- The Detention Hearing will determine if the minor remains in custody during the Juvenile Court process.
- The hearing is typically held within three business days after an arrest, with the exception of holidays and weekends.
Considerations at the Detention Hearing
- Family situation
- Past criminal history
- School grades/ behavioral record
- Seriousness of the crime
- A minor is alleged to have committed a serious violent crime or is a serious repeat offender pursuant to Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
- The District Attorney may request a Fitness Hearing to determine if a minor should stay in Juvenile Court or be remanded to Adult Court.
- This hearing will occur prior to the minor’s admission to any allegations or a trial.
- Three phases:
- Initial Arraignment
- Pretrial Conference
- Juvenile hearings are closed to the public.
- The Court will advise minor of his/her rights and the charges pending.
- An attorney will be appointed.
- The Court will set a Pretrial Conference.
- The District Attorney provides evidence against the minor.
- The Defense Attorney provides evidence of innocence or mitigating circumstances regarding the minor.
- The minor’s past record is disclosed.
- If a minor admits to an offense, the case is set for a Disposition Hearing.
- If the minor does not admit, the case is set for a Trial.
- The Judge alone will determine if the minor has committed the crime(s).
- Proof of guilt must be beyond a reasonable doubt.
- If the minor is adjudicated (found guilty of the crime), a Dispositional Hearing is set.
Prior to the Dispositional Hearing
- Case will be assigned to a Probation Officer.
- Probation Officer will review police reports.
- Probation Officer will obtain information from:
- District Attorney
- Parents/Guardians, siblings, relatives
- School officials
- Social Workers (if applicable)
- Victim of crime (if any)
Probation Interview for Dispositional Report
- An Interview will be conducted with the minor and their parents/guardians.
- Parents should bring the following:
- Completed Probation Packet
- Copy of family bank statements, paycheck stubs, and all family vehicle registrations
- Copy of the minor’s Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, and Medical Insurance Card
- School enrollment verification and last transcript Immunization Records
- Any other information believed to have a bearing on the family’s life or information that would like to be brought to the Court’s attention
Probation Officers Responsibility
- A Dispositional Report with probation’s recommendation will be completed and filed with the Juvenile Court Clerk’s office for the Dispositional Hearing.
Process at the Dispositional Hearing
- Judge will read and review the report which was submitted by the Probation Officer.
- Judge will also consider any supporting letters from friends, neighbors, church members, relatives, school personnel regarding the minors character.
- Court will impose the rehabilitation plan with terms and conditions of probation.