Juvenile Detention Hearing

In California, a juvenile detention hearing involves the minor's first appearance in a juvenile court after committing a criminal offense. The hearing takes place within 48 hours after the initial arrest. During detention hearing, the juvenile's judge determines whether the minors will remain in custody while the case proceeds. Notably, the minors face various punishment options, including probation, home confinement, counseling, community service, juvenile and adult jail, monetary fines, and juvenile detention.

If you are a parent and your child is arrested or detained for committing a criminal offense, you should seek assistance from The Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney. After assessing the case, our lawyers will develop the most effective defense for your child. Therefore, if you are in or around Los Angeles, contact our competent juvenile defense lawyers.

What is Juvenile Detention Hearing?

According to California law, a detention hearing is the first hearing attended by minors after being arrested and held in custody. Suppose a minor is arrested for committing a less serious offense. In that case, the arresting officers might notice the minors appear in the court accompanied by their parents, and later the minor will be released. Alternatively, when arrested for committing a serious offense, the minors will be detained in custody until their first court appearance.

During detention hearing, the judge will determine whether the child will remain in custody or not as the pending case proceeds. If the child is a non-violent or non-serious misdemeanor charge, the detention hearing will be conducted within forty-eight hours of the arrest, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. In case the child is facing a felony degree charge, their detention hearing will be conducted within seventy-two hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Additionally, the child's parents are notified of the location and time of detention hearings. However, if the parents aren't informed about their child's detention, they have the right to request for a detention rehearing for them to appear.

When a child is arrested and held in custody, they will first attend a detention hearing. Additionally, even after releasing the juvenile on home supervision, he/she will be considered in custody and entitled to the juvenile detention hearing.

When a petition is filed, a detention hearing is set within 30 days after the petition filing when the child is out of custody. Before the juvenile detention hearing, the probation department should disclose large quantities of discovery to the guardian or attorney in the case. The discovery includes admission records and statements made by the parent or the child, probation report, expert reports like photographs of all evidence, addresses and names of the witnesses, and other relevant materials.

What Happens During a Juvenile Detention Hearing?

After the child is placed into custody, he/she may be released to their parents from the juvenile detention hall or detained at the detention hall according to their alleged crimes. Notably, during the detention hearing, the juvenile judge will review various documents, including the detention petition. Additionally, the petition may request an order for detention for the minors if he/she is an age subject to the juvenile court's jurisdiction.

Similarly to the adult criminal courts’ arraignment hearings, the child receives information on the petition's nature at their detention hearing. Besides being in custody, the minors will have formal notifications about their charges; they will also receive information on their rights and be asked to enter a plea. Notably, through their attorneys, the child will receive a copy of the petition, incident report and will have an opportunity to review the materials. 

Additionally, the child might be required to respond to their charges in the petition. Instead of the minors pleading guilty or not guilty, the child in juvenile court denies the allegations, chooses not to contest the allegations, denies the accusations by insanity reasons, or admits the allegations. In case the child is on probation for a juvenile crime, a probation violation may be addressed.

Factors Considered in a Detention Hearing

To keep the juvenile in custody, the prosecutors must make a prima facie case that the child is liable for the alleged offense. The minor crimes may include violating a court order, the minor is a flight risk, the minor escaping from a prior juvenile court commitment order, and the necessity of protecting the child. For the judge to decide, he/she typically hears from the defense, the prosecution, the probation department, and the minor's parents.

The court may decide to release the child to his/her guardians or parents. Therefore the judge may impose release conditions for the child to follow or risk being sent back to custody. Nowadays, the juvenile courts are placing minors under electronic home monitoring to ensure they don't violate curfew and ensure they remain at home while out of custody. The devices are equipped with GPS devices for tracking the minors at all times. In other cases, the court may release the child to their homes under strict monitoring by the Los Angeles probation department. Any violations may send back the minors to the juvenile hall with the pending case.

Do Minors Have the Right to Bail During a Detention Hearing?

In adult cases, staying in jail while the case proceeds may depend on money. An adult is eligible to post bail in Los Angeles and walk out of jail. However, in juvenile cases, there isn't a right to bail. The minor cannot bail out like the adults. In case the probation officer decides to keep your child in custody, you should seek the best way to keep the child out of custody. Notably, you might convince the judge during the detention hearing. It is essential to seek assistance from a juvenile defense attorney with knowledge of juvenile courts to have your child back home.

The minors tried as adults have all the rights which are granted to adult offenders. Additionally, bail will be applicable when the child transfers to adult courts. However, the bonds vary according to the seriousness of the alleged offenses. The bail amount will also depend on factors including employment, community ties, potential penalties, and previous criminal records. Notably, bails are typically high, making sure the offenders appear at the court. The majority of the parents find it challenging to meet the bail costs without assistance.

Therefore, juvenile bails will depend on the offenses surrounding circumstances. The minors facing minor cases will remain within the juvenile system's jurisdiction and don't have access to bail. Alternatively, minors committing serious offenses will transfer to the adult criminal justice system and will be eligible for the right to bail as other adult offenders.

What a Juvenile Judge Can Order During Detention Hearing

After reviewing the case, the judge decides whether the minors should be:

  • Released and held in home detention.
  • Released outright without conditions.
  • Hold in intensive home detention.
  • Discharged to home detention accompanied by evening reporting.
  • Held in intensive home detention with electronic monitoring.

The juvenile court makes decisions concerning the release of the child based on a point system. In most cases, the defense lawyer will argue why the points should be lower. Additionally, the court has broad discretion to add or subtract the points for releasing the most reasonable results given the case’s certain circumstances.

For instance, when the child faces accusations for committing a domestic violence case and doesn't meet the detention criteria, the court will determine whether a respite home or an authorized residential facility is available for the child or a necessary place alternative for protecting the alleged victim.

After the child's detention hearing, the minors and their parents will receive a copy of the "order of detention pending a hearing." As a parent, you should carefully review the order since the order may contain special terms like a ' no contact' order for staying away from the alleged victim and their families.

Determining if a Minor Will Remain in Custody During Detention Hearing

During the juvenile detention hearing, the court decides whether the child has to go home with the pending case or whether he/she will stay at the juvenile hall. In case the minor fails to adhere to the court orders while their pending case proceeds, they may face harsher punishments.

For instance, John, a sixteen-year-old, is notified through mail that his petition has been filed, and he is required to appear before the juvenile court accompanied by his parents. John appears before the juvenile court as directed by the court. Notably, John is arraigned, and the juvenile judge notifies the allegedly committed offense (facing marijuana possession and a pretty theft charge). Additionally, the judge informs John of his rights.

However, he denies the alleged crime. Notably, the juvenile judge decides to set the case for a pre-trial conference on 30th August. John, luckily is allowed to go back home. However, he fails to present himself at the juvenile court on the 30th of august as ordered by the court. Therefore, the judge issues a warrant for John’s arrest. The law enforcement officers will book John into the juvenile hall.

Do Minors Have Arraignment Whether in or Out of Custody?

In California, a minor will be arraigned during the detention hearing. Therefore, the child will:

  • Enter a plea
  • Receive information on their constitutional rights
  • Receive information on their charges

The judge informs the minors of the charges they are facing. Additionally, the judge will notify them of their rights, including the right to present evidence, the right to subpoena witnesses, the right to counsel, the minor’s right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and the right against self-incrimination. However, the minor doesn't enter a plea of guilty or not as it happens with adults. Instead, the minors will do any of the following:

  • He/she will deny the allegations with reasons of insanity.
  • They will deny the allegations.
  • They will admit the allegations.
  • They will not contest the allegations

Section 635 Criteria

For the minors to remain in custody, the juvenile judge must discover whether the prosecutors made a prima facie case committed by the minors and the following:

  • The minor is a flight risk.
  • The minor violated an order of a juvenile court.
  • The minor escaped from commitments of California juvenile courts.

To assist in making the decision, the juvenile judge will inquire input from the probation officers, district attorneys, the minors parents, the child's counsel, and the minors.

Dennis H Hearings

When the minors lose detention hearing, their attorney may ask for a re-hearing. The minors juvenile attorney is often aware of the option of demanding a second detention hearing that should happen within three days after the first hearing. The defense attorney asks for rehearing in case the judge made detention relying on questionable evidence. For instance, when the juvenile judge relies on the law enforcement officer’s report to make a decision, and the law officer writing the report fails to testify the report. Therefore, the judge is required to order the law officer to come back to the court during the re-hearing and testify the report.

During the re-hearing, the minors defense lawyer should cross-examine the law enforcement officer to ensure the police report is accurate. In case the prosecution fails to meet the burden, the child must be released. However, it doesn't mean the minor's case is dismissed; your child will only be kept out of the juvenile hall.

For instance, police officers arrest James for committing robbery using a firearm. Additionally, James is placed in the juvenile county center. During the detention hearing, the probation officers recommend him to remain in custody. Additionally, the probation officers rely on police reports mentioning James as having three previous police arrests within a period not exceeding 30 days. Therefore, the probation officer and the juvenile judge agree and remand him back to the juvenile county center. James lawyer requests for Dennis h hearing for the police officer writing the report to come and testify the nature of James alleged three arrests. It will bring a difference if the three alleged police arrests never occurred, or the arrests were innocent.

When Should a Juvenile Detention Hearing Occur?

When the child is held in custody for a non-violent or non-serious offense, the detention hearing should occur within forty-eight hours from the initial detention. The period excludes weekends and holidays. Alternatively, when the child is in detention for a misdemeanor or felony offense, the detention hearing should occur within seventy-two hours from when the child was taken to custody. Additionally, if the child requests a rehearing, the Dennis H hearing should happen within three court days of the minor's initial detention.

Should Parents have Notifications About their Child Detention Hearing?

Parents may feel powerless and overwhelmed when their child faces a criminal justice system. However, as a parent, you must receive information after your child is taken to custody. Notably, you don't have a right to accompany your child at the exercise of police interrogation. The minors have their rights like the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. The juveniles may request the court to have their parents present at the hearing.

According to the California delinquency court system, the minor's parents have certain rights, including:

  • Right to request for their child's attorney
  • Right to receive notification after detention and arrest of their child
  • Right to receive information on their child's constitutional rights
  • Right for inspecting their minors juvenile files and a probation report
  • In many cases, the child has a right to the confidential keeping of the hearings.
  • The right to present themselves at the juvenile court during the minors case hearing

Concerning the parent's right to take their child's home with the pending outcome will depend on several factors. For instance, the judge will balance various factors like protecting the community and protecting the minors. The minor's parents have obligations, including costs incurred at the child's delinquency case and disposition. The costs will include:

  • Restitution
  • Legal service costs
  • Electronic surveillance costs
  • Incurred costs by the county, including minors' clothing, medical expenses, and food consumed during detention.

 For instance, apart from attending vandalism classes, the conditions of James' probation included restitution. He was supposed to pay the warehouse owner 1600 dollars for compensation for economic loss. James is a juvenile, and his mother is responsible for paying the one thousand and six hundred dollars.

What Happens When The Minor Isn't in Custody

In case the minor is out of custody and no detention issue, the first child’s court hearing will be the arraignment. Additionally, the judge informs the child of their charges and constitutional rights. Notably, the child enters a plea to the allegations.

For instance, Jane was arrested on Monday for violating PC 211 robbery using a firearm. Since the offense is severe, the arresting officers take her to the Eastlake juvenile center and then book her into the detention hall. The following day, the district attorney files her formal charges. On Thursday, the detention hearing for Jane is held.

The juvenile judge informs Jane of her constitutional rights and also informs her charges in the petition. Notably, Jane denies the alleged offense in the petition. Therefore, the judge will accept the plea, although he/she may decide that Jane is a danger to society and should remain in the county juvenile hall with the pending case.

When Should a Minor Stay in Custody?

In Los Angeles, after a child’s arrest, the arresting officers will place them under juvenile custody before the detention hearing occurs. During the juvenile detention hearing, a juvenile judge will look at specific criteria in the W&I section 635 in determining whether the child should stay in custody or whether the child should go home with the pending case.

Right to Confront the Accuser in a Juvenile Detention Hearing

The detention hearing is much informal than a typical hearing. Additionally, the juvenile doesn't have the right to present affirmative defenses against the detention. Still, their attorney may cross-examine and attack the persons preparing the reports for the court to consider that as probation. Moreover, the lawyer may present evidence showing the child isn't a danger to the community, and the detention is unnecessary.

A competent attorney will work with the available reports and evidence in convincing the juvenile court that the child's detention is unnecessary. Even when the cases involve severe offenses, the court is a tool that may help in safeguarding your child from offensive attacks by child protective services, probation, and the prosecution team filing the petition. Notably, the detention hearing is an important step in the child's case.

How a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Assists at the Juvenile Detention Hearing

The criminal defense lawyer may visit the county detention hall and meet with the child. The lawyer will then represent them at the detention hearing held in the juvenile court within 48 hours of the initial detention. The criminal defense attorney will explain to the juvenile court why the juvenile should be released back to his/her parents with the pending case. In most cases, the judge dismisses the child back to their parents. In a few cases, the judge will order the minors to remain in custody.

Therefore, if your child is facing accusations for violating laws or subject to a custody order, you should seek assistance from our Los Angeles criminal defense. Our lawyers will help you understand the juvenile court process and fight for the best outcomes in your child's case. Notably, the best result would be to reduce your charges or dismiss the case by the prosecution team.

Find a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

In California, a child may face arrest and detention after committing a criminal offense. However, the child’s parents should accompany them at the juvenile detention hearing. Nothing is more crucial than the future of your child. If your child is arrested for committing any criminal offense, you need to seek help from The Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney. If your child’s arrest occurred in or around Los Angeles, call us at 310-564-2605 for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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