The Citrus County Teen Court Program offers juvenile first-time offenders between the ages of 12 and 17 who have committed misdemeanor or felony offenses the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions.
The Teen Court Program receives referrals from the Office of the State Attorney, Department of Juvenile Justice, the Sheriff's Office; any law enforcement agency that can arrest or issue a Juvenile Civil Citation to a teen.
The benefits of Teen Court are:
- The charges are not filed by the State Attorneys Office following successful completion of the program.
- The juvenile's record may be expunged for a first time offense (some exceptions).
Some types of cases heard in Teen Court include vandalism; drug or alcohol possession, trespassing, interfering with school function, driving with no or suspended license, burglary, battery.
Sanctions imposed by teen juries include community service and jury duty, remedial classes, and essays. Additional sanctions may also include restitution, apology, curfew, anger management classes, no association with codefendants, random drug/alcohol screenings and substance abuse evaluation. Teens must attend school and obey rules both in school and at home. All sanctions given must be completed within 3 months of the court date unless extension for cause is given.
Should a teen decline Teen Court, fail to complete their sanctions or violate the requirements of their Teen Court Contract, his or her case is then referred to the Office of the State Attorney for prosecution.
If you are a teen or adult who is interested in becoming a volunteer in the Teen Court Program, please contact our office at (352)341-6722. The roles of the Teen volunteers in our court include, defense and prosecuting attorneys, clerks and bailiffs. Adult volunteers assist Teen Court in the roles of jury room supervisors and contract writers. Teen Court is held on each Tuesday in the Citrus County Courthouse from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. Teen Court is not open to the public.