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.