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Where Does a Juvenile Go When Arrested in Philadelphia?

Kids and teens are often entangled in the justice system, but the juvenile justice system is very different than the system for adults. When juveniles are arrested in Philadelphia, they are treated differently than adult offenders.

After a juvenile is arrested for a criminal offense in Philadelphia, they might be detained by law enforcement. Usually, this initial detention is brief and intended to hold juveniles long enough for police to identify them, contact their parents, and assess the overall situation. In Philadelphia, the police cannot detain a juvenile for more than 72 hours without filing a petition against them. At that point, a detention hearing may be held to determine whether further detention is necessary. Even if your child is detained for a longer period, there are strict limits on how long juveniles may be held. If your child has been held for a long time with no hearings or notice about what comes next, talk to an attorney immediately. Your lawyer can help you work to get your child released from custody.

Call our Philadelphia juvenile defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free, confidential evaluation of your child’s case.

Where Do Juvenile Offenders Go After Being Arrested in Philadelphia?

After a juvenile is arrested in Philadelphia, they may be taken to the police station, similar to how many adult offenders are treated. Juveniles are typically kept separate from adult offenders at all times. If your child is held in a secure facility like a jail, they must be separated from all adults. Many police stations and jails have separate facilities specifically for juveniles.

Once the juvenile has been identified and the police have notified their parents or guardian, the police may decide to detain or release the juvenile. In many cases, juveniles are released to their parents. Information regarding further legal proceedings may be provided before the juvenile leaves or shortly after. If the police believe it is best to continue detailing the juvenile, a detention hearing must be arranged.

Detention hearings do not concern matters of guilt or innocence; that comes later during the adjudicatory hearing. Instead, the detention hearing is designed to determine whether the juvenile should be released or if it is necessary to hold them until an adjudication hearing. Our Philadelphia juvenile defense attorneys can work to convince the court your child should be released.

Often, juveniles are released unless special circumstances are present. For example, juveniles with no home to return to, who are flight risks, or who are especially dangerous may be detained longer.

How Long Can a Juvenile Be Held in Philadelphia After Being Arrested?

Juveniles may be briefly detained after an arrest, but they cannot be held very long without a detention hearing. After being arrested and initially detained in Philadelphia, a juvenile offender cannot be held for longer than 3 days without a petition being filed and a detention hearing, according to 237 Pa. Code Rule § 240(C).

The restrictions on detaining juveniles do not end there. According to 237 Pa. Code Rule § 1404, if your child is detained after a detention hearing, their adjudicatory hearing must be held no later than 10 days after a petition is filed. This deadline is a bit more flexible. If either side needs additional time to prepare, the court may grant a continuance. At the end of the day, your child should not be waiting in a jail cell for weeks or even months waiting for their adjudicatory hearing. If your child has been waiting in detention for a long time, call a lawyer now.

If your child is not removed from the home and is released after arrest, their adjudicatory hearing must happen as soon as possible. There is a hard deadline of 45 days from the date the petition is filed. While this seems like a long time to wait for your child’s case to be adjudicated, they will not be waiting in detention.

If a juvenile is detained and there is no hearing within 10 days, the juvenile must be released by motion of their defense counsel. However, under 237 Pa. Code Rule § 240(D)(1), a juvenile may be held for longer if the court determines material evidence is unavailable, due diligence to obtain this evidence has been exercised, and there are reasonable grounds on which to believe this evidence will be available later.

How to Get Your Juvenile Released from Police Custody After Being Arrested in Philadelphia

Getting the call that the police have picked your child up is every parent’s nightmare. Of course, you will want to protect your child and bring them home as soon as possible. Call a lawyer right away and talk to them about how you can have your child released from police custody.

Juveniles are usually only detained if absolutely necessary. Police officers and prosecutors often try to avoid detaining juveniles if possible. If you believe your child is being detained without cause, talk to a lawyer. They can help you file motions with the court challenging your child’s detention. For example, the authorities might argue that your child is too dangerous to be released. However, if they did not commit an allegedly violent offense and have no history of violence, we can challenge the detention.

Another possibility is that we can work to get your child released because no offense has been committed. A delinquent act is the juvenile equivalent of a criminal offense. Maybe other kids your child was with committed a delinquent act, and your child got mixed up in it by mistake. We can go to the courts and urge them to look at the evidence and release your child.

Another tactic is to watch the clock. Suppose time limits regarding juvenile detention have been exceeded. In that case, we can file motions with the court to release your child unless the authorities want to file a petition or have a good reason to continue holding your child.

Contact Our Philadelphia Juvenile Defense Lawyers for Support Today

For a free, private assessment of your child’s case, call our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.