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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney juvenile crime

Similar to parental rules or regulations set by schools, minors have more legal restrictions than those over the age of 18. This is meant to protect the children and keep them on the right track while moving toward adulthood. According to Texas law, there are two types of misconduct that can place a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision (CINS) cases and delinquent conduct can both leave a stain on the minor’s record. It is important to know the difference between the two and understand what conduct falls within each category to keep your child out of the criminal justice system.

Minor Criminal Offenses

CINS cases include minor criminal offenses, aside from traffic violations, and these offenses will be tried by the juvenile court. There are six types of CINS offenses listed by the Texas legislature, including any fineable offense, running away, inhalant abuse, school expulsion, prostitution, and sexting. As you can see, not all of these offenses would apply to those over the age of 18. Because these offenses are considered relatively minor, the child will face varying levels of probation, but they cannot be sentenced to jail or prison. 

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Wilson County criminal defense attorney

Being convicted of a crime at any age can be a terrifying experience. Not knowing how the court system works or not having a good understanding of the possible consequences of your conviction can make the months of your criminal trial feel like years. For minors, the process can be even more daunting. Your crimes may take you away from your home and family, and in some cases, warrant that you are tried as an adult. The state of Texas allows some juvenile cases to be tried in adult court depending on the details of the charge. No matter the severity of your crime, it is always advisable to work with a reputable criminal defense attorney to be fully informed on the legal process and have a trained defender on your side.

Trying a Juvenile as an Adult

The state of Texas has two separate courts -- juvenile and adult courts. Those who are between the ages of 10 and 17 fall within the juvenile court system. Once minors reach the age of 18, they are no longer eligible to be tried in juvenile court. The age restrictions of these courts, however, are not fully set in stone and those who are 14 years or older may be tried in an adult court if their criminal charge is serious enough to warrant this harsher jurisdiction. Known as a certification or transfer hearing, the Texas juvenile court may waive its right to the minor’s case, transferring the child to stand trial in an adult criminal district court.

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