My Child Has Been Arrested. What Now?


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"My child has been arrested.  What now?" 

For minor law violations, the police may release a child to the custody of a parent(s) or responsible caregiver and file the alleged juvenile conduct or offense with the juvenile probation department without executing an arrest.  However, when further action is needed to protect the public or the child, or to prevent further offenses, a child may be referred to the juvenile detention center. 

"What is the juvenile detention center?" 

The juvenile detention center is a short-term, secure facility.  It is designed to protect the community and the child, and assure the child's appearance at court.  jrr_detention.aspx

"What happens when my child is taken to the juvenile detention center?"

Children arrive at the detention center around the clock.  Children may be sick, intoxicated, injured, depressed, or violent upon admission.  Critical decisions must be made on the spot.  Detention Intake Officers are skilled in crisis intervention, information gathering, and assessment.  All youth are assessed by medical personnel to ensure they are medically fit for confinement prior to admission.

"When and how do I get my child released?" 

An intake officer will contact you once your child has safely arrived and been taken into custody at the facility.  You will also be notified if your child is eligible for immediate release by intake staff at the detention center as prescribed in Texas Family Code 53.02(b).  Unlike the adult criminal justice system, juvenile offenders are not subject to posting bail for release. 

"My child was not released at intake and has to go to court.  What should I expect?"    

If a child is not deemed appropriate for release by detention intake staff, the child will be scheduled for a detention hearing before the Juvenile Court.  Detention hearings are conducted each business day with youth typically being scheduled for an initial detention hearing the following day after arrest.  During the pandemic, detention hearings are routinely conducted virtually, beginning at 1 PM each business day.  You will be notified of the time and location of the court hearing and providing with specific instruction on how to participate.  If you have immediate questions, you may call detention intake at: 972-547-5400 at any time (24 hours a day). 

"Does my child need an attorney?" 

Yes, the law requires that your child have any attorney. 

How do I find an attorney who works with kids and understands the juvenile criminal justice system? 

The following link Approved Juvenile Attorney List.pdf is a list of attorneys who are approved to receive juvenile cases as court-appointed legal counsel pursuant to the Collin County Fair Defense Plan. (JuvenilePlan.pdf) While the probation department makes reasonable attempts to keep this list current, parents are encouraged to use this information as resource and not an endorsement for any attorneys listed, their respective firms, or as an indicator of their current standing with the State Bar of Texas.  This list is merely being provided as a helpful guide and parents should exercise due diligence when seeking legal counsel to verify all attorney qualifications and standing.   

What if I do not have enough time and/or the resources to hire an attorney before the detention hearing? 

Should you not have enough time and/or the financial means to acquire an attorney to represent your child prior to the initial detention hearing, a licensed attorney who has been approved to represent juveniles by the State of Texas State Bar and the Collin County Fair Defense Plan for Juveniles shall be appointed to represent your child at the detention hearing.  A Juvenile Court Liaison will discuss legal representation status with you prior to the initial detention hearing and provide you with information to apply for a court appointed attorney to represent your child beyond the initial detention hearing if needed.  For more details or questions, the Juvenile Court Liaison may be reached during standard business hours at: 972-547-5402.