Hearing that a child has been charged with a crime is one of a parent’s
worst nightmares. Even when children make careless or reckless mistakes
without the intent to cause harm, they may acquire a criminal record that
can jeopardize their future prospects. If your child is facing misdemeanor
or felony charges, contacting a criminal defense lawyer immediately is
of the utmost importance. A
juvenile defense attorney can help you and your child understand what will happen during the legal process.
Juvenile Justice Jurisdiction
Juvenile justice is regulated on a state level. In Texas, the jurisdiction
of juvenile justice applies to children ages 10 through 16. Although the
applicable laws are passed by state legislators, the juvenile justice
system is administered on a county level.
Juvenile Probation Intake
Children are taken to the juvenile probation intake unit if they are charged
with a crime that would be punishable by jail if an adult committed the
offense. There, they are fingerprinted. Intake officers
assess the suspected juvenile offenders and gather relevant information. Some cases may be resolved through counseling
alone, while other cases are referred to social agencies. If a suspected
juvenile offender will be charged in court, he or she may be released
to a parent or guardian, or the child may be placed in a shelter or a
juvenile detention center.
After charges have been filed, a probation officer conducts an investigation
into the alleged incident. The juvenile probation officer will also submit
a detailed report to the judge, which includes an assessment of the child’s
behavior, school, home, and social relationships.
The family and their criminal defense attorney will appear before the judge
or jury at an adjudication hearing. During this hearing, the judge or
jury will determine whether the child’s alleged delinquent act calls
for the child’s supervision. Juvenile court judges may come to a
decision that can range from dismissal of the charges to extended confinement
in a juvenile detention center.
Criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey Grass understands the complexities of juvenile
offender laws and the effects a criminal record can have on a young person
for years to come. If your child has been charged with a crime, you can
Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass and we’ll begin a thorough investigation of the evidence and available
witnesses. Contact our juvenile defense attorney near Dallas at (888) 838-0674.