Alleged crimes involving juveniles in Texas are regulated by the Texas Family Code instead of the Texas Penal Code, which governs adult criminal violations. Texas Family Code § 51.02 defines a child as being a person who is 10 years of age or older and under 17 years of age, or 17 years of age or older and under 18 years of age who is alleged or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision as a result of acts committed before becoming 17 years of age.
While juveniles in Collin County often have certain programs or alternative sentences that allow them to receive sentences that focus more on rehabilitation than punishment, an adjudication of guilt can lead to a minor having a criminal record that carries other long-term consequences. If an alleged juvenile offender is accused of committing a certain kind of felony offense, the prosecutor may attempt to have that child tried as an adult.
Lawyer for Juvenile Offenses in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
Were you or your child recently detained for any kind of alleged juvenile offense in Collin County? Do not assume that a prosecutor will not take the case seriously. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for help achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.
Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense attorney who represents alleged juvenile offenders in communities all over Collin County, including Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen, and many others. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (469) 304-3422 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Types of Juvenile Offenses in Texas
Juveniles may be taken into custody for any one of a number of violations of state law in Texas. A few of the most common kinds of alleged offenses that children may be charged within Collin County include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
- Driving While License Suspended
- Fleeing and Eluding
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
- Underage Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Use or Possession of Fake ID
Collin County Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile courts in Texas have exclusive original jurisdiction over minors engaging in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision (CINS) when children are 10 years of age or older and under 17 years of age. Texas Family Code § 51.03(a) defines delinquent conduct as:
- Conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates a penal law of Texas or of the United States punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail;
- Conduct that violates a lawful order of a court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of that court in a justice or municipal court, a county court for conduct punishable only by a fine, or a truancy court;
- Conduct that violates one of the DWI statutes under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08; or
- Conduct that violates Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041, relating to driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (third or subsequent offense).
CINS is defined under Texas Family Code § 51.03(b) as:
- Unless the child has been referred to the juvenile court under Texas Family Code § 51.08(b), conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates the penal laws of Texas of the grade of misdemeanor that is punishable by fine only or the penal ordinances of any political subdivision of Texas;
- The voluntary absence of a child from the child’s home without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian for a substantial length of time or without intent to return;
- Conduct prohibited by the city ordinance or by state law involving the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of paint and other protective coatings or glue and other adhesives and the volatile chemicals itemized in Texas Health and Safety Code § 485.001;
- An act that violates a school district’s previously communicated written standards of student conduct for which the child has been expelled under Texas Education Code § 37.007(c);
- Conduct that violates a reasonable and lawful order of a court entered under Section 264.305;
- Notwithstanding delinquent conduct other than traffic offenses that violate a penal law of Texas or of the United States punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail, the conduct described by Texas Penal Code § 43.02(a)(1) or (2); or
- Notwithstanding delinquent conduct other than traffic offenses that violate a penal law of Texas or of the United States punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail, conduct that violates Section 43.261, Penal Code.
When Juveniles Can Be Tried as Adults in Collin County
While many cases involving alleged juvenile offenders are handled in juvenile courts, the county can request to have a youth certified as an adult. Under Texas Family Code § 54.02(a), a juvenile court can waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a minor to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for if:
- The child is alleged to have committed a felony;
- The child was 14 years of age or older at the time he is alleged to have committed a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a felony of the first degree, and no adjudication hearing has been conducted concerning that offense, or 15 years of age or older at the time the child is alleged to have committed a felony of the second or third degree or a state jail felony, and no adjudication hearing has been conducted concerning that offense; and
- After a full investigation and a hearing, the juvenile court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the child before the court committed the offense alleged and that because of the seriousness of the offense alleged or the background of the child the welfare of the community requires criminal proceedings.
Juvenile courts are required to conduct hearings without juries to consider the transfer of a child for criminal proceedings, and they must order and obtain a complete diagnostic study, social evaluation, and full investigation of the minor, his or her circumstances, and the circumstances of the alleged offense. Some of the factors that the court must consider under Texas Family Code § 54.02(f) when making its determination include:
- Whether the alleged offense was against person or property, with greater weight in favor of transfer given to offenses against the person;
- The sophistication and maturity of the child;
- The record and previous history of the child; and
- The prospects of adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of the rehabilitation of the child by use of procedures, services, and facilities currently available to the juvenile court.
Texas Juvenile Offenses Resources
Juvenile Probation Services | Collin County — On this website, you can learn more about the Collin County Juvenile Probation Department. Find information about intake, detention, and deferred prosecution. You can also read about the Pre-Adjudication Program of the John R. Roach Detention Center and the Long-Term Unit of the Collin County Juvenile Detention Center.
Collin County Juvenile Probation Services
4690 Community Ave.
McKinney, TX 75071
Juvenile Information | Plano, TX — Visit this section of the City of Plano website to find information about juvenile cases. You can find links to learn more about deferred disposition, driving safety course, and teen court. Juveniles 16 years of age or younger who were charged with offenses filed in the City of Plano Municipal Court must wear appropriate attire in the court room (no shorts of any kind) or a notice will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety to suspend a driver’s license or to prohibit a juvenile from obtaining one.
Plano Municipal Court
900 E. 15th St.
Plano, TX 75074
Find A Collin County Attorney for Juvenile Offenses | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you or your child were recently detained anywhere in Collin County for an alleged juvenile crime, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends alleged juvenile offenders in McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, and many surrounding areas of Collin County.
Criminal defense lawyer Richard McConathy can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (469) 304-3422 or submit an online contact form to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
My child was spoken to by the police on a juvenile crime without myself being there, is that legal?
Juvenile prosecution is much different than adult prosecution. The court must determine what is in the best interest of the child before releasing back into your custody. This may require a mental evaluation on the child and a social study on the home and your parenting style before considering release. This can take anywhere from 10 days to 3 months.
Yes, depending on the nature of the crime, a court upon recommendation of the juvenile division can require your child to stay in another location with a supervising relative. This requirement can be expanded after the case is finished if the child is placed on probation. This is common in cases involving sexual assault.
If you want your child returned to your home, your presence at all hearings is essential.
Depending on the type of charge, Yes.