How Long Can a Juvenile Be Detained Without a Hearing?

Written By: Moermond & Mulligan, LLC

Last Updated: 07-10-2024

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

How Long Can a Juvenile Be Detained Without a Hearing_ image

The state of Ohio recognizes the negative impact that placing juveniles in detention can have on their health and future. For this reason, the state has a set of rules that police and the courts must follow when arresting a juvenile.

If Ohio police arrested your child, the juvenile defense attorneys of Moermond & Mulligan, LLC can help. Here’s what you need to know in the meantime.

What Are the Four Steps in the Juvenile Justice System?

The juvenile justice system has four main steps: arrest and pre-hearing detention, initial detention review, detention hearing, and adjudicatory hearing. Each step has strict deadlines to keep juveniles within the system for as little time as possible.

Step 1: Arrest and Pre-Hearing Detention

Juveniles can only be arrested under certain circumstances, including:

  • If the juvenile ran away from home
  • If a complaint was filed and there is reason to believe the juvenile will flee
  • If the court orders the juvenile’s arrest
  • If police caught the juvenile committing a crime
  • If the juvenile’s actions or environment put themself or others in danger

Once officers arrest the juvenile, they have 72 hours to hold a hearing on probable cause. At the end of this hearing, the officers must do one of two things. They can either release the juvenile to their parents or guardian or file a report detailing why detention is necessary.

Step 2: Initial Detention Review

If the administrative officer decides to detain the juvenile, they must do the following:

  • File a report detailing when and why the officers detained the juvenile
  • Tell the juvenile when and where their detention hearing will be, as well as the purpose of the hearing
  • Tell the juvenile about their right to call their parents and lawyer
  • Attempt to contact the juvenile’s parents or guardian to provide information on the detention, the hearing, the right to a lawyer, and visitation periods

Step 3: The Detention Hearing

What is a detention hearing? It confirms whether the juvenile will be held in detention before the adjudicatory hearing, which serves as the “trial” in a juvenile case. During this hearing, evidence such as the arrest report may be brought to demonstrate why detention is necessary.

It is standard for the juvenile to have a lawyer present during this hearing to help them understand their legal options and argue on their behalf. However, in some cases, the juvenile can choose to represent themself. When a juvenile wants to waive their right to an attorney, the court may dismiss this waiver for several reasons, including:

  • The juvenile’s age, intelligence, and education
  • The juvenile’s experience with the court system
  • The juvenile’s mental and emotional stability
  • The complexity of the case against the juvenile

When will the juvenile detention hearing happen? Rule 7(F)(1) of the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure states that the detention hearing must occur within 72 hours of detention or the next court day, whichever is earlier.

If the juvenile’s parents or guardian did not receive notice of the hearing and did not attend or waive their attendance, they can file for a rehearing. The rehearing must occur within 72 hours of the motion being filed with the court.

Step 4: The Adjudicatory Hearing

The adjudicatory hearing serves as the “trial” in juvenile criminal cases. At this hearing, a judge will listen to evidence and witness testimony from both the prosecution and the defense. There is no jury in an adjudicatory hearing.

The court must schedule this hearing within 72 hours of the complaint against the juvenile being filed. If the juvenile is detained, the adjudicatory hearing must also occur within 15 days of the complaint being filed. However, the court may extend the period for holding the hearing in certain circumstances.

Do Juveniles Get Bail?

In general, the juvenile system does not have bail. However, that does not mean the courts hold juveniles without bail. Instead, in most cases where bail is an option for an adult, the courts release juveniles to their parents or guardians.

Section 2152.26(F)(3)(b) of the Ohio Revised Code outlines one circumstance in which the court may give a juvenile bail. This scenario is when the crime prosecutors charge the juvenile with would have been a felony if an adult committed it. Additionally, for bail, the juvenile must be detained somewhere other than a home approved by the court, a certified child welfare facility, or another suitable place designated by the court.

The Negative Impact of Detention on Juveniles

How Long Can a Juvenile Be Detained Without a Hearing_ image 2The Sentencing Project reports that juvenile detention can have various adverse effects on children that last far into their future.

By looking at studies from around the country, the organization found that detention can lead to physical, emotional, and psychological harm. Juveniles who go through detention tend to suffer from more illnesses and injuries. And they were more likely to develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Juvenile detention also sets children up to fail. It causes them to fall behind in school and can lead to fewer or worse employment opportunities.

Additionally, the report found that juvenile detention didn’t reduce the likelihood of recidivism. It also found that decreased detention didn’t lead to more juvenile delinquent behavior.

These are the reasons why having an experienced defense attorney is vital. The right attorney can make a case before the judge that the courts should not hold your child in a detention facility. They can illustrate how being at home with family is best for your child.

Cincinnati Juvenile Defense Attorney

Was your child charged with a criminal offense? Call (513) 421-9790 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced juvenile defense attorneys of Moermond & Mulligan, LLC. Our team will fight for your child’s legal rights by defending them in their detention and adjudicatory hearings.