A juvenile detention hearing happens when a minor commits an offense. From the name, the illegal actions committed can range from minor violations like absconding from school to severe delinquencies, which may be robbery, burglary, and other violent acts.
Suppose you can understand why a child committed the crime. It's easier to prevent a further repetition of the same offense in the future. Begin by addressing the needs of the minor to know the cause of the crime. If you can assess all these, the minor can change their way of life more so the actions.
You can reach out to the minors at the early stages of life to stop the delinquencies from happening. But if it has already started, you can address the issue and build protective boundaries to safeguard the child's well-being and prevent problems from happening in the future. This behavior molds them into responsible adults.
If your child faces a detention hearing, reaching out to The LA Criminal Defense Law Firm will be of great help. We will advise you on the necessary steps to follow and walk with you through the case journey.
Types of Juvenile Delinquency
To know the types of juvenile offenses, you must understand how a minor's mind works. By this, you can know what causes are likely to trigger them to commit the said crimes. Since these people are young humans, they also suffer in silence, and the behavior they exhibit may be due to the suffering they are undergoing.
The common crimes juveniles commit includes:
- Minor thefts like shoplifting
- Assaulting people in the neighborhood or at school
- Illegal custody of alcohol
- Truant behaviors
- Vandalizing properties
- Having illicit drugs
- Sexual crimes
Specific factors contribute to these offenses. For example, a juvenile living in absolute poverty and lacks food most of the time will indulge in shoplifting at a grocery store to get survival food. In another attempt, they might steal money to ensure the direst needs are met. Another minor battling substance abuse might be found in illicit drugs than a juvenile who isn't into substance abuse.
Leading Contributors to Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile crimes aren't vices that pop up in a day. They are nurtured over some time and may worsen if stringent measures are not put into place. As a parent, you must closely monitor your child to help them not fall into these vices. However, some of the offenses have their causes coming from the home environment.
Here are the causes of juvenile delinquencies:
1. Absconding School
School plays a crucial role in the nurturing of a child. However, many see it as a place where a child learns and grows. It's more than that. The structure prepares a child and molds them into responsible beings.
A learner masters that every day, they have a goal to achieve. Therefore, getting up is a must. They have to prepare, attend school, complete tasks at school, and finally be home on time, creating a basis for good choices in their future life.
A child with poor performance in school attendance will not have these good habits inculcated in them. When they are out of school with free time, they prioritize learning other things that aren't helpful in their lives. This makes them not comply with societal norms that require them to undertake certain aspects of life in a specific way. Instead, they will make the wrong choices, which will ruin their lives.
2. Low Standards of Education
Educational standards of a school can either make a child responsible or break them. In a crowded school without adequate funding, children are less attended to by the teachers. Mostly the teachers are few and less motivated in instilling discipline and order.
When a child is exposed to such a learning environment, it doesn't give the child room to grow. There is no conducive learning environment, which makes the children more defensive when chaos erupts. If parents get involved in school management, it becomes easy to manage the situation, and the order can be restored to the school. Parents can lobby for their children's welfare to be prioritized, deterring them from engaging in any criminal activity.
3. Violence at Home
One of the leading contributors to juvenile crime is toxic homes. When parents or guardians are violent, the behavior negatively impacts the minor. The minors copy the actions they witness in their lives.
Most of the time, they are violent at schools and even lash out at others because of their violence at home. Such children are hard to control because they act out of fear and frustration due to the violent actions they are subjected to in their environment. With time they develop a don't care attitude, which makes them fall easily into problems.
4. Violent Social Circles
The company is pivotal in a juvenile's life. If the child hangs out with violent friends in your neighborhood, they will be prone to criminal activities. This behavior happens because the child has to develop a survival tactic to put up with the peers they interact within their environment.
The child will decide to join the gang in bullying other kids to avoid trouble making them prone to delinquency. You can redeem your child by removing them from the toxic environment. If you do so, the delinquent behavior will stop.
5. Peer Pressure
Minors also want to be identified within a social group. Thus, if all of their friends indulge in juvenile offenses, chances are they will also fall into the vices to be socially accepted by the acquaintances.
You can monitor your child closely. Whom do they relate with, what do they do in their free time, and even go the extra mile of identifying your child's friends' parents. Armed with that information, you can easily shape up your child with them being cautious of falling into wrongdoings because you're watching.
6. Pressing Socioeconomic Factors
Even though delinquency is a common occurrence, it's even worse in poorer neighborhoods because children strive to commit crimes for their prosperity. A minor can indulge in crimes like theft because of necessity and not a case of petty crime. The only redemption in these neighborhoods is ensuring children have access to their basic needs and a sense of responsibility that criminality is not leveraging prosperity.
7. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse in a home or within the environment a minor is located the child to the vice. Often you'll find children prioritizing substance abuse as a necessity as compared to other basic needs.
Habitually, minors will try to get into crimes to sustain their addiction. They will, most of the time, try so hard to do anything to ensure the drug or alcohol is got. Children in this situation need counseling and, at extreme moments, rehabilitation to relieve them of the addiction.
8. Inadequate Moral Guidance
Parental care is important in a child's upbringing. When a minor begins indulging in delinquency, parental influence can deter the behavior. It is more likely that a child will take up the accepted behaviors compared to the unwanted ones through guidance.
A bond with an influential parent or guardian will help shape a minor's life to responsible actions. It will further lead them in the right direction of identifying a right from a wrong.
Even in worst scenarios where a child may have committed the act, they will still live upon the chance. You can direct them on how to make a turnaround in their lives and follow the right path.
You can begin the new restoration journey by hiring our criminal defense lawyer if the minor faces a trial. The attorney will help digest the situation and help the minor get a fair hearing. Besides, you can also be a juvenile destiny shaper by helping them face the case and change after the trial. By this, you will help them get a better life and join adulthood through a clean slate.
Juvenile Detention Hearing Process
The first hearing a minor gets after facing an arrest is a juvenile detention hearing determining whether the child will stay at the juvenile hall or be released under parent or guardian custody. The hearing happens while both parties are still waiting for the result of the case.
It is a noble idea to represent them before a court while facing delinquency if a minor has an attorney. Remember, this is the first stage of a case and requires a versatile lawyer to argue for the child not to lose the detention hearing. It happens so because if the hearing is lost, the child will have to stay in custody until the case is fully resolved.
It is worth noting that there's a big difference existing between juvenile and adult cases. Minors are exempted from getting bail, which is not like adult cases where there is a right to have bailed. Since you wouldn't want the child to remain in custody, there is a need to make a persuasive case to ensure the minor's release at the detention hearing.
So what does a detention hearing entail?
1. Detention Hearing
The hearing is the first time a minor is presented in the court. It happens after being arrested and apprehended. It is also applicable in a case where a juvenile had been on home supervision. It is so because while at home, it's considered the minor was in custody and is authorized for a detention hearing.
At this stage, it is decided whether to release the child home or detain them at the juvenile hall. A judge will decide to send a minor to detention hall if:
- They are likely to abscond from a court hearing.
- Lack of adequate supervision while at home
- Doesn't have a guardian or parent to present them back to the court
- Endangers the safety of other people
- Has a criminal record of adjudication for related offenses and has high chances of committing the same offense if released.
2. No Bail Rights
Unlike adult cases, juvenile cases do not give room for bail terms. While an adult perpetrator may apply for bail as the case proceeds, a minor is restricted to no bail. An adult may request bail in a Californian court and secure a release.
If you want to get the child out of police custody, the only means you can achieve this is by convincing the presiding judge when at the detention hearing. This applies even if a probation officer wants to have the child in a juvenile hall.
So, how does the judge determine if a juvenile needs to be in custody?
At the first hearing, a judge will decide if a minor will stay in custody or be released to go home with a pending case. This decision must be made regarding the case's prevailing circumstances, like the child's vulnerability, availability of the minor for other court sessions, and many more.
3. The Arraignment of The Minor, Whether in Custody or Not
A minor will have to be arraigned for a court hearing at the detention stage. Here, the juvenile will:
- Be informed of their charges.
- Be told of their constitutional rights in regards to the case.
- Made to take a plea
At this stage, the juvenile will be read to his or her charges by the judge. Additionally, the serving judge will explain to the minor the available rights at hand, like the right to touch self-incrimination, the right to confront and interrogate witnesses, the right to summon witnesses, and the right to give evidence.
Lastly, after everything, the child has to enter a plea to the charges lodged in the claim. Unlike in adult cases, there is no plea of guilty or not guilty in a juvenile case. Alternatively, the minor is allowed to do the following:
- Agree to the allegations
- Disagree with the allegations
- Have a no contest to the presumed allegation
- Use the insanity defense to deny the leveled allegations.
In a scenario where the juvenile is not in custody, and there is no rising detention issue, the first hearing can be an arraignment. At this phase, the judge informs the juvenile of the charges. He further tells them of their constitutional rights, and the minor given the right to enter a plea on the allegations.
For Example, John Smith is found in illegal possession of Marijuana in the company of his friends roaming the neighborhood. He is arrested for violating PC 11357, falling under Health and Safety for having Marijuana. However, he is not detained but released to the custody of his father.
Through calls, John Smith is notified of a petition filed against him. The father needs to escort him to appear before the court for a hearing two days later. As directed, Smith's father presents his son to the court. The serving judge notifies Smith that he has been charged for possessing Marijuana illegally.
Besides, the judge informs Smith of all his rights and, more so, the right to legal representation. Smith denies the charges and is to face a pre-trial hearing afterward, and a decision arrived at by the judge.
However, John Smith is not held into custody but is under parental supervision. If he fails to appear for the scheduled hearing, the court can issue a warrant of arrest against him, and the cops will be back at their home to arrest him and place him into a juvenile hall.
When Does a Minor Remain in Custody?
For a minor to remain in custody, they must have gross misconduct. As stipulated in Welfare and Institution in the Californian laws, specific measures help determine if a child can be held in the juvenile hall or be released to go home with their parents or guardians.
Section 635 of the California juvenile law highlights the criteria a judge must apply for the child to be in custody. The judge must prove a prima facie case presented by the prosecutor of the defendant committing other crimes. These should also include:
- The juvenile violating an order issued by the juvenile court
- A minor escaping from juvenile court commitments
- The minor risking fleeing
- Detention presents a protection measure to the convicted minor.
- The detention presenting security to some people or other people's property
In most cases, before the minor remaining in custody decision is reached, all stakeholders must be involved. The judge will reach out to the area probation officer, the district attorney, the minor themselves, the minor's lawyer, and the juvenile's parents or guardians.
At this juncture, our criminal defense lawyers find an opportune time to argue the case and persuade the bench that their client (minor) won't flee or doesn't present any danger to people around them. Besides, the defense will even use defenses like the minor is too inexperienced to be grouped with other minors at the juvenile hall, and doing so exposes them to more harm.
What Happens If a Minor Loses Detention Hearing?
In case your child loses the first hearing, the detention hearing, you can apply for a re-hearing. This can be done through the attorney or by yourself. However, you must have solid evidence and defenses before thinking of a re-hearing. Your attorney could ask for it if the judge made his/her decision on questionable grounds with dubious evidence.
For example, if the judge sent the minor to detention hall based on the probation officer's report without the officer testifying in the courtroom, then you can challenge the decision. If you seek a re-hearing, the officer will be ordered to appear before the court. They must provide testimony for the final verdict to be made.
Majorly referred to as Dennis H. Hearings or Prima facie hearing, the juvenile's lawyer will be able to interrogate the testifying officer to ascertain the accuracy of the evidence given at the court.
When Does The Hearing Take Place?
Normally, if the minor is in custody for petty crimes like misdemeanor of less violence and without much seriousness, the hearing should take place 48 hours after an arrest has been made. By so doing, this exempts the weekends and holidays.
However, for felony and misdemeanor offenses with substantial violence levels, the hearing takes place 72 hours after the juvenile is taken into charge. For these offenses, a district attorney must file a petition 48 hours after the minor has been arrested and taken to a juvenile hall.
Upon requesting a re-hearing of the detention hearing, it should occur in three court working days. If the witnesses are unavailable, the hearing should happen five days after the initial hearing.
Do You Need a Hearing Notification as A Parent or Guardian of a Minor?
If your child is facing criminal charges, you must be notified as to the parent or guardian. You must have full information when the hearing should start, the place, and other relevant issues about the hearing.
If you do not receive any notification, you can contest the given dates of hearing through a notice. In a bid to get a consensus, another hearing may be scheduled in 24 hours. This happens after complaining if you're okay with the hearing.
However, if the minor is under custody, they will be held at the juvenile hall, pending the next court dates. As stipulated in the law, a minor is eligible for trial known as jurisdiction hearing in juvenile cases within 15 days.
Penalties in Juvenile Detention Hearing
Unlike adult cases focusing on punishment and internment, California's juvenile system strives to rehabilitate and correct minors. In extreme cases, minors are sentenced to juvenile detention halls where they spend some time securing a release. In most juvenile cases, the punishments are never severe because of the pettiness nature of the offenses.
Other alternative punishments in juvenile hearings include:
- Fines paid by the juvenile's parents
- Ordering the minor's parents to pay all the court levies
- Counseling the minors to help them know their mistakes and change ways
- Order the minor to write an apology letter
- Records that will be in the child's juvenile record
- Distinct programs that can be equated to probation to electronically monitor the movement of the child in a bid to caution him or her into getting into further trouble
Regardless of the minor and the committed offense's age, the serving judge may expedite all of these penalties or some of them. Therefore, the juvenile may need a robust criminal defense to help them argue the case out for a fair bargain.
Find LA Criminal Defense Law Firm Near Me
All parents care for their children, and when they get into problems, it breaks them down so much. The burden for a child facing juvenile delinquency isn't only on the child but also on a parent. Even though it may be unavoidable to face the crime after it has been committed, parental guidance for a child may help them move on with life after the occurrence.
You can settle on a competent criminal defense to help you with the case. At The LA Criminal Defense Law Firm, we can help you fight the battle in court. We offer free consultations and guidance to give direction on the pending hearing.
At any time, you can reach us at 310-935-1675 if you are a resident of Los Angeles to have a smooth ride with the claim.