GET HELP WITH JUVENILE CRIME CHARGES
Being accused of or charged with a juvenile offense can be an overwhelming and scary time for the child, as well as the parents. A parent may worry that the child will be taken out of their home. A child may worry of potential long-term effects. It is important to have an experienced juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible to help mitigate repercussions.
What age is considered a juvenile?
For criminal law purposes, Texas will prosecute someone as an adult if they are 17 or older. Children accused of crimes as young as 10 years old and up to 16 years old are handled within the juvenile court system. Even if an adult is over the age of 18, he or she can be prosecuted for an offense that happened when they were between 10 and 16.
Are juvenile cases treated the same as adult cases?
Juvenile offenses in Texas are treated differently than adult offenses in a number of very important ways. These include whether or not the juvenile will be arrested, where the juvenile will go upon arrest, what happens after arrest, how the case is treated in court, what the punishment will be, and what will happen to the juvenile’s permanent criminal record. All of these differences require the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in defending juvenile cases.
ALTERNATIVES TO COURT FOR JUVENILES
First Offender Program
A peace officer has the discretion under Sec. 52.031 to release a juvenile into the First Offender Program. The program includes voluntary restitution, community service, educational training, vocational training, counseling, and periodic reporting, without the case being referred to juvenile court. A successful completion of this program results in the case being closed. However, failure to successfully complete the program results in the case being referred to juvenile court.
A child may not qualify for the First Offender Program if he/she committed a first, second, or third degree felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a capital felony.
The probation department has the option under Sec. 53.03 to defer prosecution and place a child under 6 months of supervision, without referring the case to juvenile court.
A child may not qualify for deferred prosecution if he/she committed a felony or misdemeanor involving violence to a person or the use/possession of a firearm, illegal knife, or club. Even in those instances, a prosecuting attorney may defer prosecution.
Justin was my lawyer for a case I had with Tarrant County. He was very responsive, professional, and helped us sooo much! I ended up having everything dismissed. Definitely highly recommend!
- Payton R.
I cannot say enough good things about this law firm! They took care of me and immediately started working my case. They knew exactly what to do as soon as I told them my story.
- Alana B.
TYPES OF JUVENILE CASES
The types of crimes a juvenile can be charged with are much the same as adult crimes, and follow the same law. Some common types of juvenile arrests are for:
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Assault (fighting in school or fighting with a loved one)
Sexual Assault/Aggravated Sexual Assault
“Sexting”/Sending Lewd Photos/Possession of Child Pornography
Potential Consequences Of Juvenile Crimes
The consequences of a juvenile case can vary greatly. In best cases, no charges are pressed. In worst, cases may qualify for certification and prosecution as an adult. And of course, we’ve seen everything in between.
With some resolutions, the juvenile can “seal” the offense from his or her criminal records, meaning that it can’t be found on the juvenile’s criminal record, and the juvenile can legally say he or she was never arrested or charged with an offense. Some resolutions will stay on the juvenile’s criminal record forever. It is important that your attorney know all the possible consequences in order to work out the best result for the juvenile.
Hire the Right Firearms Attorney
Having a DFW defense attorney who is experienced with firearm cases and Texas weapons laws can make a huge difference in your case’s outcome. Justin has handled numerous firearms cases throughout his defense career, including securing the first not guilty verdict in a Plano court since its opening in 2007 for a client in a firearms case (read more about the case here).
HIRE A JUVENILE DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If a juvenile is arrested or a charged by a police officer, that doesn’t mean the juvenile will be judged guilty of the crime or even required to go to court. An experienced juvenile attorney will evaluate the strength of the case and get to know the juvenile in order to choose the best possible strategy to before making a persuasive argument against prosecution.
Sparks Law Firm attorney Lisa Herrick specializes in juvenile delinquency cases and knows how to work with families to get to best outcomes. Call the Sparks Law Firm at (817) 334-0300 to set your consultation.
The earlier an experienced attorney is retained to represent the juvenile, the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Do not wait until formal charges are filed. We will immediately take proactive steps to try to prevent the filing of a case, and also protect the juvenile from unknowingly incriminating him- or herself further.