Criminal Defense Attorney in Broward County: First Steps in the Juvenile Case

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20th Mar 2018

A criminal defense attorney in Broward County can be of great service during the beginning stages of the juvenile process.  It is important to quickly contact a criminal defense attorney in Broward County if your child has been charged with a crime in the juvenile court system so that he or she can help with these early stages:

Arrest, Release and Detention

Juvenile cases tend to move much faster than criminal cases involving alleged adult offenders.  Law enforcement delivers the minor offender to DJJ and a counselor there prepares a risk assessment report to determine if the juvenile may be released to their parent or if he or she should be detained in a secure detention.

Detention Hearing

The next stage is for a detention hearing to be held if the juvenile was held overnight.  This hearing is legally required to occur within 24 hours of the arrest.  At this stage, the judge determines whether to release the juvenile or to continue to be held in the juvenile center.


The State Attorney reviews the facts and determines whether to pursue charges against the juvenile.  He or she files a petition that describes the charges against the juvenile.


About 21 days after the juvenile’s arrest, an arraignment is scheduled for the juvenile.  At this hearing, the juvenile is told what the charges against him or her and the juvenile pleads guilty or not guilty.  An attorney should be retained by this point to help the juvenile make important decisions.  A trial is often held within four weeks from the arraignment date, so it is important to be prepared for this process.