Detention Hearing

Juveniles await Detention Hearings

Juveniles await Detention Hearings

If a juvenile has been arrested and the police and probation officer have determined that he or she should be booked into Juvenile Hall, the law requires that within 24 hours after the District Attorney's Office files the charges in Juvenile Court (excluding weekends and holidays), the juvenile must be brought before a judge in Juvenile Court for a detention hearing.

The purpose of a Detention Hearing is for the judge to determine whether the juvenile should remain in custody or be released to his or her parents or guardian. The following people must be present at the detention hearing: the juvenile, his or her parents or guardian, the juvenile's attorney, a Deputy District Attorney and a Deputy Probation Officer. Unlike the adult system, youthful offenders do not receive jury trials and are not released on bail.

The Judge begins the hearing by advising the juvenile of his or her rights:

  • The right to an attorney
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to a non-jury trial to determine if he or she committed the crime as charged
  • The right to see all witnesses called to testify against him or her
  • The judge must also advise the juvenile of the specific charges filed against him or her

At this stage of the hearing, the Judge will hear from the different participants to determine the detention status of the juvenile:

  • The Deputy Probation Officer will give a brief history of the juvenile regarding his prior record, current offense, relevant school information and family situation.
  • The Deputy Probation Officer will make recommendations to the court regarding continued detention at Juvenile Hall or release to the custody of his parents.
  • The Deputy District Attorney will give statements regarding the circumstances of the crime based on the police report.
  • The juvenile's attorney and parents also have an opportunity to comment on whether the juvenile should remain in custody.
Judge detains teen in Juvenile Hall

Judge detains teen in Juvenile Hall

After hearing all testimony, the judge decides if the circumstances warrant continued detention or to return the juvenile to his or her home.

A Judge may order continued detention if a juvenile:

  • Has violated a court order
  • Is a risk to flee the court's jurisdiction
  • Poses a threat to other persons or property, or is a danger to him or herself
  • Is shown to be a repeat offender