In Texas, defendants under the age of eighteen who are charged with criminal offenses face detention in a juvenile facility. Since they aren’t adults, the criminal justice system cannot place them in an adult-based jail or prison. A juvenile lawyer in Tyler, TX helps these children and their parents build a legal defense.
Reviewing the Offense
The type of offense determines whether or not more severe penalties are applied. The attorney explains the full extent of the charges and how the case could proceed. If the child is a first-time offender, the attorney could get a plea deal for him or her based on a lack of criminal history.
Are They Charged As an Adult?
The most severe of crimes such as manslaughter or murder could be tried as an adult. However, older teens are the most likely to face this enhancement. Children that are not old enough to comprehend what happened won’t face an adult charge. Typically, a defense of infancy is used for these defendants. However, if the child is sixteen or older, it is possible for the adult charge to apply.
The Possibility of Probation
First-time offenders or younger children are more likely to receive probation. If the judge grants probation, the child must follow all provisions included. Typically, probation prohibits the use of drugs and alcohol. It may require a curfew unless the parent is present.
What Happens to Juvenile Criminal Records?
If the child wasn’t charged as an adult, all juvenile records are sealed after the child turns eighteen. Once the records are sealed, the offenses cannot be used against the child as an adult. It is basically as if the records don’t exist.
In Texas, juvenile defendants who are under the age of eighteen and commit a crime could face an adult-based offense based on their age. The defendants also have access to the defense of infancy based on a younger age. Parents of these children should contact a juvenile lawyer in Tyler, TX through the Law Office of Holmes & Moore P.L.L.C. and schedule an appointment.
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