It is a terrifying experience when your minor child is arrested. It is even worse when you don't know what to do or expect. The information below explains the general process used when juveniles are arrested in the Las Vegas Valley (including Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and outlying areas) and taken to the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center. For a free consultation regarding the facts of your individual case, contact the Las Vegas Juvenile Delinquency Attorneys at Brown Law Offices 24/7 at (702) 405-0505 or via e-mail at TheLasVegasDefender@gmail.com.
Federal law requires that juveniles cannot be housed with adult offenders. Juveniles must be "sight and sound" separated from adult criminals. Therefore, when a child is arrested in the Las Vegas Valley, he or she will be taken to the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center (also called "Juvenile Hall") where only juvenile offenders are housed.
Once a child arrives at Juvenile Hall, the probation officers there fill out what is called a "Risk Assessment Instrument" or RAI to determine whether the juvenile will remain detained or whether he or she will be released home to the parent/guardian.
The RAI is a series of questions designed to figure out whether the child can be safely released into the community. The questions include the nature of the current charges (violent/nonviolent, property offense/person offense), the number of current charges, the number of prior offenses, whether the person was already on supervised release, etc. Each factor is assigned a number of "points." If the child scores below a designated threshold, the child is usually released. If the child exceeds the threshold number of points, the child is ordinarily detained. Probation officers can seek an exception or "override" in either case, but they are rarely granted.
There is no such thing as bail in Juvenile Court. If the child is deemed safe to be released, they are released to the custody of their parent. If not, they are detained. There are specialized programs such as house arrest, detention review and release program (DRRP), intensive supervision, etc. However, there is no opportunity to post bail for a juvenile offense.
If a child is released, they are given a return court date. The child is required to return and appear in court on that date. If they do not appear, a warrant or "writ" will be issued for the child's arrest.
If a child is detained, they are brought before a Juvenile Hearing Master at 9:00 a.m. on the next business day for a Detention Review Hearing. At the detention review hearing, an attorney can challenge whether there is sufficient evidence ("probable cause") to support a delinquent charge. The attorney may also request that the court to release the child to his or her parent/guardian. If a child is released at the detention review hearing, they are given a return date at which time the juvenile must return to court.
If the court orders the juvenile remain detained, the plea hearing will ordinarily be set within four (4) business days (unless it is a juvenile sexual offense or a certification to adult status case). If a petition is not filed prior to the return court date, the juvenile is usually released.
If your child or the child of someone you know has been arrested for a delinquent offense, it is important that you contact a Las Vegas Juvenile Delinquency Attorney right away. The Las Vegas Juvenile Delinquency Attorney specializes in juvenile offenses and can assist you in understanding and navigating the juvenile court system. The Las Vegas Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer will also assist you in analyzing the facts of your child's case, identifying applicable defenses and providing your child with the most aggressive defense strategy possible to protect his or her legal rights.