Law Offices Of Richard C. McConathy

Juvenile Crime

Weatherford Juvenile Crime Attorney

While many parents expect their children to occasionally get into some trouble, there is usually hope that nothing they do will involve breaking the law. When young people do end up doing things that are considered legal violations, then teenagers can end up possibly being arrested.

 

Parents of children facing criminal charges are often worried about the long-term effects of having a criminal record and there will usually be a great focus on minimizing the potential harm. The Texas Family Code requires a juvenile to be represented by a lawyer in the juvenile justice proceedings, and you will want to make sure that you have an attorney who is capable of getting the best possible result for you or your child.

If you or your child were arrested in Parker County, you are going to need a criminal defense lawyer right away. You will want to make sure that your attorney has helped other alleged juvenile offenders besides yourself.

 

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has helped scores of teenagers and other young people in Texas deal with all kinds of criminal charges. We will be able to discuss a legal strategy with you as soon as you call (817) 458-3226 or contact our firm online to arrange a free consultation.

Juvenile Crime

Juvenile Delinquency in Parker County

Under Texas Family Code § 51.02, a child is defined as a person who is 10 years of age or older and under 17 years of age; or 17 years of age or older and under 18 years of age who is alleged or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision as a result of acts committed before becoming 17 years of age.

 

Juvenile courts only have jurisdiction for alleged offenders who are between the ages of 10 and 17. If the alleged offender is older than 17, they will be prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system.

 

Texas Family Code § 51.03 defines delinquent conduct as:

 

conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates a penal law of this state or of the United States punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail;
conduct that violates a lawful order of a court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of that court in:
a justice or municipal court;
a county court for conduct punishable only by a fine; or
a truancy court;
conduct that violates Texas Penal Code § 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08; or
conduct that violates Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041, relating to driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (third or subsequent offense).

 

Conduct indicating a need for supervision is:

 

subject to Subsection (f), conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates:
the penal laws of this state of the grade of misdemeanor that are punishable by fine only; or
the penal ordinances of any political subdivision of this state;
the voluntary absence of a child from the child’s home without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian for a substantial length of time or without intent to return;
conduct prohibited by city ordinance or by state law involving the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of paint and other protective coatings or glue and other adhesives and the volatile chemicals itemized in Texas Health and Safety Code § 485.001;
an act that violates a school district’s previously communicated written standards of student conduct for which the child has been expelled under Texas Education Code § 37.007(c);
notwithstanding Subsection (a)(1), conduct described by Texas  Penal Code § 43.02(a) or (b); or
notwithstanding Subsection (a)(1), conduct that violates Texas Alcoholic  Penal Code § 43.261.

Common Juvenile Offenses in Weatherford

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, during the past 30 days: 29 percent drank alcohol, 14 percent binge drank, 5 percent of drivers drove after drinking alcohol, and 17 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

 

A common crime committed by juveniles is the possession of alcohol by a minor. Texas Penal Code § 16.05 establishes that a minor commits an offense if they possess an alcoholic beverage. A minor may possess an alcoholic beverage:

 

while in the course and scope of the minor’s employment if the minor is an employee of a licensee or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code;
if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court;
if the minor is under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of this code; or

if the beverage is lawfully provided to the minor under Texas Penal Code § 106.16 (exceptions for certain course work).

 

Another common crime for juveniles is criminal mischief. Texas Penal Code § 28.03 establishes that a person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner:

 

they intentionally or knowingly damage or destroy the tangible property of the owner;
they intentionally or knowingly tamper with the tangible property of the owner and cause pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person;  or
they intentionally or knowingly make markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner.

 

Criminal mischief is:

 

a Class C misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is less than $100; or except as provided in Subdivision (3)(A) or (3)(B), it causes substantial inconvenience to others;
a Class B misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is $100 or more but less than $750;
a Class A misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is $750 or more but less than $2,500; or the alleged offender causes in whole or in part impairment or interruption of any public water supply, or causes to be diverted in whole, in part, or in any manner, including installation or removal of any device for any such purpose, any public water supply, regardless of the amount of the pecuniary loss;
a state jail felony if the amount of pecuniary loss is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000; less than $2,500, if the property damaged or destroyed is a habitation and if the damage or destruction is caused by a firearm or explosive weapon; less than $2,500, if the property was a fence used for the production or containment of: cattle, bison, horses, sheep, swine, goats, exotic livestock, or exotic poultry; or game animals as that term is defined by Section 63.001, Parks and Wildlife Code; or less than $30,000 and the alleged offender: causes wholly or partly impairment or interruption of property used for flood control purposes or a dam or of public communications, public transportation, public gas or power supply, or other public service; or causes to be diverted wholly, partly, or in any manner, including installation or removal of any device for any such purpose, any public communications or public gas or power supply;
A third-degree felony if: the amount of the pecuniary loss is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000; or the alleged offender, by discharging a firearm or other weapon or by any other means, causes the death of one or more head of cattle or bison or one or more horses;
A second-degree felony if the amount of pecuniary loss is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or
A first-degree felony if the amount of pecuniary loss is $300,000 or more.

 

A minor can be charged with juvenile driving while intoxicated under Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041 if they operate a motor vehicle in public while under the influence of any detectable amount of alcohol. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine up to $500. However, subsequent juvenile DWIs can result in increased penalties.

 

As defined in Texas Penal Code § 49.02, a juvenile can be charged with public intoxication if they appear in a public place under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent they will cause danger to themselves or another person. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine not more than $500. However, subsequent public intoxication offenses can result in more serious penalties.

Juvenile Penalties in Texas

If a juvenile is adjudicated guilty of an offense by a judge or jury, they will have a disposition hearing, where they could be sentenced to any of the following possible penalties:

 

Probation in their home, possibly until their 18th birthday;
Probation in a foster home, possibly until their 18th birthday;
Probation in a public or private institution or agency, possibly until their 18th birthday;
Confinement to the Texas Youth Commission for felony juvenile offenses;
A driver’s license suspension or loss of driving privileges;
Restitution;
Up to 500 hours of community service;
Counseling;
Rehabilitation;
Substance abuse treatment; and/or
Payment of court costs and supervision fees.

 

If an alleged juvenile offender is adjudicated of a criminal offense, they will likely receive a criminal record. This record is generally kept confidential, except in certain situations. A juvenile may be eligible to have their record sealed:

 

After a felony juvenile offender turns 21 and meets certain criteria to seal their record;
Two years after leaving the juvenile system, if they do not commit any juvenile offenses and meet additional criteria; or
Any other situation the court determines is necessary to seal the criminal record.

 

Juveniles who are arrested will face a different process than an adult. Often, juveniles who are detained by police are released to their parents unless the charges involve a serious or violent crime.

 

When a juvenile is released, they may have their case referred to a first offender program. These programs differ, but they may include completion of community service, education programs, rehabilitation and restitution to alleged victims. When the child completed the program, their charges may be dropped.

 

When a child is not referred to as a first offender program, they will have to enter the juvenile court process. Listed below is a brief outline of how the juvenile justice system works in Texas.

 

Detention hearing: If a juvenile is not released to their parents after being detained, a judge or magistrate will determine if they should be released or held in detention.
Transfer hearing: Depending on the charges, prosecutors may ask the juvenile court to transfer the case to adult court. Having a juvenile case transferred to adult court depends on the crime committed and the minor’s age.
Adjudication hearing: This hearing is similar to a trial in the criminal court process. If a juvenile does not plead guilty, they will be tried for the charges against them.
Disposition hearing: This is similar to a sentencing hearing. When a juvenile pleads guilty or the court finds them guilty, a punishment will be determined in a disposition hearing.
Appeal: Just like adults, juveniles have the right to appeal the court’s decision

 

Having a lawyer present during the process is imperative to a successful case. They can guide you and your child through the complicated process and ensure the best possible outcome is achieved.

 

Similar to criminal court, how a juvenile is punished for a crime depends on the crime they committed, and their criminal history. If a juvenile is found guilty of a crime, they could be sentenced to the following:

 

Probation: A juvenile will live at home while on probation, but they will be required to follow strict guidelines. Some of these guidelines can include reporting to a probation officer, attend counseling, pay restitution, attend school, and abide by curfews.
Detention: A juvenile can be sentenced up to nine months in the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department Detention (TJJD): Minors found guilty of numerous serious offenses may be sent to TJJD. The court can set an indeterminate or determinate sentence. An indeterminate sentence can range from nine months to two years while a determinate sentence can last for decades and result in a transfer to an adult facility or parole.

Drug Court: For a case to be moved to drug court it needs to involve a drug or alcohol offense. Punishment can include drug and alcohol education and treatment instead of probation or detention.

Weatherford Juvenile Crime Resources

Juvenile Justice Handbook — View a handbook published by the Texas Attorney General that governs the juvenile justice system in Texas. You can gain access to an in-depth explanation or the juvenile justice process, the rights and responsibilities of a parent, and offense that are tried by the juvenile court.

 

Alcohol Crimes by Minors| Texas Penal Code — Follow this link to view a complete list of alcohol offense relating to minors. You can read the precise legal text of minor in possession of alcohol, attempt to purchase alcohol by a minor, and consumption of alcohol by a minor. The code can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.

Contact a Juvenile Crime Lawyer in Parker County Today

Were you or your child arrested in the Weatherford area? You are going to want to be sure that you have an attorney before you appear in court for the first time.

 

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively defend you against your criminal charges. We can review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (817) 458-3226 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Practice Area

DWI Defense

BWI Defense

First DWI

Flying While Intoxicated

Second DWI

Third or Subsequent DWI

Felony DWI

DWI with BAC over 0.15

Controlled Substances and DWI

Open Container

Intoxication Assault

Intoxication Manslaughter

DWI Test Refusal and Implied Consent

License Suspension Hearings

DWI with Child Passenger

DWI Expunction

Contesting Blood Alcohol Tests

Ignition Interlock Device

DWI with Property Damage

Underage DWI

Commercial DWI

SR-22 / DWI Insurance

Theft Crimes

Enhanced Offenses

Criminal Defense

Case Results

DISMISSED
DWI Blood Test Case + Prescription Meds
(Cr200606211)
 
DISMISSED
DWI Breath Test Case, Result Of .224
(Mb0453171)
 
DISMISSED
DWI Breath Test Refusal
(005-84171-05, Ccl6)
 
DISMISSED
DWI, Open Container
(Mb0534487)
 
DISMISSED
2nd DWI, Breath Test Refusal
(Mb-0262214-G Ccc6)
Parker Criminal Lawyer Richard & Brian

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