153 Kids and the Law When the child is committed to DYS, the child is placed in custody by the court officer and held until the child is transported to a DYS facility. The judge does not decide where DYS will place the child or when the child can return home. Those decisions are made by DYS. However, if a child is adjudicated delin- quent of a firearms offense, the child must be committed to DYS and DYS must place the child in a DYS facility for a period of at least six months or until age 18, whichever occurs first. Again, a defendant age 18 or older when the case is decided can be held up to age 20. What is a suspended DYS sentence? The child is placed on probation for a set period of time with a DYS commit- ment hanging over their head. If the child is found by a judge to have violated a condition of probation (see sections below) the judge may then commit the child to DYS. A suspended DYS sentence is a more serious disposition than a straight probation sentence. What happens if the probation officer believes that the child has violated the conditions of probation? If a probation officer learns the child has been charged with a new offense or believes that the child has violated other conditions of probation, the pro- bation officer sends the child a Notice of Surrender and Hearing for Alleged Violation(s) of Probation. The child must appear in court (with a parent or guardian) to respond to the allegation(s). The child is entitled to an attorney. What happens at a probation violation hearing? At a probation violation hearing, the child has some of the same rights as at trial. The child has the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to pres- ent and cross examine witnesses, and the right to remain silent. The probation officer usually prosecutes the case against the child, but an ADA is allowed to prosecute. The judge must decide if there is probable cause (the legal standard used to decide whether a person could reasonably believe) that the child violated a condition of probation. Delinquent Children 11