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Detention & Commitment


If your child has been arrested or is under an investigation for a crime in Melbourne, Brevard County, or anywhere in Central Florida, your best protection is to retain an aggressive and experienced juvenile defense attorney at the earliest possible stage in their case.

Juvenile Detention and Commitment

Pre-Adjudication Detention

Juvenile detention is short-term placement for a child who is pending trial or adjudication. Within twenty-four (24) hours after being taken into custody, the Court will conduct a Detention Hearing to determine whether to continue the child’s detention status. If continued detention is ordered, the child may be held for twenty-one (21) days or longer.

Under some circumstances, your child may be eligible for the home detention program. Home detention allows a child to await his/her next Court appearance at home or at another appropriate placement. During this time, the child is kept under the close supervision of a Juvenile Probation Officer and must abide by the rules of a supervision contract. Should the child violate the terms of the supervision contract, he/she can be transferred back to secure detention until the end of their case.

Post-Adjudication Commitment

Under Florida law, a child may be ordered to a residential commitment program when he/she is found to have committed a delinquent act or violation of law. The purpose of juvenile commitment is not the same as imprisonment for adults, in that juvenile facilities are intended to rehabilitate children through supervision, counseling, and treatment. Commitment is different from detention in that it may be ordered following the child’s trial/adjudication and usually lasts for a period of months. One of the most troubling aspects of juvenile commitment is that the period of commitment is indeterminate. This can be very frustrating for both the child and his/her family.

If and once the Court determines that commitment is appropriate, it must choose what level of restrictiveness is appropriate. The restrictiveness “levels” represent the movement and freedom allowed within the facility.

Levels of Juvenile Commitment

Under Florida law, there are four (4) levels of juvenile commitment: minimum risk non-residential, non-secure residential, high-risk residential, and maximum-risk residential.

Minimum-Risk Non-Residential Commitment

Children assigned to minimum-risk commitment are able to live at home with their parents while they participate at least five (5) days a week in a day-treatment program. The Court will order a child to this level of commitment when it finds that he/she poses a minimum risk to themselves and to the public. Children found to have committed delinquent acts involving firearms, sex offenses, or offenses that would be life felonies or first-degree felonies if committed by an adult are not eligible for minimum-risk non-residential commitment. Minimum-risk non-residential facilities are the least intrusive form of juvenile commitment.

Non-Secure Residential Commitment

Non-secure residential commitment requires the child to live at a DJJ facility with supervised access to the community. Most non-secure placements result from first and second-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies. Children ordered to this level of commitment are considered a moderate risk to public safety and are usually infrequent and nonviolent offenders. The average length of stay in non-secure residential commitment program is 3-9 months, depending on how quickly the child reaches his/her treatment goals.

High-Risk Residential Commitment

A child who is ordered into a high-risk residential commitment program will be placed in a setting with 24-hour secure custody and supervision. Most high-risk residential placements result from serious felony offenses and a prior history of repeated felony offenses. The Court will order a child to this level of commitment when it finds that the child is a substantial risk to public safety and requires close supervision. High-risk residential facilities are secured with perimeter fencing and locking doors, providing access to the community for court appearances and health-related appointments only. The average length of stay in a high-risk residential commitment program is 9-12 months, but can feel like much longer given the intense level of restrictiveness.

Maximum-Risk Residential Commitment

Maximum-risk residential commitment is the most secure setting in the DJJ program for committed youth. These facilities are similar to high-risk residential facilities in that they provide 24-hour custody, care, and close supervision. Children ordered to this level of commitment are found by the Court to pose a serious, demonstrated threat to the public. Commitment to maximum-risk residential facilities usually last for 18-36 months.

The Canina Law Firm | Juvenile Offense Attorney

A juvenile should never go into the legal system alone. If your child has been arrested in Melbourne or anywhere in Brevard County, Florida, for a misdemeanor or felony offense. CONTACT The Canina Law Firm today for your FREE Case Evaluation.

Brevard County Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

The Canina Law Firm proudly defends all residents of Brevard County and all cities and towns along Florida’s Space Coast including: Melbourne, Viera, Suntree, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Palm Shores, Palm Bay, Rockledge, Merritt Island, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach, Grant, Valkaria, Micco, Barefoot Bay, Scottsmoor, Mims, and Sebastian, as well as neighboring Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Indian River County, FL.

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