Instead of a minor's offense being heard by a Magistrate Court System, Youth Court provides an opportunity for minors who have been cited with their first tobacco or alcohol-related offense to be heard by a judicial proceeding of their own peers.
The current sentencing laws for first-time offenses can be a maximum of a $300 fine and up to six months of detention for tobacco citations and a $1,000 fine and up to one year suspension of your driving privileges for alcohol citations. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges carry even stiffer maximum penalties. Youth Court sentencing guidelines offer offenders the opportunity to serve their sentences by dedicating time to a community service organization, attending drug/alcohol school, and self-esteem courses, as well as writing an essay.
Participation is twofold: Students between the ages of thirteen and eighteen years old are eligible to participate in Youth Court. Offenders who have received their FIRST minor in possession of or consumption of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and/or paraphernalia and wish to plead guilty to the charge, may be offered the opportunity to proceed to sentencing through Youth Court, being prosecuted, defended, and judged by a group of their own student peers. This judicial group is made up of student volunteers who are interested in law-related careers and serving their community. Once an offender completes his or her sentence, the offense is dismissed from their permanent record.
Youth Court convenes one evening a month at your local county courthouse.
If you are interested in Youth Court as an alternative to the Juvenile Justice system and meet Youth Court criteria please contact Barbie Vander Boegh, Third District Youth Court Administrator for further information. If you are interested in being a member of a jury, or perhaps serving in the role of prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff, or clerk, complete the application below and return the form to your teacher or mail it to Barbie Vander Boegh, Third Judicial District Youth Court Administrator at P. O. Box 877, Caldwell, ID 83606-0877 or by phone at (208) 870-4783. Fax (208) 454-9182.
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Student Name ____________________ Telephone No. _____________
School Name ____________________ Grade ______________________