If your minor child was recently charged with a crime, you must continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorneys to learn more about the process and how we can help you fight those charges. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What happens if my child is accused of committing a juvenile crime in Texas?
If your child is accused of a juvenile crime, he or she will most likely be released to you, the parent or guardian, unless the crime is violent or very serious. Generally, your child’s case will be referred to a first offender program, where he or she may have to receive education, rehabilitation, perform community services, and pay restitution. As long as your child does these things, his or her charges should be dropped.
However, if your child is not referred to such a program, he/she will enter the juvenile court process. This process is complicated, though it starts with having a judge or magistrate decide whether your child should either be held in detention or released in a detention hearing. From here, if the charges are deemed serious enough, your child’s case may be transferred to adult court in a transfer hearing. Next, your child will attend an adjudication hearing, and if he or she does not plead guilty, they will be tried for the charges against them. That being said, if your child does plead guilty or he or she is found guilty by the court, they will attend a disposition hearing wherein the judge will determine a punishment. If you believe the punishment was unfair, you may appeal the decision.
What are the consequences of a juvenile offense?
If your child is convicted of a juvenile offense, he or she may either go on probation, participate in detention, go to drug court, or even be sentenced to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Detention, depending on his or her offense. Essentially, if your child is sentenced to probation, he or she will continue living at home, while possibly having to report to a probation officer, pay restitution for his/her crime, attend school, follow curfews, and attend counseling. If your child’s case involves drugs or alcohol, he or she may attend drug court, and from there, have to participate in drug/alcohol education and treatment. If your child is found guilty of a crime, he or she may either spend up to nine months in the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center, or, if he/she has been found guilty of several serious offenses, they may be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Detention, which can last anywhere from nine months to two years for intermediate sentences, or for decades if your child received a determinate sentence.
Contact our experienced Houston firm
We understand how challenging various legal matters can be, which is why we have dedicated ourselves to helping clients in Texas through a wide array of legal matters, including personal injury law and criminal defense. If you have sustained a serious injury or are facing criminal charges, contact the Gonzalez Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you through every step of the legal process ahead.