Do I have to remain in juvenile hall until my case is concluded?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Whether or not you will be released from juvenile hall prior to the conclusion of your case will depend on where you live, since each state has developed its own procedures concerning the circumstances under which a juvenile can be kept in custody. In general, however, in most cases after being arrested, any juvenile in custody must be brought before a juvenile court authority such as a juvenile master, commissioner or judge, for a detention hearing within 24 hours of arrest.

Will I need to remain in juvenile hall prior to the trial? Based on factors such as the seriousness of the offense, prior contact with the juvenile justice system, and educational or family background, the juvenile authority at your hearing will decide whether or not you should remain in custody prior to your trial. The juvenile authority will also decide the level of custody that is warranted in your case, which can include relatively secure custody (i.e., detention in juvenile hall), or less restrictive measures (i.e., detention in community based shelters, in home detention or electronic monitoring.

Will I need to remain in juvenile hall while the trial is underway? Subsequent to the detention hearing, your case will be set for trial. Since a juvenile does not have a constitutional right to bail, most states have established strict time frames in which the case must come to trial, generally around 21 days. During the trial process, if a continuance is requested and granted, the assigned judge will have the option to step down custody to a less restrictive measure. Ultimately, if the case does not come to trial within the statutory time period, a judge can dismiss the case without prejudice to the prosecution (the case can under these circumstances be re-opened in most jurisdictions upon request).

You do have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of your juvenile case.  Your attorney will advise you on what, if anything, you can do to remain out of custody pending trial.

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