What Happens if I’m Arrested?

Adults are arrested for law violations. The term used in juvenile court to describe an arrest is “taken into custody.” Children taken into custody in Miami-Dade County are transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC), a centralized processing center, by the arresting police agency.

At the JAC, the child may be evaluated and questioned regarding his life, family and peers as well as his involvement in the charges. The answers the child gives at the JAC will be shared and used by many state agencies including the police and the State Attorney’s Office.

A DJJ probation officer at the JAC conducts a detention risk assessment to determine whether the child can be legally detained before the first court hearing. The risk assessment is a point system in which points are assigned for each charge. The more serious the charge, the more points assigned. There are additional points for having a prior delinquency history with the juvenile justice system. The DJJ uses the “score” to determine whether the juvenile may be released or will be detained at the Juvenile Detention Center. Generally, if the child is taken into custody on a third degree felony charge of violence or any higher degree of felony, the child will be detained and transported from the JAC to the Juvenile Detention Center, a temporary holding facility for juveniles comparable to jail in the adult system.

A detained juvenile is not entitled to bond, but will appear before a judge for a detention hearing within 24 hours.



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Law Offices of the Public Defender
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida


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