Teen Court is a voluntary program, which assists teenage offenders in assuming responsibility for their behavior through involvement in the judicial process and in the community. By bringing them before a jury of their peers, which sentences them to constructive service in an agency of their choice, this program seeks to deter teens from future unlawful practices. Teen Court provides direct experience in the judiciary system and an understanding for their roles in society. Additionally, the community reciprocally benefits from these youths involvement in their programs. Each individual’s self-worth will be maintained by respectful treatment and confidentiality.
The Amarillo Teen Court is held on the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings year-round, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Teen Court is located on the first floor of the Amarillo Municipal Court 201 S.E. 4th Avenue in downtown Amarillo. For more information please call (806) 378-4224.
Amarillo Teen Court (ATC) Defendants
What are the requirements to take Teen Court?
- The defendant must be 10-18 years old or currently enrolled in high school.
- The defendant must enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. If the defendant is under 17 years old a parent/guardian must appear with the defendant in open court.
- The defendant and parent/guardian must verbally request Teen Court from a Municipal Court judge for a criminal citation only.
- The defendant must pay a $20.00 administrative fee to the Municipal Court.
- The defendants must be a first time offender and not have any other charges.
- The defendant will have 90 days from the referral date to complete Teen Court requirements.
How do I have my case heard by Teen Court?
Once the defendant has seen the judge and paid the $20.00 administrative fee, the defendant and his/her parent/guardian will meet with the Teen Court Coordinator. The Teen Court Coordinator will explain the program to the defendant and the parent/guardian and then assign the defendant a court date where the defendant will appear before the Teen Court.
What will happen in Teen Court?
A youth referred to Teen Court appears before a jury of peers, volunteers from local secondary schools, and returning youth who were previously defendants. The defendant will tell his/her side of the story and the teen jury will assess community service hours and jury terms from a grid system based on the nature of the offense.
What do I do once I am assigned community service hours?
You will receive a list of community service agencies to contact. Participants should contact their chosen agency within one week of their court appearance to schedule the volunteer work. Community service work is available with non-profit or government agencies, churches or schools throughout the area. Each youth is responsible for setting his schedule, performing the work, and reporting the completed hours in writing to the Teen Court Office.
What happens if I successfully complete Teen Court?
The completion of the Teen Court sentence results in automatic dismissal of the case and the remainder of the fine amount.
What happens if I do not complete Teen Court?
Failure to complete the Teen Court program within 90 days from referral results in payment of the original set fine and a conviction on the defendant’s record.
Amarillo Teen Court Volunteers
The Amarillo Teen Court welcomes applications for adult and teen volunteers. Positions needed are: adult court clerk, adult jury monitor, teen juror, and teen bailiff. Any teens between the ages of 14 and 17 years may apply, as well as others (18 and 19 years old) enrolled in high school.
Volunteers are asked to commit to serving at least one of the following terms: January through May, June through August or September through December.
Anyone interested in volunteering or needing further information should call the Teen Court office at (806) 378-4224.
View the Teen Court Public Service Announcement to learn more about Teen Court.