Juveniles charged with first-time misdemeanor crimes or status offenses may be eligible for a Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court program which utilizes community resources to address problems. Diversion allows a juvenile to avoid formal court action and address the charge at a diversion hearing.

Families who select to have their child’s case handled through diversion are required to attend a hearing. The juvenile must admit to the offense committed and offer facts and circumstances regarding the incident. The Magistrate will impose sanctions such as community service hours, referral to family counseling, curfew restrictions, restitution, etc.

If the juvenile completes all sanctions without violating any of the conditions, and if the juvenile does not commit another crime or status offense before age 18, the informal diversion record will be destroyed. This allows the juvenile a second chance to have a clean record for employment or higher education opportunities.

Juvenile diversion cases are handled directly through Cuyahoga Juvenile Court.  If the juvenile violates the agreed upon diversion conditions, commits another offense before age 18, or if the family believes the child is innocent of the charge, the diversion case is turned back over to the court. For information on the juvenile diversion program, call Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court at 216-443-8400.