What does the court consider in deciding whether to detain or release a juvenile in Pennsylvania? VIDEO

The court will consider various factors in deciding whether to detain or release a juvenile in Pennsylvania, especially shortly after the juvenile's arrest, but it could also be considered at any point in the process. After a juvenile is arrested, a detention hearing would be scheduled where the court would make a determination if it's most appropriate for the juvenile to go home to his or her parents or other loved ones, or if the young person should remain in custody pending further action of the court.

If a young person were to be detained or to remain in juvenile custody, a court date would have to be set within 10 days of the release to go home. The court date could take place at some later date. That 10-day date can be waived by agreement of the defense, however, the seriousness of the offense would be taken to consideration, the threat to public safety if that's a factor, how the juvenile was doing in school, in the community, otherwise how the juvenile was doing at home in terms of listening to his or her parents.

There's a number of factors that the court would use to determine whether or not the person would be detained or were to be released and this is a determination that could also be made at a later point in the process if the young person is say under the supervision of the court and if they're not doing what's expected of them. Whether they would say be allowed to remain at home under juvenile supervision, juvenile probation that is, or were to say have to go to a residential treatment facility, for example, a structured school setting if they're not doing well at home.

There's a number of factors that the court would consider. An experienced Pennsylvania juvenile defense attorney can help you best understand what factors would be considered and how to present that information to the court to try and have a young person come home and be with their family. They should be involved from as early as possible in the process.

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