December 21, 2009 • Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
If your child is arrested and detained at a Los Angeles County juvenile hall, the first thing you should know is that you cannot post bail to get him or her released. Unlike adult criminal cases, there is no bail in juvenile cases.
You should contact a qualified juvenile delinquency attorney to discuss your options. Even if you do not contact an attorney, your child will still be appointed a Public Defender or other appointed lawyer once he or she goes to court.
When Does My Child Go To Court?
If your child is detained in juvenile hall or police custody:
- The District Attorney must file charges against your child within 48 hours (in juvenile court this called “filing a petition.”). See Welfare and Institutions Code 631(a) for more information.
- If the petition is not filed within 48 hours, your child must be released from juvenile hall. However, the Petition may still be filed at a later date. See Welfare and Institutions Code 632(c).
- If the alleged crime is a non-violent misdemeanor, and the minor is in custody, then the petition AND your child must be brought to court within 8 hours or else he or she must be released. See Welfare and Institutions Code 631(b).
- If a Petition is filed before your child is arrested and detained at juvenile hall, the District Attorney has ONE judicial day in which to bring your child to court for a detention hearing. If your child is not brought into court, then he or she must be must be released. See Welfare and Institutions Code 632(a).
NOTE: These times include non-court hours BUT exclude non-judicial days (meaning weekends or court holidays).from juvenile hall.