Are Juvenile Offenders Typically Arrested, Or Cited And Released?

Interviewer: What happens when a juvenile commits a crime? Are they arrested just like an adult and where are they taken?

Jack: Usually, they are just given a summons to a hearing in juvenile court. If they are taken into custody they are sent to the detention where they are held until their court date and then the judge decides whether to remand them back to juvenile detention or release them on suspended orders.

The juvenile must attend school, follow the rules of the house, and abide by curfew at 7:00. They are assigned a probation officer who ensures they are compiling with the court orders. If the juvenile doesn’t do what he or she is supposed to do, there is a zero tolerance policy in effect, and he or she could find him or herself back in detention. If graduated sanctions are applied by the judge it, the juvenile may have to wear a monitoring bracelet if they violate any of the rules.

If the rules are violated while they are wearing the bracelet, they court can take away another privilege.

Can Juvenile Offenders Be Released From a Detention Center If Parents Post Bail?

Interviewer: So, there are no bail bonds for juveniles if they are detained?

Jack: No. Juvenile court in Connecticut now includes cases that involve 17-year-olds. Up to a few years ago it just heard cases for juveniles up to 16 years of age, then we expanded to include 16s and now it includes 17 year olds as well.

Interviewer: So juveniles can’t get bail bonds. Isn’t that a more severe consequence than an adult would face?

Jack: No. The vast majority of the time they are given just a summons to appear in court. If it’s a serious offense where they are considered a risk to his or herself or others, they are held and then the next day they appear in court and the judge decides whether to leave them in there or to release them to their families or guardians.

If they are released, it can be with suspended orders they are ordered to go to school, ordered to go to counseling, and they are ordered to be home by 7:00.

What Is the Cut-Off Age For Juvenile Classification?

Interviewer: A juvenile is defined as someone that’s below 18-years-old?

Jack: Yes. That brings Connecticut into compliance with the majority of the other states in the union.

Interviewer: That classification applies except for alcohol-related offenses, in which case the age is under 21 years old, is that correct?

Jack: Yes. If you’re a juvenile and you’re caught with alcohol you still go to juvenile court.

What Is the Juvenile Classification for Alcohol-Related Offenses?

Interviewer: What about if you’re 19 and you’re drinking and you’re caught with alcohol?

Jack: You will go to adult court. Because you’re under 21, you lose your driver’s license. That new law has brought me a lot of business. If you’re caught with marijuana or alcohol or paraphernalia and you’re under 21, you will lose your driver’s license. I am hired lot quite often to try to save driver’s licenses for that age group.

Interviewer: Is that considered a juvenile offense or an adult offense?

Jack: No. It’s an adult offense because you’re over 18 but fewer than 21 years of age.

Will a Child’s School Find Out If He or She Is Charged With a Juvenile Crime?

Interviewer: Will a child’s school find out if they are arrested and charged with any juvenile offense or is that not a public type record?

Jack: Yes. There are some mandatory reporting laws where the police have to notify the school. If the juvenile has committed the type of offense that puts others at risk, they can be suspended or even expelled.

Interviewer: What kind of offenses would put the other children in the school at risk?

Jack: That would include carrying a pistol and a sex assault.

Can Your Attorney Intervene to Keep Your Child From Being Expelled From School?

Interviewer: Do you ever have to intervene to keep a juvenile in school despite if the school wants to expel them? Are you even allowed to intervene?

Jack: Yes. I’ve done that. It’s frequently difficult to accomplish that. What you can do is frequently negotiate and arrange for alternative schooling where the school pays for a tutor, but the offender is just not with the student population.

By Jack O’Donnell

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