What happens when a phone call from school brings news that your child has been arrested? Or when an officer knocks at your door looking for answers? Children make mistakes, and when those mistakes involve the law, it can be a difficult time for the entire family. If your child has been arrested, there are state specific procedures that govern juvenile cases.
In Texas, if your child is between the age of 10 and 16, they are considered a minor and treated for crimes at a juvenile level. 17 years or older is the cutoff for being tried as an adult. However, there are circumstances where a child would skip the juvenile system. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with how juvenile crimes are prosecuted in Houston.
It can be heartbreaking to know that your child has committed an offense punishable by law. This is often an opportunity to help redirect the child and put them on a more successful path. Here is a list of common behaviors that, in Texas, can result in a juvenile court appearance:
- Drug use or possession
- Underage drinking
- Theft or shoplifting
- Gang-related activity
After hearing of your child’s criminal activity, we highly recommend contacting Houston juvenile crimes attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss. Our team can get ahead of the game and help improve the final outcome. Even with cut and dry cases, we have the resources to help avoid harsh consequences that can stay on your child’s record.
If your child has been accused of a juvenile crime, the state of Texas has a criminal system set-up specifically for 10 to 16 year olds. Typically the first steps take place in court. A case is filed against the juvenile with a petition. This is paperwork submitted by a prosecutor alleging the violation committed.
Cases of juvenile crimes are usually civil proceedings. The next step takes the case of probation official who will determine the consequence. This is where our team shines in defending your child.
Tried as an Adult?
There are offenses where your juvenile aged child can be tried as an adult. Cases of extremely violent crimes like felony assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and murder all qualify. In these extreme cases, a juvenile court will hear the charges and opt for incarceration in a juvenile facility, or hand the case to the adult courts.
For felony charges, children 14 or older can be asked to stand trial in adult criminal courts. These are for the most serious felony charges. As a Houston felony crimes attorney, Lisa Shapiro Strauss would be able to assist in these matters as well.
The Texas juvenile system is organized to support and offer a helping hand to troubled children. Counselors, probation officers, and our team of attorneys – all parts of the system can work to help your child with the right advocate. Contact us today to see how we can help.