Kids will be kids. There is nothing more quintessential childish than petty theft. If your child receives a theft charge, the juvenile justice system in Texas will attempt to reform the behavior away. Sometimes, it’s lucky to get the bad behavior out of their system before adulthood when the State has no mercy.
Juvenile Justice System in Texas
Texas prides itself on looking out for the best interests of the future of Texans. In that spirit, the juvenile justice system in Texas is oriented to rehabilitate children’s criminal behavior and steer them towards promising futures. Therefore, the punishments for juvenile offenses are often significantly less severe than the punishments for a similar offense committed by an adult.
Juvenile Theft Charges
If your child is arrested for theft, they are held in custody until a juvenile court can determine if and when they are released. Typically, juveniles facing theft charges will be released at the first hearing. Unless the juvenile:
- has a prior conviction
- has no parent or guardian or isn’t receiving adequate care and supervision by their parent or guardian
- is a likely flight risk
- is a danger to themselves or others
The severity of the theft offense reflects the dollar value of the object(s) lifted. If the theft value is less than $100, your child could be facing a fine ticket only. If the theft value is greater than $100 but less than $2.5K, they could be facing misdemeanor charges. If the theft value exceeds $2.5K, the charge rises to a felony. Some of the most common offenses perpetrated by juveniles include:
- petty theft
- general theft
- knowingly buying/accepting stolen property
The greater the offense, the greater the punishments. Depending upon circumstances, the repercussions for a theft offense can be as little as Come to Jesus talk with a probation officer or as harsh as a stent in a juvenile detention facility. Additionally, the State could move to certify your child as an adult to move the case out of the juvenile court into adult court. As mentioned, juvenile court delivers compassionate punishments. If your child is facing theft charges, it is essential to retain an attorney quickly to avoid an adult certification.
Juvenile Theft Repercussions
More often than not, juvenile theft charges result in a misdemeanor. In most cases, juvenile judges can be swayed to extended deferred adjudication for first-time offending juveniles. Deferred adjudication essentially is the court granting your child a second chance. If granted, your child will be placed on probation and must abide by other circumstantial conditions.
Juvenile judges consider the following factors when deciding to grant deferred adjudication:
- supervision available at home
- criminal offenses/actions
- mental health
- medical needs
- available county services
At AZ Law Firm, we believe children deserve the chance to prosper in adulthood. Therefore, our juvenile criminal lawyers seek deferred prosecution for our clients when possible. We will gather evidence and support the argument for deferred prosecution. Such evidence generally includes:
- proof of extracurricular activities
- support letters from teachers
- good grades
- a letter of remorse
- proof the juvenile has begun professional services
If your child has been charged with a theft offense, it’s paramount you retain a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Our Austin criminal attorneys will fight to have the charges dropped and advocate for deferred adjudication to afford your child a promising future. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll begin strategizing options.
To find out how we can help you, contact our criminal defense attorneys at 512-400-7070 for juvenile justice system in Texas defense and expunge juvenile record Texas. We will schedule an initial client consultation to review your case details and lay out a game plan for your juvenile justice system in Texas case. AZ Law Firm will pursue the legal action necessary to secure the fairest possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
- evaluating and explaining to you the pros and cons of your individual case
- discussing with you any available options and our proposed strategies as it relates to your case
- providing guidance and recommendations regarding any proposed settlement offer
- quickly and effectively communicating with you during each step of the process so that you are not left in the dark
- taking your case solely on a contingent fee basis
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
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