The Juvenile Division of the Buffalo County Attorney’s Office is responsible for enforcement of Nebraska’s Juvenile Code as it applies to the juveniles in Buffalo County. The Juvenile Division handles many types of juvenile cases, including: abuse/neglect petitions; dependency petitions; delinquency petitions for juveniles who have broken the criminal law; and status petitions for juveniles who are uncontrollable at home or in school. After reviewing the circumstances of each case, the county attorney determines what charges to file and whether to file them in juvenile court, or treat them as an adult, or offer juvenile pretrial diversion.
In making this decision, the county attorney considers statutorily enumerated factors such as: (1) the type of treatment most likely to be effective for the juvenile and the availability of facilities to provide that treatment, (2) the presence of violence, (3) the motivation for the offense, (4) the age of the juvenile, (5) the juvenile’s history, (6) the sophistication and maturity of the juvenile, (7) whether the best interest of the child and public safety require the juvenile be held in detention beyond the age of majority, (8) whether the victim is willing to participate in mediation, (9) whether there is an established pretrial diversion program, (10) whether the juvenile has acknowledged or been convicted of unlawful use of a firearm, (11) whether a juvenile court order has been issued for the juvenile, (12) whether the juvenile is a street gang member, and (13) other issues the county attorney deems relevant. Even if a charge is filed as an adult, a juvenile may ask the Court have the case transferred to the juvenile court’s jurisdiction. The court then determines whether to treat the offender as an adult or a juvenile.
Certain cases may be diverted from court, resulting in no criminal “conviction.” Go to the Juvenile Diversion page for more information
For more information, see A Guide to the Juvenile Justice System.
Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention
Answers for Families
UNL Center On Children, Families, and the Law
Child Care in Nebraska
Child Welfare, Juvenile & Adult Protective Services
HHS Child Protective Services
HHS Adult Protective Services