Questions about Delinquency & Unruly

Henry County Family Court

What does a delinquency charge mean?

A delinquent child is one who commits any act (other than a juvenile traffic offense) that would be a crime under state, municipal or federal law if committed by an adult, or who fails to obey an order of a juvenile court. See Ohio Revised Code 2152.02 (F)


What happens if a minor is found to be delinquent?

The juvenile court has many options, for example, the court may: allow the child to stay at home but place the child on probation; require restitution to the victim (to make up for the damage, loss or injury); send the child to a school, camp, institution or other facility; send the child (for certain offenses) to a ODYS facility; revoke the child’s driver’s license; suspend or revoke the registration of all motor vehicles registered in the child’s name; impose a period of electronically monitored detention; require that the child attend a drug or alcohol abuse program; impose a fine plus court costs; and order appropriate treatment or education for a child who suffers from physical, psychological, developmental or other problems.

What does an unruly charge mean?

A minor child may be deemed an unruly child for a variety of reasons including, waywardness or persistent disobedience, including running away from home; habitual truancy from school; conduct that injures or endangers the minor’s or another’s health or morals; or violating a law that applies only to minors (such as curfew). See Ohio Revised Code 2151.022

When a warrant is issued for my child and I know his/her location, whom do I notify?

A person would notify the local police department or the Sheriffs office of the child’s whereabouts.

How do I obtain court appointed counsel?

The Court can appoint counsel for you if you are indigent and if your issue qualifies for court appointed counsel. The law does not provide appointed attorneys for paternity, custody, visitation, child support, or civil contempt when loss of liberty is not a possibility.

To apply for counsel, you must personally appear at the Juvenile Court and complete a financial disclosure / affidavit of indigency form. The affidavit requires income and expense information for yourself as well as anyone living in your household.

In order to be represented at a hearing, you must make application for counsel at least 3 days prior to your hearing date.

There is a state mandated $25.00, nonrefundable fee to file an application for a court appointed attorney.

What kind of juvenile violent crimes lead directly to adult Court?

Serious crimes such as homicides, robberies, sex offenses and burglaries

What is Unofficial Court?

Only minor violations of the law can be “unofficially considered”. Unofficial means that you will not have a permanent juvenile record. A juvenile has only one opportunity to have a case heard unofficially. It's a one-time chance. You have the right to have an attorney during an unofficial hearing. A case can only be heard unofficially if the person admits the charge.


Official                                                                   Unofficial

Record is kept                                                        No permanent Record

May have multiple hearings                                  Only one hearing permitted

(continuances, pleas, etc)                                                                                         


How can I get my juvenile record sealed or expunged?

 The following is an explanation of the process that you must follow to seal or expunge your record.
1. You may apply to  Juvenile Court for an order to seal your record two years after any order made by the Court has ended. If you have been placed in a juvenile institution or other facility, you may not apply until two years after you have been discharged from such institution or facility and your probation or parole has ended.
2. "Seal a record" means to remove a record from the main file and to secure it in a separate file that contains only sealed records, accessible only to the Juvenile Court.
3. Applying to seal your record doesn't automatically mean that it will be sealed. The Juvenile Court must find that you have been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree. You must prove to the Judge or Magistrate that you have been rehabilitated. If your offense was aggravated murder, murder, rape, sexual battery or gross sexual imposition, your record cannot be sealed.
4. If your record is sealed by the Juvenile Court and someone asks you if you have a record, you may properly reply that no record exists. If asked, the Court will also reply that no record exists.
5. After your record has been sealed, your record will automatically be expunged after a period of five years or when you reach age 23, whichever occurs sooner. You may apply to the Juvenile Court to have your sealed record expunged sooner.
6. How is expunging a record different from sealing a record? Expunging a record means to destroy, delete and erase a record, as appropriate for the record's physical or electronic form or characteristic. This means that the record is permanently irretrievable.
7. You may obtain an application to either seal or expunge your record from the Juvenile Court Clerk's Office at 660 N Perry  Street,  Suite 401 Napoleon, Ohio 43545. That is also the location to file the application after you have finished filling it out.

8. You may wish to read portions of the Ohio Revised Code, § 2151.355, 2151.356, 2151.357 and 2151.358 for further details, available at most libraries and on the internet