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If your child has been arrested or detained at Juvenile Hall you will have a lot of questions about the process of Juvenile Court and exactly what will be happening, and about the process both you and your child will be going through.  As a former Juvenile Corrections Officer, Juvenile Probation Officer and Attorney with more than 15 years of experience in Juvenile Law I can help you.  If you have questions after reading this article give us a call at 559-441-1418. and we can get you and your child through this. 



The first thing that will happen that will bring your child into the system is that they will be arrested or detained.  What that means is that there has been an allegation of the kid breakin some law of city ordinance.  

The officer will either cite the child with a date to go to Juvenile Court or the child will be detained at the Juvenile Justice Center and brought to court within 48 hours for a Detention Hearing. One main difference between adult and Juvenile Court is that there will not be the right to bail at this stage of the proceedings. 


In Juvenile Cour the charging document is calleda  petition.  Meaning that will outline the charges against the minor and what the allegations of the law violations are exactly.  The court must find that there is a prima facia case that a violation of the law has been allged in the police reports.  The minors counsel could stipulate to the prima facia case if  the reports appear to accurately allege a crime has been committed in the petition.  

There are several things that happen at a detention hearing.  One of the first things  that will happen is that an Attorney will be provided to the minor if you cannot afford one. 

Next a detention memo will be prepared by the court to determine if the minor should be detained at JJC, released on the monitor or returned to the parent pending the outcome of the hearings.  

From this point on certain rights come into play the right to an Attorney the right to a speedy trial, although unlike the adult courts there is no right to a public Jury trial in fact all proceedings are confidential to protect the minor. 

Also there are strict time limits within things can happen in the Juvenile Court such as 15 days after the detention the Adjudication must be heard.  If the minor is sleeping at home or out of custody then the minor will have the right to an Adjudication within 30 days. 

Also at the detention hearing the court will make the decision regarding wether the minor will be housed at JJC many factors go into this consideration such as school performance prior history and other factors such as risk to the community and seriousness of the charges.  


An adjudication hearing is the terminology used in Juvenile court for a hearing that is a juvenile trial.  At that hearing the minor does not have the right to a public or Jury trial.   A Judge will be the sole arbiter of the hearing and  will make the decision as to the truth or veracity of the charges called a petition agains the minor.

Your child will have all the other rights that would he would have if the minor was being charged in adult court.  Therefore, you need an attorney who is experienced in both Juvenile and adult court to properly represesent your child.  If you have question after reading this article give us a call at 559-441-1418.  



Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418