Juvenile Court Division

A hallmark of the State's Attorney's office is an emphasis on juvenile crime - both prosecution and prevention. If any real change is to occur with crime, it will be with the children of this generation. The State's Attorney's Office believes the best way to divert juveniles from further crime is to hold them accountable for their actions.

The Juvenile Division of the Howard County State's Attorney's Office prosecutes crimes committed by anyone under the age of 18. This Division reviews cases submitted by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, files appropriate charges, prepares cases for trial and post trial proceedings and seeks to collect restitution for victims through the juvenile system. Detention, community service and treatment plans are also sought in appropriate cases.

The Juvenile Division works closely with the Department of Juvenile Services and other social service agencies to ensure that juvenile offenders are receiving proper supervision, treatment and rehabilitation. The division also works in partnership with the Board of Education to address issues of juvenile crime and rehabilitation.

The Division consists of one supervising attorney and two part-time assistant state's attorneys.

Juvenile crime is taken very seriously.  In 2014, for example, the division handled over 1,688 hearings in the juvenile court. Over 507 of those were new petitions for delinquency. The remainder were for detention review, probation violations and advise of rights to counsel hearings. The four crimes most often charged were theft, assault, possession of drugs and malicious destruction of property.

Recent years have also shown that juvenile offenses have become more violent. In response to this disturbing trend, the State's Attorney's Office has sought to have the most violent offenders and offenses and repeat offenders tried and convicted as adults. This is accomplished either by charging certain juveniles directly as adults or by seeking to have the court "waive" juvenile jurisdiction and refer the offender to the adult system.