Children are prone to mistakes. Sometimes they go overboard and end up breaking the law with their actions. Facing a criminal accusation can be a traumatic experience for a child. Parents also worry about what happens to their kids and how this affects them long-term.
Juvenile defense attorneys help minors facing juvenile offense charges. These are criminal defense attorneys that have experience with juvenile courts. They can help minimize the consequences juvenile offenders face.
Contact Sparks Law Firm to talk to a criminal defense attorney in Southlake, TX. The earlier a child gets representation after a criminal offense, the more likely they get a strong defense for their case.
Who Is a Juvenile in Southlake, TX?
Under Texas Law, an adult is someone who is 17 years or older. Cases for offenders between 10 and 16 years old are handled in juvenile court instead of adult court.
The law assumes that children below 10 years can't intentionally commit a crime. They are too young and can't differentiate right from wrong. However, in a homicide case, some kids in this age group can be liable. Adults can still face prosecution for their criminal offenses as minors.
How Are Juvenile Cases Treated Differently from Others?
There are several differences between the criminal justice system and the juvenile justice system in Texas. These include:
Juvenile arrest process
Processing after getting arrested
Type of court
Alternatives to court
Type of punishment
Effect on juvenile criminal record
A juvenile lawyer understands such cases and how they intersect with other domains such as family law, personal injury law, etc. Reach out to our law office as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.
Consequences for Juvenile Offenders
Juvenile court punishes a minor with their best interest at heart. Even though prosecutors and family members of victims may want harsher justice, the intention of the juvenile division of the justice system is to protect, educate and rehabilitate the defendant. Punishment can therefore come in several forms instead of prison. Some include:
The best possible outcome for the child is to avoid jail. This can ruin their permanent criminal record if it happens. Juvenile attorneys try as much as possible to prevent children from getting convicted for some offenses.
Alternatives to Court for Juvenile Offenders
A child facing charges doesn't have to end up in court. The other ways to handle such offenses are discussed below:
First Offender Program
Per the discretion of a peace officer, juveniles can get into the first offender program. The child will have to successfully finish this to ensure their case is not referred to juvenile court.
Under this program, the child may undertake any of the following:
Probation laws in Texas offer the chance to defer the prosecution of a juvenile offender. The child is put under six months' supervision instead of the case going to court.
Deferment requests fail if the juvenile commits a felony or misdemeanor. Illegal possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapons can also contribute to rejection. There are instances where prosecutors still agree to deferment with all these charges.
Minors can avoid going to court and possible jail time when they get representation by the right juvenile crimes law firm in Fort Worth. Call Sparks Law Firm at (817) 381-7846 and schedule a free consultation with their lawyers.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney for a Juvenile Case?
A criminal defense attorney can help with various cases, such as:
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Internet and Phone Crimes
Rights of Juveniles under Texas Criminal Law
The Texas Juvenile Justice Department affords minors every constitutional right for their protection.
Even though juvenile cases are tried in civil courts, a child will still have the following rights:
Right to Legal Counsel
Minors have a right to legal representation in a court. The state appoints an attorney for them if their parents or guardians can't afford one.
Right to Notice of the Charges
Juveniles have the right to know the charges they are facing.
The Right to a Phone Call
A minor in custody has the right to make at least one phone call. They can call their parents or guardians, who will then seek legal representation. If they can, the minor can contact their attorney directly. This is known as the Miranda Right.
Right to Cross-Examine a Witness
It is the right of the minor facing charges to cross-examine witnesses who give testimonies against them. They can do this through their juvenile defense attorney.
Note that minors are not granted access to a jury trial and can't post bail as is possible in adult cases.
Sparks Law Firm has skilled criminal defense attorneys to represent a minor accused of a crime in Southlake, Tx.
Can a Minor Be Tried as an Adult?
Some crimes such as rape or homicide are considered more serious cases and may have to go through the adult criminal system. Also, if the minor is a repeat offender, a prosecutor can push for them to face trial as an adult. The accused here faces harsher penalties. They will also have fewer opportunities to redeem themselves through alternative punishments.
Regardless of the juvenile crime, Sparks Law offices in Fort Worth are always open to helping a minor with a legal issue. Our firm offers clients a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.
Steps for Juveniles Facing Criminal Charges
Whenever a family member or loved one is accused of any juvenile crime, the first thing is to remain silent. No person is obliged to provide an answer to any question the police ask. According to the law, a prosecutor can use anything said against the minor later. They should contact their attorney next to tell them about the situation. Juvenile defense attorneys know the process to follow when handling such a matter. Sparks Law Firm has reputable lawyers that are up to the task and can help resolve such cases.
Other Southlake Practice Areas
Talk to Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in Southlake, TX
Contacting Sparks Law Firm is an excellent step for a minor that needs an attorney anywhere in Texas. Our firm has successfully defended several clients in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Plano, Denton County, Tarrant County, and many parts of North Texas. Apart from Juvenile cases, we also defend clients in the following practice areas:
Crimes Against Justice
Crimes involving minors
White collar crimes
Call us today at (817) 381-7846 to talk to our lawyers about any legal issue in Southlake, Texas.