What happens after my child is arrested?

Technically, children are not arrested. They are “taken into custody.” But there is really no difference other than the terminology.

When your child is taken into custody for a crime, they will be taken to the detention center for an assessment. The assessment determines if the child should be released to the parent or sent to a secure detention facility to await their court proceedings.

The child is then taken to a judge for detention review. This is similar to an adult’s first appearance. The judge will determine if the child should remain in custody or be sent home with the parent. The parent should be present for the detention review as the judge will have questions to ask.

After the detention review the child will be given an arraignment where they can plea guilty or not guilty. If there is a plea of not guilty a trial will be set. The trial is not a jury trial but a trial by a judge (called a bench trial).

If the child is found guilty, or enters a plea of guilty, then they will have a disposition hearing. This is similar to an adult sentencing hearing. At that time the judge will determine the appropriate sanction for the child.

Children taken into custody for crimes have many of the same rights as adults. They do have the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present to represent them.

Posted in: Juvenile