Juvenile Detention In Connecticut | Stamford Defense Attorney

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UPDATE: Juvenile Detention in Connecticut

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This is an update to an article originally posted October 20, 2020.

Connecticut lawmakers have been wrangling with ways to combat increased juvenile crime, especially with the increased rates of repeat motor vehicle theft. Earlier this year, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 22-115 which brought changes to procedures and requirements in juvenile arrests, monitoring, and sentencing. That law went into effect on October 1st.

Under the new law, authorities must now bring a juvenile who has been arrested - as long as the juvenile is not being detained – in front of a judge within five business days of that arrest.

A juvenile can now be held up to eight hours (increased from six) if authorities are either trying to locate the youth’s parent or guardian or waiting on a detention order to be issued by a judge.

The new law also allows police officers more access to statewide electronic records of juveniles they are investigating. Police will now be able to access pending charges and prior arrests of that juvenile. The court will also now have the authority to officially order that a juvenile be assessed for any necessary services.

The law also allows for GPS monitoring for a juvenile charged with a second or subsequent offense involving motor vehicles.  Another change is the inclusion of firearm crimes and homicide in the state’s special juvenile probation docket.

Contact a Stamford, CT Defense Attorney for Help

If your child has been arrested or is facing any kind of criminal offense, do not delay in contacting a skilled Fairfield County juvenile defense lawyer for legal assistance. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

If your child commits a crime while they are under the age of 17, the offense will generally be handled in juvenile court, which is focused far more on rehabilitation than on punishment. However, sometimes the offense will not be serious enough to be sent to adult court, but serious enough to warrant further supervision. In these cases, the answer is usually to remand the juvenile to detention. This is less common than it used to be, but it will happen in some cases, and if it does, it is important for both you and your child to understand your rights in this situation.

15 Days Max - Usually

Most situations in which a minor is arrested in Connecticut will end in their being released to their parents with a promise to appear in juvenile court in days or weeks. However, if the child has committed a more serious offense, authorities have the option of sending them to juvenile detention until the next business day, when arraignment will usually happen. Unlike in adult court, bail is not required in juvenile court, and minors may not post bail of their own accord, so very often a minor will remain in the detention center until their arraignment.

In all but the rarest cases, the maximum amount of time a juvenile can remain in detention is 15 days. The only time this will be extended is if the juvenile has committed a serious juvenile offense (SJO), which is a crime which may (and frequently must) merit transferring the case to adult court. The list of SJOs include approximately 50 felonies, such as murder, sexual assault, and first-degree robbery, and kidnapping. If your child has been charged with an SJO, the likelihood of them remaining in juvenile detention is quite high even if the case remains in the juvenile court system.

Your Child Has Rights

While an extended stay in juvenile detention is reserved for those who have committed serious crimes or who otherwise demonstrate a need to be watched over, it is important to know that there are strict regulations on when a child may be placed there. Effective January 2017, Connecticut law holds that no child may be placed in detention unless certain criteria are met - namely:

  • There is probable cause to believe that the child has actually committed the acts they are charged with;
  • There is no less restrictive alternative available - that is, there is no other place that the child could stay that would not be problematic or dangerous; and
  • One of three scenarios are true:
  • There is “probable cause” that the child will pose a “risk to public safety” if released prior to their hearing;
  • There is a need to hold the child so as to ensure their appearance in court - especially if they have failed to appear in the past; and/or
  • There is a need to hold the child so that another jurisdiction can get to them.

If you believe that these criteria are not being met in your child’s case, contacting an experienced juvenile defense attorney is crucial, so that you can ensure your child’s rights are being protected throughout the criminal process.

Can a Stamford Juvenile Defense Attorney Help You?

Learning that your child has committed a crime can be terrifying for any good parent; it can be hard to determine how to proceed, especially if the crime is serious. Contacting a skilled Fairfield County juvenile defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner can be a good start - Attorney Weiner has been handling these matters for years and is passionate about ensuring your child’s rights are protected. Contact our office at 203-348-5846 today for a free consultation.