Austin Juvenile Detention Hearings

austin juvenile DETENTION HEARINGS

After a juvenile is arrested, they are taken to a juvenile detention center instead of jail. There is no “bail” in the juvenile justice system, so there is no amount of money a juvenile’s parent can pay to get their child out of a juvenile detention facility. Instead of bail, a detention hearing will be held to determine if a juvenile can be released from the detention facility.  

What is a juvenile detention hearing? 

A juvenile detention hearing is a way for a judge to determine whether a detained juvenile should be kept in the juvenile detention facility or released. A juvenile must be released at a detention hearing unless the judge finds that the juvenile: (1) is likely to abscond; (2) has inadequate supervision; (3) does not have an adult to bring him back to court; (4) is a danger to himself or herself or the public safety; or (5) has previously been adjudicated for an offense and is likely to commit another offense if released.1  

If a juvenile is detained in a juvenile detention facility, a detention hearing will be held within two business days after the juvenile has been detained.2 Pursuant to the Texas Family Code, if the juvenile is detained on a Friday or Saturday, the detention hearing must be held on the first business day after detention.3 

Juvenile detention hearings will regularly be held while the juvenile is detained. A juvenile is required to have an attorney represent them at these hearings, so it is important to hire a juvenile attorney as soon as possible.4 After the initial detention hearing, if the judge decides to keep the juvenile in the detention facility, detention hearings will be held every 10 business days for the entire time the juvenile is in custody.5 The juvenile’s attorney also has the ability to request an additional hearing sooner than 10 business days.  

What happens during a juvenile detention hearing? 

The juvenile, a probation officer, a prosecutor, and a defense attorney will all be present at the detention hearing. The juvenile’s parents or guardians are not required to be present for the hearing. The court will attempt to locate the juvenile’s parents or guardians, and if the court is unable to locate them, counsel or a guardian ad litem will be appointed for the juvenile.6  

The judge will warn the juvenile about his or her rights, and the probation officer will explain the reasons why the juvenile is in a detention facility. The probation officer may read the police report or any violations of probation the juvenile is alleged to have committed. The juvenile’s history with the juvenile justice system will also be reported to the court. Next, the juvenile, the parents, and the attorneys will have an opportunity to talk to the court, and answer questions from the judge. Nothing the juvenile says during the detention hearing can be used at any later hearing.7 After everyone involved has had an opportunity to speak to the court, the judge will make a decision whether the juvenile should be released from the detention facility or held in custody.  

Need Help? 

If you or a loved one have a juvenile charge, you may be facing serious consequences. Call an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Rick Cofer is available to help and can review your case. Call us today at (512) 200-3801 or contact us through our online form for help and to learn more.  

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