Orange County Teen Court Program
Orange County Teen Court accepts referrals of first-time offenders ages 11-18 who have admitted guilt to misdemeanor offenses such as assault, affray, underage possession/consumption of drugs, alcohol and or drug paraphernalia, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and larceny/shoplifting. Teen Court will not accept cases involving sexual offenses, firearms, hate crimes, motor vehicle violations, and offenses that have resulted in serious injury. Cases are referred to Teen Court by law enforcement, school resource officers, judges and court counselors. Defendants who refuse to participate in Teen Court are directed back to the referring agency and may be subject to prosecution in traditional juvenile or district court.
The program is voluntary and confidential. Trained student volunteers take on the roles of attorneys, clerks, bailiffs, and jurors. An adult judge presides over court proceedings. As in traditional court, student attorneys present the facts of the case to the court, and the peer jury is responsible for rendering a constructive sentence that benefits the defendant and the community. Most sentences involve serving as a juror in future cases and community service, but can also include apology letters, counseling, mediation, essays, observation of District Court and educational seminars.
Sessions are held 2-3 Mondays a month in Hillsborough at the Historic Orange County courthouse (across from the jail, not in the regular District Courthouse), 106 E. Margaret Lane, upstairs in the Superior Courtroom. Click here for detailed directions to the courthouse. Jurors should arrive between 6:45-7:00 PM; teen attorneys and defendants should arrive by 6:30 PM. Teen Court starts promptly at 7:15 PM.
Click here to learn more about how to become a Teen Court Volunteer!
Click here to view the Teen Court Schedule.
For more information, please contact the program coordinator:
Kate Giduz: email@example.com