When your minor is arrested, it can be a stressful time for everyone in the family, particularly the minor. Generally speaking, it is not a dramatic process like you might see on an episode of COPS, but nevertheless, it can be a very confusing time, especially if you were unaware your minor was involved in any form of criminal activity.
There are a number of steps in the process of your minor being arrested and they are as follows:
- The police may document the arrest and release to parent/guardian
- The police may refer or send your minor to a residential care facility for counseling and services
- The police may require your child to remain at the police station and issue a “Notice to Appear”
- The police may place your minor in a state juvenile detention facility to await further direction from the juvenile criminal court
If the police want to talk to your minor about an alleged incident for which they may have been involved, they are required to administer “Miranda Rights” as they would with any adult suspect. Those rights extend to: (1) the right to remain silent, (2) anything they say may be used against them in court, and, (3) your minor has the right to legal counsel and one will be appointed if the parent/guardian cannot afford one.
Notice to Appear/Outcome
The next step to the above four options is the Notice to Appear. At this appearance, there are two primary categories your minor may experience:
- Non-detained Minors: After a request for a petition by the police, a probation officer, based on certain factors, including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the crime, minor is repeat offender and statutory requirements must request the prosecuting agency within 48 hours to file a petition. Probation has discretionary powers to merely counsel the minor and close the case. It may also hold the minor on informal probation for a maximum of 6 months whereby it imposes informal terms and conditions such as: maintaining regular attendance at school, a “C" average or higher, obey parents/guardian, a curfew of 5 p.m. However, if the minor fails to comply or commits a new crime within the probationary period, they may file a petition with the prosecuting agency and terminate informal probation.
- Detained Minors: Probation has the same options as with non-detained minors. When a minor is delivered to juvenile detention facility and a petition is sought by a prosecuting agency, the probation officer may continue detention only if one or more is true: (1) lacks proper and effective parental care (2) destitute (3) home is unfit (4) matter of immediate and urgent necessity for the protection of the minor or reasonable necessity for the protection of the person or property of another (5) likely to flee (6) had violated a court order (7) a physical danger to himself or the public because of mental conditions—the court must notify the county mental health department.
Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law group patiently await your call.