If your child is facing charges from the juvenile court system, you may not know where to turn. Juvenile crimes, while tried differently than adult crimes, are still serious. They can lead to permanent repercussions for your child. The best thing you can do for your child in this situation is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston. Our firm has years of experience handling juvenile cases, and can give you and your family confidence during this troublesome time.
The Juvenile Justice Process in Texas
The legal proceedings for juvenile cases are far different than what happens in adult courts. The adult system focuses on punishment for criminal conduct and the assurance of public safety. The juvenile system also considers public safety and accountability, but it emphasizes rehabilitation. Even incarceration is meant to educate youth about work ethic, values, and discipline, helping them become productive citizens upon their release. Even in the worst-case scenario – jail time – your son or daughter will not face the same hardships or consequences as adult convicted criminals.
The other difference is that juvenile records are sealed to give youth a second chance at life without a criminal history. There are exceptions to this rule, such as juveniles found guilty of committing sex crimes or offenses serious enough to warrant an underage suspect completing a sentence in the adult justice system. With a good lawyer, minor cases may simply result in informal court dealings and returning home. If the county charges the juvenile with delinquent conduct, the child will have the same legal rights as an adult facing charges.
At this point, the courts may either try the individual as a juvenile or as an adult for criminal purposes. The courts may place the juvenile on probation or send him or her to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department with an indeterminate or determinate sentence. The best way to protect your child’s rights is with a skilled team of attorneys. Our firm will thoroughly investigate the claims made against your child and give you a list of potential options moving forward. When it feels like the world is against your son or daughter, we are your friends and legal counselors.
Defenses in Juvenile Trials
If your child’s case goes to trial, it is even more important to have the right attorney on your side. A good lawyer can build a strong defense for your child, possibly involving errors with the arrest, lack of evidence, or other reasons for the courts to rule an acquittal. We will be innovative and creative in our defense, predicting the prosecution’s stance and aggressively standing up for our client. When it comes to juvenile criminal defense, you need attorneys who will work tirelessly. We have these attorneys.
Errors with the arrest proceedings may result from lack of probable cause, entrapment, or coercion into making a confession. We can review tapes of your child’s questioning by police and let you know if foul play has occurred, such as failing to let your child make a phone call before questioning. There are many mistakes police officers can make during the apprehension and arrest of a minor, of all which may convince the courts to dismiss the case.
Since criminal cases place the burden of proof with the prosecution, it may be possible to argue that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove guilt. In these cases, the courts will have to dismiss the case for lack of evidence. Our firm can go over these options and others during a consultation with you and your child. To schedule yours in Houston, call or contact us online.