Juvenile Criminal Defense
CHILDREN AND JUVENILES IN NEED
It’s been said that the philosophy regarding children involved in the criminal justice system should be, “whenever possible, that children should be protected and rehabilitated, rather than subjected to the harshness of the criminal system, because children, all children, are worth redeeming”.
A SYSTEM NOT DESIGNED FOR CHILDREN
A human being’s brain does not fully develop until their mid 20’s, and sometimes early 30’s, but children frequently become the target of prosecutions meant for adults as early as age 10 and through their teenage years. Study after study has shown that the brain systems linked to impulse control and self-regulation does not fully develop until their early 20’s, and yet the majority of punishments given to those in the juvenile system send the message that they are where they are because they complied with authority, told somebody about what happened, or they told the truth. It is the wrong message to send to children, whose cognitive functions were just not there.
JUVENILE PLEAS CAN HAVE DETRIMENTAL CONSEQUENCES
It’s hard for parents and their children to navigate the criminal justice system without a solid background into the procedures and terminologies that accompany the system. Juvenile law invokes not only the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and Texas Penal Code, but also the Texas Family Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and Civil Practice and Remedies Code. By not understanding exactly what it is you might be making a plea deal to, it could materially affect whether your child will be able to spend his time at home or incarcerated at the Texas Juvenile Justice Detention center. It could be the difference between having the record sealed or being used to enhance a future allegation made against you.
The Importance of an Attorney/Lawyer
Texas recognizes how important an attorney is in proceedings involving children and juveniles, going beyond what the Supreme Court of the United States requires in juvenile proceedings. Texas requires that the child has a right to an attorney at EVERY stage of the proceeding under a Title 3 action. State law requires a parent to retain an attorney to represent their minor child if they are financially able to do so. If the parents are not able to do so, the child can be appointed an attorney. The main principle which should be gleaned from this is that no child should find themselves in a position where they do not have an attorney. This is a proceeding that can impact them for the rest of their lives, if not for the rest of their adolescent life.
What I Can Do For You
If you have decided that you need to speak with an attorney or have an attorney speak with your child regarding any present or potential legal action, do not hesitate to contact me. I will not charge you for a consultation fee, and I will at the very least let you know the basics of the process of what is happening, and what to expect, so that you will have time to process what is going on and decide on what steps you want to take for you and/or your child.