When a minor is arrested in California, the first court hearing they will
have to attend is a detention hearing. This hearing is meant to determine
if a child needs to continue to be held in custody until their juvenile
delinquency case is resolved or if they may be released.
Unlike adults, minors do not have the right to bail and may be required
to stay in juvenile hall until their case is resolved in the event that
they should lose their detention hearing. For this reason, it is crucial
that minors facing criminal charges retain the services of a powerful
criminal defense attorney to maximize their chances of prevailing at this hearing.
The outcome of a detention hearing will generally depend on the following factors:
- If the prosecutor has made a prima facie case against the minor
- If the minor has violated an order of the juvenile court
- If the minor presents a flight risk
- If the matter requires the minor’s detention to protect their safety
- If the minor’s detention would be necessary for the protection of
Detention hearings must be held within 48 hours of a minor’s arrest
for a non-serious or non-violent crime, or within 72 hours for a felony
or violent misdemeanor. In addition to determining whether or not a child
is to remain in custody, detention hearings also function as a child’s
arraignment. The child will be informed of their charges and constitutional
rights and will be required to enter a plea. Unlike an adult arraignment
where an accused defendant would plead “guilty” or “not
guilty,” a minor may either admit their allegations, deny them,
choose not to contest them, or deny the allegations by reason of insanity.
What Happens If a Minor Loses Their Detention Hearing?
In the event that a minor should lose their detention hearing, their attorney
may request a re-hearing to contest the decision. Also known as “Dennis
H.” hearings, re-hearings are generally only granted in situations
where detention decisions are made based on debatable evidence. Dennis
H hearings must be held within three days of the initial hearing.
If your child has been charged with a crime, the knowledgeable
Riverside juvenile crime lawyers at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich can provide the strong legal
support you need. With more than 50 years of collective legal experience,
we are committed to exploring every opportunity to secure a reduction
or dismissal of your child’s charges on their behalf.
Call (951) 687-6003 or schedule a complimentary consultation
today to get started.