With the rise in teen and young adult crimes, more and more parents and guardians, as well as teenagers themselves, find it necessary to navigate the Texas juvenile criminal defense process. It can vary a lot from the process that adults go through, and it is important that you have a good grasp on how things work, what the differences are, and more. In this post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Texas juvenile criminal defense and the justice system.

Do all teens face the same charges as adults?

No, they do not. A 17-year-old may face adult charges, and younger teens may also be tried as adults if the charges are particularly serious or if the teen has a history of repeat offenses. Younger teens and less serious charges are handled through the Texas juvenile justice system.

Do all teens face detention?

No, many teens are released to their parents or a guardian after the initial detention hearing, or even prior to that depending on the seriousness of the charges, the teen’s criminal history, and other factors.

Is probation a possibility?

Yes, your teen may be sentenced to probation if the judge finds the charges are true, or if your child pleads guilty to the charges. Probation may require your teen to check in periodically with a probation officer, as well as to follow other limits and restrictions on their activities.

What are some of the possible outcomes of a juvenile court case?

The outcome will depend on the severity of the charges, but may include:




Community service

Drug abuse treatment programs

Home confinement

Placement in a new home/care facility

Do juvenile crimes follow my teen into adulthood?

Yes and no. In most cases, your teen’s juvenile record will be sealed, which means that the charges will not be accessible when they become adults. However, if your teen is tried as an adult, this will not be the case.

Can a parent or guardian be charged in conjunction with or instead of a teen?

In some cases, a parent or guardian may be charged in addition to the teen, particularly if it is found that the teen’s crime was in some way related to an action, inaction, or negligence on the part of the caregiver. For instance, if it is found that the child’s environment is not suitable, the court may order the teen into another home, foster home, or care facility. It is possible that the parent or guardian will face charges, as well.

Does my teen need an attorney?

Yes, your teen does need an attorney. However, not just any Texas criminal justice attorney will suffice. You need to ensure that the attorney you choose has years of experience representing teens and young adults in court due to the significant differences between the Texas juvenile justice system and the adult justice system.

Call the Law Offices of Sharita Blacknall today to schedule an assessment of your case. You can reach us at 214-678-9111.