Juvenile crimes are dealt with differently than crimes committed by an adult. For one, trying and sentencing underage individuals who have committed a crime is treated as a civil matter in Texas, so juvenile courts have their own specific guidelines and practices. Punishments for juvenile crimes vary greatly depending on the severity of the crimes and the circumstances surrounding them. In Texas, children as young as 14 can be prosecuted as adults for murder and other violent crimes. However, state law forbids a child to be tried as an adult without “a full investigation and a hearing” to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the child committed the offense and whether “the welfare of the community requires” that the child be tried as an adult. If your child has been charged with a crime of any type, then contact a qualified lawyer who can represent your child in their case and ensure their rights are protected throughout the criminal proceedings.
Advantage of a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being convicted of a crime can have disastrous and long-lasting consequences on a child’s well-being and future. A criminal record can severely limit a minor’s educational and employment opportunities. A skilled attorney representing a juvenile in their case could help them avoid these consequences by building a defense that results in their charges being lessened or eliminated entirely. If your child is facing criminal charges, then it is critically important to avoid a conviction. The Owens Law Firm offers skilled legal representation that increases our clients’ chances of a case outcome that is advantageous to them. A child should not be denied a bright and successful future because of a foolish mistake.
Penalties for Juveniles
The Texas Juvenile Justice Code uses the term “delinquent conduct” to refer to any penal offense, other than a traffic offense, under Texas law or federal law punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail. If a juvenile defendant is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct, then the child may be placed on varying levels of probation or committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). A child sent to TJJD for a serious crime might get transferred to a state prison for the balance of the sentence time once he or she becomes an adult. Depending on the severity of the delinquent conduct, the court may decide against committing the child to TJJD and instead issue an official warning or sentence the child to an alternative disposition, such as community service and/or a fine.
A juvenile offender tried and convicted as an adult is subject to the same punishments for crimes, with one exception: the United States Constitution protects Americans from execution for crimes they committed as children. This means that no one convicted of a capital murder that took place when they were under 18 will face the death penalty, even if they are 18 or older at the time of trial.
Have you or your child been arrested in the Metroplex?
Are you a child facing criminal charges? Are you the parent of a child facing criminal charges? Contact us today online or by telephone at 817-334-7997 to speak with a Fort Worth/Dallas juvenile offenses defense lawyer.
At The Owens Law Firm, we help juveniles who are facing criminal charges. Protecting your child’s future and freedom is our highest priority. Depending on the circumstances, we will work hard to pursue dismissal of the charges your child is facing. If we are unable to do that, then we can seek probation, diversion programs, drug and alcohol counseling, and other alternatives to detention.
It is especially important for a juvenile to maintain a clean criminal record to protect his or her educational and employment prospects. Don’t let your child’s entire future be compromised. Contact our law firm immediately to see how we can help!