys carry a caseload of both juvenile prosecution cases and child protection cases. On the juvenile prosecution side, the County Attorney's office reviews all cases committed by minors for offenses committed in Washington County. This includes offenses ranging from petty offenses such as curfew violations to serious felony matters including homicide. As part of the case review, the County Attorney's Office decides whether to refer the juvenile offender to a diversion program or prosecute them in juvenile court. The decision to divert the offender is based on specific criteria established by the office.

The Juvenile Division attorneys also represent Washington County Community Services on child protection cases. These cases involved children in Washington County who have been abused and/or neglected. The County Attorney's office provides legal advice and drafts legal documents for Community Services. The goal of these cases is to keep the child safe and ultimately provide services so that family unity can be maintained or reunited. In cases where the child cannot be safely reunited with the parents, the County Attorney's office will file a Termination of Parental Rights Petition that will sever the parent/child relationship and make the child eligible for adoption. The County Attorney's office may also file petition to transfer custody to a relative in appropriate cases where the child cannot be safely returned to the care of a parent.

The County Attorney's Office also has a truancy program where the office partners with Washington County Community Services, schools, and community agencies to address the issues that lead school absences and school failure. The program seeks to provide information and encouragement to students and parents to steer the student back on the path of regular attendance. The program includes an Attendance Intervention Meeting, a diversion program, and when all else fails the student and parent can be referred to Juvenile Court upon the filing of a Truancy Petition.