The prosecutors in the Juvenile Division of the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office are responsible for handling all juvenile offenders in Allen County, which includes prosecuting both felony and misdemeanor offenses committed by children under the age of 18.
In Ohio, juvenile offenders are categorized as being “unruly”, “delinquent”, or “juvenile traffic offenders.” The term “unruly” refers to children who commit offenses that do not apply to adults, such as being truant from school. The term “delinquent” refers to a child who violates the law in a way that would be a crime if committed by an adult. A “juvenile traffic offender” is a child who violates a traffic law or regulation.
Our juvenile prosecutors assist both police and victims through reviewing complaints against juveniles, authorizing charges and then overseeing all aspects of the prosecution of those cases in the Juvenile Division of the Allen County Court of Common Pleas. Juvenile Court cases are tried before a judge or magistrate, unless the juvenile is being prosecuted as a Serious Youth Offender, in which case a jury trial may be held.
The Juvenile Division of the prosecutor’s office also reviews the most serious offenses committed by juveniles of a certain age in order to determine whether those offenders should be tried as adults. In such cases, the juvenile prosecutors file motions in juvenile court requesting the transfer (or “bind-over”) of the case to adult court, and the prosecutor must then present extensive evidence and legal arguments to the juvenile judge as to why the offender should be prosecuted as an adult. Once a juvenile offender is bound-over to be tried as an adult, the Juvenile Division prosecutors are also responsible for handling the case in Common Pleas Court.
The Juvenile Division is an extremely busy unit of the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, handling over 600 delinquency, unruly, and traffic cases every year.
Misdemeanor complaints against juveniles may be requested by private citizens through the intake process. Intakes are conducted every Tuesday morning from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in our office at 204 N. Main St., Suite 302, Lima, Ohio. This is when the complainant/victim can come into the office and request to file charges. However, a police report must be made before the juvenile division will review a charge. In addition, should the juvenile division elect to file a charge based upon the information obtained during the intake and/or any subsequent investigation of the matter, the complainant will be required to attest to the accuracy of the information contained in the complaint under penalty of perjury.