When a child is removed from the home and taken into custody by the government, it can be confusing and frightening for the entire family. One of the first steps in the process is a detention hearing, which will determine whether or not the juvenile dependency case will remain open and whether the child will be removed from the home pending the outcome of the case.
This blog post will discuss what detention hearings are, who attends them, and what happens during them. We will also discuss parental rights and how they can be preserved during this difficult time.
What are Detention Hearings?
Detention hearings are held according to Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) section 300. The court must hold a Detention hearing within two court days of the child being removed from the home and taken into custody, excluding weekends and holidays.
At the detention hearing, the juvenile court will determine whether or not there is a substantial probability that the dependent child has been abused or neglected. If the court finds that there is a substantial probability, then the case will remain open, and the child will be removed from the home pending the outcome of the case.
Who Attends Detention Hearings?
At detention hearings, both parents or guardians have the right to be present and speak on their behalf. In addition, the juvenile dependency attorney and a representative from the county child welfare agency will also be present.
A commissioner or judge usually conducts the detention hearing. The child will also be appointed their own attorney. It is important to note that the child’s lawyer does not represent the parents or guardians.
The parent or guardian must obtain their own lawyer or legal counsel to represent the parent’s or guardian’s interests and to defend the parent’s or guardian’s rights.
What Happens During Detention Hearings?
During detention hearings, the parents or guardians can challenge the allegations and possibly explain their side of the story and why they believe their child should not be removed from the home. It will be up to the attorney can develop a strategy that best fits the case and the best route to reunification.
The detention hearing is not a trial but an essential opportunity for the parents or guardians to challenge the allegations on their face.
The detention hearing is also an opportunity for the child welfare agency to explain why they believe the child should be removed from the home. After both sides have been heard, the judge will determine whether the child should be removed from the home.
If the child is removed from the home, a subsequent hearing will be scheduled within 30 days to review the case. At the next hearing, the judge may determine if any progress has been made in mitigating the risk to the child.
It is important to remember that parents or guardians still have rights even though their child has been removed from the home. Parents or guardians have a right to:
– Be notified of all hearings related to their case
– Attend all hearings related to their case
– Present evidence at all hearings related to their case
– Cross-examine witnesses at all hearings related to their case
– Have an attorney represent them at all hearings related to their case
If you are a parent or guardian whose child has been removed from the home, you must exercise your rights and participate in the detention hearing. This hearing is one of the most critical opportunities to make your voice heard and to stop the juvenile dependency case from moving forward.
What Happens if the Judge Makes a Finding Against the Parent During the Detention Hearing?
If the judge makes a finding against the parent during the detention hearing, the child will remain in foster care or their temporary placement.
If this happens, it is important to remember that you still have rights and can participate in future hearings. It is also important to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that they can help you navigate the juvenile dependency system and defend your rights.
How Long Can Juvenile Dependency Cases Last?
There is no set time limit for how long juvenile dependency cases can last. Some cases are resolved quickly, while others can drag on for months or even years. The average Juvenile Dependency case can last anywhere from 6 months to 18 months. It ultimately depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.
If you are a parent or guardian whose child has been taken into custody, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the juvenile dependency system and defend your rights. Detention hearings are just one part of the process, and an experienced attorney can guide you through every step of the way.
TOP-RATED JUVENILE DEPENDENCY LAWYERS IN ORANGE COUNTY
You deserve to have a lawyer who will help you fight to get your child(ren) back. If you are dealing with a Juvenile Dependency case, DCFS case, or CPS case in Orange County you need the juvenile dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side.