Juvenile law in Texas can be baffling at times, but all the rules are in place for a reason. Within 48 hours of a juvenile being taken into custody, the authorities must alert the guardian, and a court must hold a detention hearing.
The detention hearing decides whether a juvenile is going to be released into his or her guardian’s care or held in a detention center until his or her court appearance. This ruling is separate from the court verdict that will be decided at a later date.
Why would a judge send a juvenile to a detention center?
Juvenile law doesn’t have a bail system like adult courts. Instead, the detention hearing decides if the juvenile should be held at a detention center or if he or she is OK to be sent home with his or her guardian until the official hearing.
It’s almost always preferable to send a juvenile home with his or her guardian. There are a few reasons why a court may decide to keep the juvenile in a detention center, though, such as:
- There is a fear that the guardians or the juvenile will flee the area.
- There’s not suitable supervision/protection for him or her.
- There is not a guardian in the picture.
- There’s no way for the juvenile to be driven back to court for the hearing.
- The juvenile is a threat to him or herself or others.
What happens when a child is kept in a detention center?
If the court rules that a child must remain at a detention center until his or her court appearance, a detention hearing must be held every 10 days to determine whether the juvenile should still be held at the center. Reach out to a lawyer if you have questions or concerns about this process as it relates to a juvenile you know.