If DJJ officials decide not to handle your case informally, they may file a petition of delinquency. A petition of delinquency is a formal document filed in court. The petition identifies the offense you are accused of committing, and the evidence that makes police or investigators believe you committed that offense. If the judge agrees that there is probable cause to support the petition, then the judge will begin juvenile delinquency proceedings. Probable cause does not mean the judge thinks you are guilty, but only that, in the judge’s opinion, there is enough evidence to go forward with formal delinquency proceedings. Formal delinquency proceedings have three stages: pre-adjudication, adjudication, and disposition.
At any stage of juvenile delinquency proceedings, the court may issue orders about what you must do or not do. You should read these orders carefully and make sure to ask questions if you do not understand what they require you to do. It is very important to follow court orders because you could be charged with another offense if you violate them. While you are in the community and under these court orders you will be supervised by a juvenile probation officer.