If you have a child that has been arrested or detained it is vital you get experienced representation as soon as posssible. Below I willl go through some of the considerations and law as to Juvenile Hearings and specifically Juvenile Detention Hearings. If you have questions after reading this article do not hesitate to give us a call at 559 441-1418.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD IS ARRESTED?
If your child is arrested or comes into contact with an police officer the officer will make a determination as to wether to cite and release the minor or to go a more formal route and have the minor transported to the Juvenile Detention Center.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HAVE A HEARING?
A minor that is sleeping at Juvenile Hall must be given a detention hearing within 48 hours. If the minor is not brought before the court within 48 hours of arrest then the minor must be released. The charges may still go forward which is a different issue with different timelines, (usually within 15 days or 30 if the minor is out of custody)
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THAT FIRST HEARING?
The first hearing in a Juvenile Court is referrred to as a detention hearing. At the detention hearing there are several things which will be determined including time waivers I.E. will the minor be waiving his right to a Disposition or trial within the 15 days, and wether the minor will be housed at Juvenile Hall or be allowed to go home to a parent or guardian pending the outcome of a case.
Below I will go into the factors the court will consider when deciding if the minor will be going home or if the minor will be housed at the Juvenile facility pending the outcome of the case.
1. The court will determine if the case was brought withing 48 hours.
2. Is there a pima facia case, or probable cause to believe a crime has been committed by the minor.
3. Can the minor be returned to the home of a parent or guardian.
The Defense will look at the complaint and in Fresno County there will be a detention memo provided. That is where the detention information will be gathered.
If when looking at the detention memo and petition, I.E. a complaint in adult court the Attorney feels there is not a sufficient probable cause to hold the minor for the crime. If the Attorney does not feel there is probable cause they can at detention hearing ask for a Dennis H. Hearing where the officers will be required to come into court and be subjected to cross examination regarding there police reports and the probable cause element. If there is insufficient probable cause then the minor will be released. Probable cause is a lower standard than proof beyond all reasonable doubt, Therefore often this will not work.
However, that is not the end of the analysis. The court must determine even if there if probable cause whether to house the minor at JJC or to have the minor returned to the home.
WHAT DOES THE COURT LOOK AT IN MAKING THAT DETERMINATION?
The court will look at Welfare and Institutions code 635 and 636 for factors such as is there a urgent necessity, will the minor make his court appearances, so forth.
This determination must be made every fifteen days is the case has not been resolved. Usually the court will not change there minds unless there is a a substanitial change in circumstances.
The court will consider grades, attendance, if there are allegations of gang membership, the nature of the chage, etc. the nature of the charge will be taken at face value unless there is a Dennis H. hearing requested then the court must make a probable cause determination.
The court may if the Attorney needs more time to gather evidence for the detention hearing do a detention hearing and not make a determination on detention until the next court date. This sometimes happens if the family is not prepared for the first court date with grades attendance and so forth.
If after reading this article you have further quesitons give us a call at 559441-1418.