Juvenile detention is the first official hearing held after a minor gets arrested for an alleged crime. During this hearing, the court will determine whether your child will remain in the juvenile custody hall awaiting their criminal case. This is done after the minor, and the parents are informed on the nature of the child's charges. The most significant factor in a juvenile detention hearing is to convince the court to get the minor stay at home as the proceedings continue. A child facing criminal charges in California must have legal representation at each stage, even at the detention hearing. At Los Angeles Criminal Attorney, we will guide you through the legal process and help you convince the judge to let you stay home as the case proceeds.

Overview of Juvenile Detention Hearing

When a minor commits an offense, and they are taken to custody in California, probation is responsible for what happens to them. Probation could either decide to release the minor or take them to court for a detention hearing. At the detention hearing, the judge will determine whether the minor will be detained while their case is pending. The court holds an immediate detention hearing for all minors who are taken to custody for violating the law. This will help reduce the amount of time that a minor spends in custody.

A judge holds the juvenile detention hearings in the juvenile court. In most cases, your hearing will occur in the county where you were arrested, which is often the place of residence. No statue mandates the court to hold a minor from a specific period. Therefore, the decision to keep you in the detention hall is made depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.

 If the court decides to detain the minor and does not have a detention hall, the individual could be placed in a supervised facility. However, they need to evaluate whether the place is secure enough and staying in that place would be of a minor's best interests. If it is not safe for the minor to be placed in 24 hours of secure detention, they could be released on home supervision. Even when at home, a child on home supervision will be under the watch of a probation officer or a community worker.

Juvenile Detention Hearing Proceedings

If you are to attend a juvenile detention hearing, the court must give you a notice on the date, time, and venue of the hearing. The hearing will be held in a courtroom, and a criminal defense attorney can represent you. When an adult commits a crime, staying in or out of custody during the case proceedings will come down to money. You can only be released if you are successful in a bail hearing and pay the amount in cash or through a bail bond agent. However, for juveniles, you cannot pay to be released. If a probation officer wants a minor to remain in juvenile custody, they can only do so in a juvenile detention hearing.

Most juvenile proceedings are not open to the public. However, if you are accused of a severe offense, the juvenile detention hearing may be treated as an adult trial. Violations that may prompt such a reaction from the court may include drug crimes, Sexual crimes offenses that involve firearms. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help seek proceedings that are closed to the public. This will help preserve a minor's privacy.

The only individuals who can be in a juvenile detention hearing are the accused minor, the parents or guardians, probation officer, the child legal counsel, and any other relevant court authority. At the hearing, the minor is informed of the charges that they are facing. Also, your constitutional rights will be read to you before the case proceeds. 

Some of the rights that one has during a juvenile detention hearing will include the right against incriminating oneself, the right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney. If you say something against yourself during the hearing, then the court cannot use the statement as a basis to keep you in the detection hall. You will also have the right to present your evidence before the court and cross-examine witnesses in your case.

The detention hearing is quite informal as compared to a criminal hearing. Even though you don't have a right to present a strong defense, your attorney can examine the witnesses and report Witten against you.

Role of a Probation Officer in a Juvenile Detention Hearing

If you are accused of committing an offense as a minor, the court will appoint a probation officer and task them with the role of investigating your case. A probation officer is likely to look at a minor's criminal history, conduct, and social issues.

The probation officer is always present in a juvenile detention hearing. Before the hearing is held, the probation officer is required to prepare a report. According to your child's behavior and overall conduct, the officer will recommend that the court decide whether they think a minor should be released or detained. The report is often presented to the court before the hearing, and it provides details of the offense that one is accused of committing. If the crime for which the minor is charged is severe, the probation officer may recommend detention as you wait for the case outcome.

A probation officer's report also elaborates more on a minor's criminal history. Commonly, a probation officer will recommend the release of an individual who has no record of convictions' minors' performance in school. Their situation at home may also influence the probation officers' decision when writing a report to the court.

Mostly the court will presume the probation officers report to be a representation of the truth. However, with guidance from a competent criminal defense attorney, you can try to disregard negative information from the report. This will increase your chances of getting released and avoid the juvenile detention hall.

Finally, the accused enters a plea for the charges they are facing. However, the minor does not enter a guilty or not guilty plea like an adult defendant. Instead, the child will take either of these actions:

  • Admit to the alleged charges
  • Deny the charges
  • Fail to contest the charges
  • Use inanity to deny the allegations

Factors that Affect the Judge's Decision to Detain a Minor

When deciding to detain a minor in juvenile hall, the court will consider the following factors:

  1. The likelihood of flight. Before the judge decides to detain you in the juvenile hall or let you go home, they will consider escaping. This is done by looking into past actions. If you have a history of running away from juvenile detention, the court will be reluctant to let you go. In this aspect, the juvenile detention hearing works like a bail hearing where your likelihood to attend the hearing after a release is considered. However, your criminal defense attorney could argue that you were successfully rehabilitated and will not escape.
  2. Protection of the minor. The court will only release a minor to go home at the juvenile detention hearing if they think it is in the minor's best interests. This is done by considering the triggers of the child’s criminal activity and their overall social life. If the environment to which they are being released is likely to be risky for them, the court would rather keep them in juvenile custody.
  3. The safety of other people or property is considered when releasing someone from juvenile custody. Sometimes a minor may be accused of committing a grave offense against another person. This could include violent crimes or sexual crimes. The court considers the alleged victim or other people's safety before releasing a minor from juvenile custody. If you have a history of violence against other people, the judge may be reluctant to release you.
  4. Violation of juvenile court commitments. When deciding to release a minor in a juvenile detention hearing, your ability to adhere to court commitments is critical. If you have violated a court order or failed to show up to a hearing in the past, the court may not be quick to release you.

In an attempt to keep you out of the juvenile hall, your criminal defense attorney can provide evidence that shows you are not a threat to anyone. Also, your attorney will work towards disregarding proof that shows the necessity of detention. Even when a minor is accused of a grave offense, the juvenile court ensures that the minor doesn't receive an offensive attack from probation. The detention hearing is the first step in a juvenile criminal case. If it is handled correctly, future hearings are likely to have a good outcome.

After listening to the probation officer, the prosecutor, and the defendant, the judge may conclude the case:

  1. The court can order the minor to be detained in the juvenile hall. If the court is not satisfied that going home will be of the minor's best interests, an order for juvenile detention will be put in place. The consideration used to determine the child's safety and other people includes the child's past issues. After an order to detain a minor, a probation officer will be appointed to ensure a child is put in favorable conditions. If a little is to be placed in juvenile custody, they will remain in the detention hall until the next court date. However, they are entitled to a hearing within the next fifteen days.
  2. The minor may be to go home and wait for the criminal case hearing. If the judge is convinced that it would be best not to detain a child in the juvenile hall, they will be released to go home with them. If specific services are required to facilitate the minor's return home, the judge will order the services' provision.
  3. The judge may order home supervision. If it is necessary to keep a minor under juvenile watch but not in a detention hall, you may be granted in-home custody. However, a parent or guardian guarantee is required that you attend all the hearings as scheduled. A minor who gets home supervision as an alternative to juvenile detention will be subjected to several conditions, including abstinence from drug possession and use, securing a job, and mandatory attendance.

The Role of Parents in Juvenile Detention Hearing

Other than the accused and the relevant court authorities, parents or guardians of a minor can attend the juvenile detention hearing—the court inquiries from the parents or guardians on the child’s overall conduct and school attendance. A parent's testimony is a crucial part of the hearing. Whatever a parent puts out may be a critical factor when deciding to detain and release a child.

Before a parent prepares a testimony or answers to questions in a juvenile detention hearing, legal guidance will be crucial.                                                          

Frequently Asked Questions in Juvenile Detention Hearings

The primary purpose of holding a juvenile detention hearing is to ensure that the minor understands that the court has to decide their fate when dealing with criminal charges. Sometimes, legal matters involving minors can be complicated. Therefore, seeking guidance from a knowledgeable criminal lawyer would be a wise step. The following are some frequently asked questions on matters surrounding juvenile detention hearings:

  1. What is Juvenile Detention?

Dentition is a facility when individuals under eighteen who face criminal charges stay awaiting a court hearing. A minor may be put in detention if they get arrested and face criminal charges or have violated probation. When one spends in custody, they appear in court every thirty days until they get released. While in detention, juveniles will be offered programs such as life skills and recreational activities.

  1. Is a Juvenile Detention Hearing Similar to a Bail Hearing?

NO. Most people will confuse a juvenile detention hearing for a bail hearing. This is because, for both, the court determines whether or not you remain in custody awaiting the outcome of your criminal case. However, it is crucial to note that you will be required an amount of money to stay away from custody when you are successful in a bail hearing. However, your attorney will only need to convince the judge that you should go home and wait for your case to be determined for a juvenile detention hearing.

  1. Who Decides to Release a Minor or Detain them Awaiting a Criminal Case Hearing?

Depending on the arguments you present in the juvenile detention hearing. The judge will decide to hold you in the juvenile hall or release you to go home. Also, some factors, such as the possibility of flight and other people's safety, are considered when deciding.

  1. What Criminal Charges Can Cause a Minor to be Held in Detention?

California law is often lenient when dealing with minors. However, engaging in activities that could be harmful to them will prompt an arrest and detention in juvenile hall. Most juvenile cases involve conduct that would not be a crime when partaken by a person over eighteen years. This could include underage drinking and driving, violation of curfew, or even possession of alcohol.

  1. How Long Can a Minor be Detained in California?

If a minor below the age of 16 years commits a serious offense, they could be held by the state until they attain twenty-one years. If the minor is over sixteen, they could be held in juvenile custody as the criminal case proceeds. However, a detention hearing will allow you to plead the case and be released to stay home, awaiting the criminal case outcome.

  1. What is a Review Hearing?

If you can secure a release in a juvenile detention hearing, the court may impose some strict conditions to be followed. A review hearing is a hearing held when the supervisory agency is claiming that the minor has not fulfilled the requirements of probation or a pretrial release. If it is proven that you are defiant to the set conditions, your pretrial release may get revoked. In this case, you will be placed in an out of the home setting.

Find a Juvenile Defense Attorney Near Me

The arrest of a minor for an alleged criminal offense is traumatizing for the child and the family. However, a minor does not have to remain in juvenile custody until the case ends. A juvenile detention hearing is held to determine whether the defendant should get released or held in custody awaiting the criminal case proceedings. Competent legal guidance is crucial when you are battling juvenile issues in California. Our top-notch attorneys from Los Angeles Criminal Attorney will provide the legal advice you require. Also, we will help you convince the judge with reasons why you should stay away from juvenile detention until the outcome of your criminal case. If your child is charged in Los Angeles, we can help. Contact us today at 424-333-0943 and allow us to guide you through this difficult situation.