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Juvenile Crimes in Texas

Being charged, arrested, and convicted of a juvenile offense in Texas can lead to serious penalties and can damage a young person’s future for years to come. Laws affecting juveniles are strictly monitored and enforced throughout the state of Texas. Becoming educated on these types of laws will ensure that you are better prepared if you ever find yourself charged with a juvenile-related offense.

Who is Considered a Juvenile in the State of Texas?

To start with, juveniles are considered those individuals that are between the ages of 10 and 16 years of age. Over half of juvenile offenses are completed by those between the ages of 14 and 15 and almost all of these are male.

How are Charges Brought Against a Juvenile in Texas?

While minor crimes are indeed chargeable, a law enforcement officer may choose to release the individual without continuing the charging process. The officer may determine it is in the best interest of the juvenile and society to release him to the custody of his parents or guardians and give a type of warning.

However, if the officer finds that a warning is not appropriate, local juvenile probation officials will be handed the case and will continue on with the proceedings. At this point, it is likely that the juvenile will be fingerprinted and his record may be accessed and referenced by law enforcement and juvenile agencies throughout the state of Texas.

If I Get Arrested as a Juvenile in Texas, Will I Go to a Detention Facility?

If a child gets placed into juvenile detention, the stay is short-term. These facilities are secure and generally allow the juvenile to get immediate attention for intoxication, injury or any possible illness affecting them at the time of the offense.

Besides receiving any needed medical attention, a stay at a facility also ensures that the juvenile will be present for his upcoming court date. Once it is time for the child’s court hearing, the judge will then decide the best route to take concerning the child and the proper penalties to impose in regards to the offense.

Penalties for Juvenile Crimes in Dallas

While the court has the ability under the law to place the juvenile in jail or another juvenile facility for any length of time (up to 40 years for the most serious of offenses) the judge may also deem that the most appropriate sentencing for the juvenile includes probation and community service.

Probation is quite common with young offenders because probation will not cause school to be interrupted for the child. The probation can still be quite strict, however, and require the juvenile to follow guidelines related to curfew, school attendance, and general conduct. The court will likely also require the juvenile to attend a local counseling program.

While parental supervision and probation are often appropriate and sufficient for the juvenile, that is not true for all cases. Children that suffer from mental conditions or any alcohol or drug dependency issues may need a more stringent program than what an at-home probation arrangement provides.

Juvenile case records are confidential and remain sealed. This is in part to ensure that, no matter the type of program chosen for the juvenile, the purpose behind it is to ensure that the child receives a fresh start and will move on to be a productive member of society.

Legal Representation

If you have questions related to a juvenile offense charge and need legal representation, contact The Wilder Firm to enlist the defense of experienced Dallas criminal lawyer.

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