When am I an adult?
Under Missouri law when you are considered an adult and when you are considered a minor or juvenile varies with the circumstance. Examples
What happens if I am taken into custody by a law enforcement officer for committing a crime?
It depends upon the classification of the alleged offense and any past referrals you may have had to the Juvenile Office. Law enforcement notifies the juvenile officer who will review the evidence of the offense and any past referrals to the Juvenile Office. Your parents/guardian/or custodian will be notified and it will be determined whether you can safely return to the community in the custody of your parents pending further action by the Juvenile Officer or whether you should be detained.
If I am detained can I post bail to get out of detention?
No, there is no bail in the Missouri juvenile justice system if you are detained. Once you are placed in detention, a hearing will be held within 3 days (excluding Saturdays and Sundays or holidays). The judge will then determine whether you should continue in detention in a locked facility or if you can be released to your parents/guardian/or custodian pending the hearing on the Petition.
What is juvenile detention like?
It is very similar to adult jail. When you are taken to detention, you will be searched for any contraband, showered and de-loused (being rid of any lice whether you may have any or not) and then you will be issued the designated orange detention clothing. You do not even wear your own underwear in detention. Make-up, hair styling products, etc. are not allowed. Your “room” is a cell which contains a concrete bunk with a mattress, small sink and toilet. You will do school work while in detention. Your schedule is set by the detention facility. There is no TV or radio. You may only have contact with your parents, attorney and juvenile officer while in detention.
What are some of the things that can affect how my case will be handled?
• Seriousness of the offense
• Any previous referrals or law violations
• Your attitude
• Your school records - - including grades and behavior
• Any problems at home and the help that your family will give
• The type of friends you have
Can I get into trouble if I am with someone who commits a crime?
Yes, you could be charged with conspiracy to commit the crime.
If I am with a group of friends and we are hanging out at Zona Rosa and they start talking about shoplifting, what can I do so I won’t get into trouble just by being with them?
Some people can be straightforward with their friends and tell them that this is wrong and they can just walk away. But even for many adults this is hard to do. One suggestion is to have a plan before you go out with friends. This could include acting as if you suddenly became sick; or you could have a code word with your parents that you use when you call or text home then your parents can be the “bad guy” and call you to come home immediately.
Peer pressure is hard to deal with but it is you that is responsible for the choices you make.
What is bullying?
Bullying is a form of abuse, harassment, violence and/or manipulation that harms or frightens another youth. Bullying can be in the form of punching, shoving or other physical acts of harm; spreading bad rumors about a person; keeping certain people out of a “group”; teasing others in a mean way; or even through cyber bullying which can include sending mean texts, emails or instant messages through the internet, mobile phones or other technologies.
It can also be in the form of one person doing the bullying or it can be several people.
For additional information on bullying and what you can do the following websites have additional information: