Introduction to Juvenile Justice

The Santa Clara County Public Defender Office represents juveniles who appear in juvenile justice court, from their first court appearance until the case has been concluded and/or supervision ends. Our role is to defend juveniles against all allegations by evaluating the charges, conducting proper investigation, exploring all possible defenses and vigorously advocating on behalf of the juvenile in court proceedings. Our advocacy extends to ensure that the needs of the juvenile are met through education, guidance, and treatment consistent with their best interest.

You may be visiting this site because you or a loved one is or may be involved with the juvenile justice system in Santa Clara County.  Or perhaps you are interested in learning more about the Santa Clara County juvenile justice system and the Public Defender Office’s role in it.  Regardless of the reason you are visiting our site, we thank you for visiting our site and hope you find the content helpful and informative.

Throughout this site, you will learn how juveniles are treated differently than adults accused of violating criminal law, and how juveniles are treated differently in the juvenile justice system depending on their age.  You can also find information about what happens to juveniles when contacted and cited by police and about the Public Defender Office team members​ who support juveniles involved in the criminal justice system.  The site will also take you through many elements of the court process and potential outcomes in Juvenile Justice Court.  Lastly, you can visit a page of frequently asked questions (FAQs)​ for answers to specific questions you may have.

To find all the information relating to juvenile justice on our site, please visit the following pages:

Juvenile Justice: Kids are Different​

Origination of a Case in the Juvenile Justice System

Case Proceedings in Court

Juvenile Diversion, Dispositions and Conditions

Juvenile Justice Frequently Asked Questions


Juvenile Justice Map - 2017


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