Juvenile Law - Page 2

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Jourdanton juvenile crime attorney

Starting to build a criminal record at a young age can lead to very serious consequences in the future. Even if it begins with small offenses, petty crimes can often lead to more serious crimes in the future and even harsher legal consequences. The United States has always deliberated on how to handle youths within the criminal justice system. Some believe that these minors should receive harsh punishments at the forefront of their record to scare them from committing more crimes, while others view rehabilitation as the correct answer. The state of Texas has worked to put a law in place that avoids allowing youth crimes to go unpunished while also steering away from unnecessarily long and severe sentences.

Determinate Sentencing

One of the primary concerns for those trying to improve the criminal justice system is keeping juveniles outside of the adult criminal justice system. Some states allow a minor to be tried as an adult depending on how close they are to the age of 18 and how serious the crime is. To avoid this being the case in Texas, the state legislature approved determinate sentencing as an alternative for minors. This was originally approved in 1987 and has since seen several legal adjustments. Minors who have committed an offense that is considered a capital or first-degree felony qualify for determinate sentencing. The following are a few examples of criminal offenses that can possibly lead to this alternate type of sentencing:

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Floresville sexual assault defense attorney

College is an exciting and new time for young adults who are just getting started with their higher education. Since many students attend college right after they graduate high school, some students are still minors. For many, this is the first time that they have lived without a parent, making it easy for them to get into trouble with their newfound freedom. Whether a minor or not, making a legal mistake in college can affect a person's future at the school itself as well as the professional opportunities available to them in the future. Many students do not recognize the severity of their actions until after they have been caught, making an experienced criminal defense attorney crucial for avoiding a conviction and allowing them to continue on with their academic career.

Types of Offenses That Occur on Campuses

In 2017, The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) released a report that highlights the crimes occurring on American college campuses. On a positive note, violent victimization on school grounds has decreased by 75 percent since 1995. However, 5 percent of students reported carrying a weapon on school grounds in the last 30 days alone. Criminal tendencies shift as times change, yet the existence of crime remains consistent. The following are the most common crimes that have occurred on higher-ed campuses:

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Jourdanton juvenile criminal defense lawyerIt is common knowledge that children make mistakes frequently and often fail to recognize how certain decisions can affect their future. Juvenile delinquency is a significant issue that can become a vicious cycle for those found guilty. Children's mistakes can remain on their records and affect possible job opportunities in the future. According to the most recent data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, there were 3,572 juvenile arrests in 2014. In other words, thousands of children each year are facing possible fines, confinement, and a negative impact on their permanent records.

What Is the First Offender Program?

The First Offender Program is Texas law enforcement’s response to juvenile delinquency. Texas legislators and law enforcement officers recognize that a child’s lack of maturity and mental development can cause them to make a mistake that they do not fully comprehend as “wrong” at the time. The First Offender Program is a minor’s way to start over, even if he or she has committed a crime. Different geographic areas can have their own version of such a program. The program has certain requirements that must be completed, which will allow the child’s first offense to be removed from his or her record. These may include mandatory attendance at group meetings and/or appointments with a caseworker.

Not all children with convictions are eligible for the program. The minor must be between the age of 10 and 16 and be a first offender. Those who have committed Class A & B misdemeanors and state jail felonies may be eligible for the program. However, those who have charges that involved assaultsweapons, or sexual crimes resulting in the requirement to register as a sex offender do not qualify for the program.

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Karnes City juvenile crime defense attorney

Cyberbullying is the modern version of bullying that, unfortunately, many kids experience while growing up. This term cyberbullying includes any threats, humiliation, or harassment through the use of technology. The constant connection with smartphones and tablet or laptop computers makes this form of bullying much more serious and intense than that which existed before modern technology. Rather than just facing such harassment at school, students now have this form of bullying following them everywhere they go. The perpetrator can also remain anonymous, making it somewhat difficult to pinpoint the source of the student’s bullying. 

What Does Cyberbullying Look Like?

Cyberbullying is constantly evolving and changing as updates are made to technology and social media websites. That being said, there are some common tactics that are used to target individuals:

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Posted on in Juvenile Law

Wilson County juvenile criminal defense attorneyJUVENILE LAW AND THE DETENTION HEARING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Having a child arrested can be a devastating thing for a family to go through. But it does happen. If you find yourself in this position, it is important to understand what occurs at the beginning of most juvenile cases: the juvenile detention hearing.  

What Is a Detention Hearing?

A detention hearing is something unique to juvenile law. It is similar, but not exactly like the process of granting or denying bail in an adult case.

At this hearing, the judge will determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the child committed an offense and whether the child should be detained for a longer period. By having a neutral judge decide whether there has been probable cause, rather than just the police and prosecutor, it inserts an extra level of scrutiny to the case. Release is not guaranteed, and often children will be detained for 10 working days pending further investigations into the alleged offense. 

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