One of the scariest phone calls a parent or family member of a college student can receive is one from the student telling them that they have been arrested and need your help getting them out of jail. You are likely to feel frightened and helpless, but there are actions you can take to help ensure that your student has the best possible chance of getting out of the situation with as minimal damage as possible. Before focusing on working to get the charges downgraded or dismissed, you will want to know where your student is being held and how you can get them out of there as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to contact a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon as you learn of your grandchild’s arrest. Below, we explain where a college student will be taken after an arrest and how we can help them get out of jail and home on little to no bail.

What Happens to a Juvenile College Student after an Arrest in Philadelphia?

If your college student is under the age of 18, they will typically be processed in the juvenile justice system, which is an entirely separate entity from the adult criminal justice system. The only exceptions occur when juveniles over a certain age are charged with the most serious felonies like homicide, in which case they can be charged as adults. When a juvenile is arrested, they are usually taken to the closest police district where juvenile divisional detectives are housed. If they are 10 or older, they will go through the booking process of being fingerprinted and photographed. In these district stations, there are separate holding areas where juveniles who have been arrested can be kept out of “sight and sound” of the adult population, and this is usually where your juvenile student will be held until their release.

In the meantime, the parent or guardian will be contacted as soon as the arrest is made and asked to come to police district precinct where their child has been transported. Most of the time, the juvenile will be released to the parent or guardian after their arrest report is reviewed by a probation officer at the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Service Center (PJJSC). The police are likely, however, to try to interview the juvenile student with a parent or guardian present. You should not allow the juvenile to be interviewed, even with you present, until you have retained a skilled Philadelphia juvenile crimes attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long who can make sure they do not answer any questions that could be used against them later in a negative way.

For some serious offenses where the juvenile could be considered a threat to public safety, the juvenile intake officer may recommend that the juvenile is detained in the PJJSC. If this occurs, you need to reach out to an experienced Philadelphia college student defense attorney right away so we can file a motion to challenge the detention. At a hearing in front of a juvenile court judge, we will make the most persuasive arguments about why your child should be released to your care while the case is resolved, based on such factors as their criminal history, or lack thereof, and their low flight risk. There is no bail in juvenile court, so if the juvenile is released it will just be on the condition of returning to court and no cash payments will be required to be put up.

Should Philadelphia College Students Go to a Holding Center after an Arrest?

If your college student is 18 years or older and is a male, they will be taken to the closest police district station that functions as a divisional booking center (DBC), unless they are being charged with homicide or DUI, in which case they will be processed at the Police Detention Unit (PDU). After booking, they will be kept in the district station’s holding area or in the PDU’s pretrial holding center until a bail hearing can occur. All female adult arrestees are taken to the PDU, the central booking hub and detention facility where there is a separate holding center for female arrestees awaiting their bail hearing.

A bail hearing will occur at or around the same time as their preliminary arraignment, which must be held within 72 hours of their booking, but usually occurs much sooner. For this reason, it is imperative that you or another loved one contact a battle-tested Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon after the arrest as possible, so we have time to prepare for this important proceeding. One thing to note is that bail hearings in Philadelphia are done remotely, meaning the student will be video conferenced into the courtroom from their cell, rather than appearing in person.

At the bail hearing, the magistrate will decide whether the student can be released or if they must be detained until the charges against them are resolved. Usually, they will only hold someone for the most serious offenses like rape or homicide of if the person is deemed a serious flight risk. On the other hand, the magistrate will usually set bail, rather than release someone on their own recognizance, meaning without bail, unless it is a very minor offense like underage drinking charges in Philadelphia. Our skilled Philadelphia and Montgomery County criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long know how to make the best arguments for your student to be released on little to no bail, based on such factors as the nature and severity of the offense, their criminal record, and evidence regarding their ties to the local community. If bail is set at a level you still cannot afford, we can put you into contact with a reputable bail bondsman who can post a surety on the condition that your student shows up for court as required.

If Your College Student Has Been Arrested in Philadelphia, Call Our Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyers Right Away

Depending on their age, gender, and multiple other factors, there are a few different types of holding facilities a college student might be taken to after their arrest. If you contact an experienced Philadelphia defense lawyer for college students like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon as you learn of the arrest, we can get to work immediately on tracking down your student and getting them released from custody as quickly as possible. Then, we can turn our attention to fighting to get the case against them dismissed. For a free consultation, call us today at (215) 302-0171.

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