A child getting arrested is a frightening and disappointing thing for any parent to experience, so if your child has been charged with a crime, it’s important to understand how the criminal penalties will affect their life. You may not know very much about the juvenile court process, but the stories you’ve heard aren’t good. To get the best possible outcome for your loved one, here’s what you need to know about juvenile offenses, as well as where to get bail bonds in Texas to get them out of jail.
What Are Juvenile Offenses and Crimes?
Juvenile offenses and crimes are those committed by someone under the age of 17. The process for juvenile crimes is much different than the adult court process. While adults are booked, kept in jail, charged with a crime, and bailed out until their trial date, juveniles face a different process. They may be arrested and then released to their parents, unless the arrest was for a serious or violent crime. In this case, they will be transported to a juvenile facility. They will then enter the court process for juveniles, which involves several hearings before the trial date.
Law for Juvenile Offenses and Crimes
The court process for juveniles goes as follows:
- Referral to First Offender Program: If the juvenile is a first-time offender, they may be released from custody and their case may be referred to an agency where they will be put in a first offender program. The programs vary, but in most cases, there is some form of community service, education, rehabilitation, and restitution to victims. Once the juveniles complete the program, their charges may be dropped, and they may not have to go to court.
- Detention Hearing: The first hearing in this process is a detention hearing, which happens within one business day of the juvenile’s arrest. At the detention hearing, the judge or magistrate determines whether the accused it safe to return into their parents’ custody or if they need to be held longer.
- Transfer Hearing: Depending on the allegations against the juvenile, the prosecutor may ask the court to transfer the case to the adult system. This is most likely in cases when the age and seriousness of the crime come into play. Children under 14 have been accused of a misdemeanor will stay within the juvenile system.
- Adjudication Hearing: Just like adults, juveniles also have a right to a fair trial. At this hearing, juveniles who plead not guilty are tried for their alleged offenses.
- Disposition Hearing: If a juvenile pleads guilty to the crime they were accused of, or if the court finds them guilty, then the court will determine an appropriate punishment.
- Appeal: Juveniles, like adults, have the right to appeal the decision of the court to a higher court.
Types of Juvenile Crimes
If your child is the age of 17 or under, they can be charged with a variety of offenses in Texas, including misdemeanors and felonies. An arrest for any of the following crimes will require the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer and bail bonds service to get your child out of jail until their hearing or trial date. Here are the different types of juvenile crimes.
- Traffic Court Crimes: Hit and run; driving while intoxicated; driving while your license is suspended; reckless driving
- Drug-Related Crimes: Possession of drugs and/or alcohol; possession of drugs and/or alcohol on school grounds; possession of drug paraphernalia and/or possession of a controlled substance
- Marijuana-Related Crimes: Possession of marijuana; sale or delivery of marijuana; felony possession
- Violent Juvenile Crimes: Weapon possession on school grounds; assault and battery; unlawful possession of a firearm; aggravated assault
- Juvenile Theft/Property Crimes: Shoplifting; dealing in stolen property; vandalism; theft; arson
- Juvenile Sex Crimes: Sexual assault; indecent exposure; sexting; battery; lewd and lascivious behavior; a sexually motivated crime that is allegedly committed by the juvenile on a younger boy or girl
Contact PCS Bail Bonds for Help with the Juvenile Court and Bail Process
At PCS Bail Bonds, our experienced agents will fight for your child, even if they are facing adult criminal charges. We will do our best to prevent your child from being tried and sentenced like an adult, so they get a better chance at rehabilitation and a successful future.
The bail process in Texas can be complicated but with the assistance of a licensed bail bondsman, you can get the direction and support you need to get out of jail, even if the bail amount is high. We can help you if you need to post bail or need advice about your situation. We provide 24-hour bail bonds for all kinds of charges including theft, drug possession, embezzlement, assault, and more. Our experienced agents can help you obtain a bond in a fraction of the time it takes with other agencies.
Contact us now by phone at 817-335-1655, at our e-mail, visit in-person, or fill out our bail bond request form. You can be confident that you’re working with experts who are dedicated to helping you.