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Austin, Texas Juvenile Justice Attorney

Hays County juvenile charges defense lawyer

Criminal Lawyers Defending Juvenile Charges in Travis County and Williamson County

Criminal charges can cause issues in anyone's life, but they can be especially problematic for minors. Before they reach adulthood, children may engage in a variety of risky behaviors, and parents will want to make sure their children's mistakes do not follow them for the rest of their lives. To ensure that children's rights are protected and that they can avoid serious or permanent consequences, families will want to work with a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling cases in the juvenile justice system.

Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. provides representation to adults facing criminal charges and minors who have been accused of juvenile delinquency. With a combined total of more than 50 years of legal experience, our lawyers understand the legal issues involved in these cases and the best strategies for helping families resolve these situations successfully.

The Juvenile Justice System in Texas

When an adult is charged with breaking the law, the court system is focused on determining whether the alleged crimes occurred and assigning an appropriate punishment. While the juvenile court system may follow similar procedures, its goal is to provide children with rehabilitation services and ensure that they can move on to adulthood and avoid future criminal activity.

Minors under the age of 17 may be taken into law enforcement custody if they commit "delinquent conduct" or "conduct indicating a need for supervision." Delinquent conduct may include any violations of the law that would be punishable by a prison sentence for an adult, as well as violations of court orders or offenses related to alcohol, such as DWI. Conduct indicating a need for supervision may include misdemeanor offenses that would be punishable by a fine, repeated absence from school, absence from the child's home without the consent of a parent or guardian or violations of a school district's standards of conduct that resulted in the student's expulsion.

After a child is taken into custody, the court will determine whether the case should be heard in juvenile court or whether it should be transferred to adult court. Typically, a child will only be tried as an adult if they committed a serious felony offense or if they have received multiple previous adjudications in juvenile court. The decision to transfer a child to adult court will be based on whether it is likely that the child can be sufficiently rehabilitated before reaching the age of 18, and factors such as the nature of the alleged offense, the child's maturity, and their previous records and history will also be considered.

If a case remains in juvenile court, an adjudication hearing will be held in which a judge or jury will consider the evidence and determine whether the child is guilty of committing the alleged offense(s). If the judge or jury decides that the child did commit delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision, a dispositional hearing will be held where a judge will decide the appropriate sentence. The requirements imposed by the court may include confinement in a juvenile detention facility, community service, probation, the payment of restitution, counseling, and/or monitoring of the child's school attendance.

Typically, records related to a juvenile case will be sealed after a person reaches the age of 18, ensuring that they do not need to suffer the penalties that come with a permanent criminal record. However, if a minor commits a sex crime that would require them to register as a sex offender, records related to this offense will remain on their record permanently.

Contact Our Midland Juvenile Charges Defense Attorneys

If your child is facing charges in juvenile court, Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. can help you determine the best ways to help them avoid serious penalties that could affect their adult lives. We will work to have your child exonerated of the charges, or we can negotiate an agreement for deferred adjudication or probation when appropriate. To ensure that your child will have the resources they need in the juvenile justice system, contact our office and schedule a free consultation by calling 512-474-2222 or 432-570-1499. From our offices in Austin, Midland, and Georgetown, we represent clients throughout Travis County, Hays County, Williamson County, Midland County, and Ector County. Hablamos Español.

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