A petition was filed against a 15 year old boy alleging that he is a juvenile delinquent. A New York Family Lawyer said the petition alleged that the boy committed acts which, were he an adult, would constitute the crime of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment.
The boy appeared in the court and he was released to the custody of his mother. The court also directed the boy to attend an alternative to detention program and that he observe a 6:00 p.m. curfew.
Later, the presentment agency filed an application to remove the boy from the alternatives to detention program because he had been arrested for attempted burglary. He also missed forty days of school and had been suspended from school twice.
A New York Custody Lawyer said the judge ordered and directed that the boy be detained by the city’s department of juvenile justice. The boy was also directed to submit himself to a diagnostic evaluation by the court’s mental health services clinic, and both agencies were requested to prepare written reports for the hearing.
At the hearing, the department of probation reported that the boy, who was then 15 years old, was living along with his mother, an older sister, and an infant brother. The boy’s father is already dead.
At the time of the investigation, the boy was enrolled in the 8th grade. With respect to the underlying crimes, the boy told the probation officer that he admits that he holds the air gun and shoot it out of the window, but he did not know it was loaded. He also admits that he realized that he damaged the complainant’s window and that he made a poor decision, especially when he cut classes from school. He indicated that all of his actions with regards to the air gun were based on his curiosity.
A Queens Family Lawyer said based on records, the boy had three other juvenile arrests which include attempted robbery, criminal trespass and attempted burglary. The three arrests had been referred to the presentment agency for the filing of juvenile delinquency petitions.
A Queens Custody Lawyer said the boy’s mother spoke with the probation officer who conducted the investigation. The mother informed the officer that her son resides with them at their family home. She also stated that the boy shows no behavioral problems at home, he obeys the curfew and he attends school classes. The mother expressed hope that her son would be allowed to return home and remain in the community. The mother also informed the officer that her son associates with age-inappropriate peers, mostly 19 and 20 year old males, and that the boy is mainly guided by negative peer relationships. Sources revealed that some of the boy’s friends are gang involved and involved with fighting in the streets.
Subsequently, the probation report revealed that the boy denied being involved with gang activity or associating with the group who are gang members. He also confirmed his mother’s statement about his behavior at home, and he also indicated that he attended school regularly, with no cuts or truancy problems. However, when the probation officer accessed the boy’s school records, it was discovered that both the boy and his mother were unreliable reporters because the boy was present at about 70 days out of 140 of school days.
The officer also discovered that the boy has an extensive suspension history from school. His suspensions involve falsely activating a fire alarm, possessing any weapon other than a firearm, engaging in physical altercations, insubordination, acts of intimidation, the use of profanity or obscene language, verbally rude or disrespectful, failure to be in his assigned place on school premises, bringing in a cell phone without authorization, and possession of controlled substances.
It was further discovered that the boy, a special education student, has previously been left back and that there was little chance that he would be promoted to the next grade at the end of the current academic year.
The boy told the officer that he did not use alcohol or controlled substances but he admitted using marijuana once or twice a day. He stated that he obtained the marijuana from friends and that he smoked it to relieve stress.
The officer concluded based on the things he discovered that the boy is a high risk for community-based services and it was recommended that the boy be placed away from the community.
A psychologist associated with the mental health services clinic also interviewed both the boy and his mother prior to the hearing. The psychologist stated that the boy suffers from significant developmental delays as well as impaired cognitive functioning. The boy was diagnosed with conduct disorder, mood disorder, provisional attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and borderline intellectual functioning.
Based upon the placement recommendations made by the department of probation and mental health services, the boy was referred for consideration for the community-based alternative to placement program that is under the sponsorship of the city. Consequently, the boy was accepted to the program.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the court pronounces the boy to be a juvenile delinquent based upon the court’s determination that he required supervision and treatment.
In placing the boy on probation, the court directed that he must enroll in and cooperate with the program. The court also required the boy to refrain from using alcohol, controlled substances, and marijuana. The boy must also complete 150 hours of community service, that he obey a curfew of 6:00 p.m. until at least 75 hours of community service have been performed, that he commit no future criminal or delinquent acts nor be arrested for committing such acts, that he attend school regularly with no school suspensions, and that he obey the lawful commands of his parents, including any curfew which they imposed. The conditions were clearly communicated to the boy, to the mother, to the department of probation, and the staff of the program.
Based on records, even if the boy remained under the jurisdiction of the family court during the period of his probation, the court had no occasion to re-examine the boy’s case for a period of approximately nine months.
Consequently, department of probation filed a petition alleging that the boy had violated one or more of the conditions of probation determined by the court.
Even if the department of probation had access to significant evidence that would establish that the boy had committed multiple violations of the conditions of probation, as well as information which strongly suggested that the boy’s mother was unable to control or modify his behavior, notwithstanding the assistance of the professionals at the child center, the department of probation chose to enter into an agreement with the boy rather than seek court intervention.
The program also terminated their services due to the boy’s needs of residential substance abuse treatment and a meeting was held between the therapist and the boy.
As a result, the court then issued a written decision concerning the revocation of the boy’s probation, the failures of his program and the department of probation in managing the boy’s probation. Soon thereafter, the court restored the proceeding to the calendar for post-dispositional hearing, so that further evidence could be introduced concerning the program, the contract service agency, and the interactions between the program, the service provider agency, the boy, and the department of probation.
There are too many social problems arising in the community and it is a challenge for each parent to deal with it. If you want to make sure that your child is in good hands, you can seek help for your child’s sole guardianship. Ask assistance from the Bronx County Family Lawyer or Bronx County Child Custody Attorney and reach them at Stephen Bilkis and Associates office.