My child was arrested and taken into custody. What can the arresting officer do?
The officer may do 1 of 5 things:
  • Let your child go home to you or accompany him or her home or back to the place of arrest, and maintain a record of the contact.
  • Refer your child to a community agency providing shelter, care, diversion, or counseling.
  • In some counties, require your child to return to the police station rather than to the probation department (this is sometimes referred to as “cited back.”)
  • Give you and your child a Notice to Appear, telling you what you and your child must do and when you must do it.
  • Shortly after the arrest, lock up your child in the probation juvenile hall (this is called “detention”). If your child is locked up or held by the officer, your child has the right to make at least 2 phone calls no later than 1 hour after arrest. One of the phone calls must be a completed call to a parent, guardian, or a completed call to an attorney, if the officer is going to question your child about what happened, the officer must also tell your child that he or she has the right to remain silent, that anything your child says will be used against him or her, that he or she has a right to be represented by a lawyer, and that the court will appoint a lawyer if your child cannot afford one. These are called Miranda rights. If the officer is not going to question your child, the officer will not necessarily explain these rights.
If your child is locked up or held somewhere, the officer must take immediate steps to notify you that your child is in custody and where your child is being held. When you are notified, the officer must also tell you about each of the Miranda rights that your child has.

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1. My child came home after being arrested. What will happen now?
2. My child was arrested and taken into custody. What can the arresting officer do?
3. If we get a Notice to Appear, what will happen at the meeting with the probation officer? What should I do?
4. Do I need a lawyer for myself?
5. Does my child need a lawyer?
6. My child’s probation officer told me that the district attorney will be filing a petition. What does that mean?
7. What will happen if my child is taken to juvenile hall after the arrest?
8. How long could my child have to stay in juvenile hall?
9. Can I visit my child in juvenile hall?
10. What is the role of the probation officer?
11. How will my child and I find out about the court hearings?
12. What hearings will my child go to in juvenile court?
13. What will happen at the jurisdiction hearing?
14. What will happen at the disposition hearing?
15. May I be present at the hearings?
16. May I speak at the hearings?
17. Do we have the right to an interpreter?
18. May the victim attend and speak at the disposition hearing?
19. When can my child be tried as an adult?
20. What felonies are likely to be tried in adult court?
21. Where will my child go if he or she is sent to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)?
22. When would my child go to the Division of Adult Operations instead of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)?
23. Am I financially liable for my child’s acts?
24. Will I be required to pay my child’s fees?
25. Can my child’s juvenile records be sealed?
26. Can my child’s juvenile court record be used against him or her as an adult?
27. What should I do as a parent?