Children in Need of Services (CHINS) beharris
Frequently Asked Questions About CHINS
What does CHINS stand for?
CHINS is an acronym that stands for Children in Need of Services.
What do I do if my child is charged with a crime or my child is out of control?
CHINS Petitions are filed when a child is in need of supervision because he is habitually truant from school or runs away from home. A CHINS Petition can also be sought when a child’s behavior or condition presents a serious threat to his well-being or safety. In short, when a parent has trouble controlling a child, a parent can go to the Juvenile Court In the City In which they live to file a CHINS Petition with Juvenile Intake. An Intake Officer will make a preliminary decision as whether or not the case can go to a judge.
A parent needs to know that the Virginia Code requires that a person making a Petition has to have first tried to deal with the problem using resources other than the courts, such as counseling or other services. Generally, an Intake Officer will file the Petition if a parent has attempted counseling unsuccessfully and the child has gone to at least three or four counseling sessions. If the case involves a violent juvenile felony, the Intake Officer must accept the Petition. In the case of all other crimes, if they were committed by an adult, even if a serious misdemeanor or felony, the Intake Officer can refuse to process the Petition but must advise the complaining party that they have a right to present their complaint to a Magistrate. If the Magistrate finds probable cause for a crime, he or she will issue a warrant that is delivered to the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, and the Intake Officer is then required to file the Petition.
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