The arrest of your minor son or daughter can be a frightening and stressful experience. While the juvenile court system is designed to rehabilitate rather than punish children, your child still could be subject to some form of involuntary detention and face other penalties for his or her actions. As a result, getting the advice of an experienced juvenile defense attorney can be crucial to a positive outcome in your child’s case.
Juvenile offenses are committed by children who are between the ages of 10 and 16. If the offense is minor, the chances are that your child will face no repercussions other than a stern warning. If the crime is more severe, however, then your child will face court proceedings.
Children have the same rights as adults upon arrest. They have the right to remain silent and to make two phone calls to their parents or guardians. In fact, law enforcement officials must notify the parents or guardians of the minors whom they arrest. Parents also must receive notice of all court proceedings and can visit their children if housed at a juvenile detention facility.
Most juvenile cases are handled through delinquency petition proceedings. The judge holds a delinquency hearing on the petition to determine whether the child committed the alleged crime. If the judge finds that the child committed the crime, then the judge will decide upon the appropriate penalties for the child.
However, if your child is over the age of 14 and is accused of committing a serious crime, he or she can face criminal charges as an adult. Before a child faces charges in adult court a judge will hold a hearing to certify whether the case is appropriate to be transferred from juvenile to adult court. If your child ultimately faces charges in adult court, he or she could be subject to the same penalties as an adult, which can be very harsh.
When you are facing any criminal charges in the State of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.