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Truancy & Teen Court

What is Teen Court?

San Juan County Teen Court supports the philosophy of breaking the cycle of behavior leading to criminal activity.

San Juan County Teen Court (which is a program of Desert View Family Counseling) has been serving teens and families in our community since 2008.

Teen Court is a first-time offenders program with alternative sentencing and is run for teens by other teens. The misdemeanor sentencing consists of community service, serving jury duty, mandatory drug & alcohol awareness class, well thought out letters of apology and other educational components such as shoplifting awareness class, Accountability Matters class and No Opportunities Wasted (N.O.W.), and the graffiti clean-up project. All substance cases will have an assessment, drug testing, possible counseling, and classes.

Teens are referred to us by the Juvenile Probation and Parole Office, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland Schools. Once their sentence is completed the charges will be dismissed from their records and will not be public.

There are also teens who volunteer their time to work at Teen Court and they are called Teen Attorneys.

About Teen Court

Teen Court is an alternative court where teens are judged and sentenced by a teen jury. All cases are heard in a court like setting. Teen attorneys prosecute and defend the cases. Teen Court does not determine guilt or innocence but is for sentencing only. A teen must accept complete responsibility for his/her offense(s) to be heard in Teen Court. Teen Court is a way for eligible teens to keep their record clean. If a teen successfully completes his/ her sentence, the charges and fines are dismissed.

By incorporating some of the principals of restorative justice we hope to help repair the harm that has been done. Teen Court gives teens the opportunity to connect and make a difference. Teen Court is voluntary for teens (ages 12-17) charged with shoplifting less than $250 value, possession of marijuana or alcohol, disorderly conduct, truancy, vandalism and other misdemeanors. Teen Court is for misdemeanor offenses which are referred by Juvenile Probation and Parole, District Attorney’s Office and the Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland Schools. Teens can go to teen Court if they have not committed an offense within the past two years. No one can go through Teen Court more than twice.

Ja’Nece Avery

Responsibilities of Teen Defendants

  • Teen must admit to the charges.
  • Teen must appear at the sentencing hearing with his/her parent, guardian, or custodian.
  • Teen must complete his/her sentence within the time frame given (usually 90 days).
  • Teens must follow the court Rules of Conduct.
  • Teen must not commit any other offenses during their association with Teen Court.

New Teen Court Referrals

There are several upcoming dates for Teen Court. You will be sent a summons in the mail for a specific date.
Teen Court is held each month on a Saturday morning. During that time, the rules and expectations are discussed as well as filling out all paperwork pertaining to your case. If you know that you have been referred and have not yet received a summons please contact us. Teen must have parent or guardian with them!

Current Teen Court Clients

Remember to check in weekly! You can do this by calling or texting.
Grade Tracking Forms can either be dropped off or emailed to Jennifer (jennifer@mydesertview.org).
These need to be turned in every week.