Juveniles Sent to Adult Court
Frisco, TX Juvenile Defense Lawyer Protecting Your Child’s Rights
If your child is accused of a crime, you might assume that their case will proceed in juvenile court if they are under the age of 18. However, did you know that the juvenile cutoff in Texas is now age 16? Any minor who is 17 will be considered an adult. In addition, there are situations in which your child is 16 or younger, and their case might be transferred into the adult criminal justice system. If this occurs, the proceedings will take place in adult court, and a conviction will mean the same penalties as adults would face – including time in Texas adult correctional facility.
The idea that your child might go to prison with adult offenders is terrifying, as is the concern that a serious offense on a permanent criminal record might affect the rest of their lives. You want to have the highest quality of defense representation for your child from the moment they are arrested, so you should contact a Frisco juvenile defense attorney at the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, immediately.
When Can a Juvenile be Charged as an Adult?
Before a child is adjudicated delinquent – or a juvenile hearing occurs – there is the opportunity for the case to be transferred if certain requirements are met. First, there must be probable cause to believe the juvenile committed a crime, as well as sufficient evidence that it is impossible to manage the particular case in the juvenile justice system.
If the above are true, there are different situations in which a case might be transferred, depending on the age of a juvenile and the charges at issue. Juveniles as young as 14 can have their cases transferred if they face capital felony, first-degree felony, or aggravated controlled-substance felony charges. Juveniles 15 and older can be transferred for lesser-degree felony charges.
The Adult Criminal Justice System
Unlike the juvenile justice system, the adult criminal justice system is not primarily focused on rehabilitation. If convicted in adult court, your child faces several potential penalties, including:
- Imprisonment in an adult correctional facility
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Strict probation overseen by the adult probation system
Your child will also have a serious felony conviction on their permanent criminal record. This can prevent them from getting into college, finding a job, finding rental housing, and much more for the rest of their lives.
For these reasons, it is critical that you seek the right defense assistance for your child as soon as they are arrested or accused. If the case is transferred, you need a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer ready to fight against the charges in adult criminal court.
Contact a Texas Juvenile Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
At the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, we work to prevent convictions in both juvenile and adult criminal court. If your child needs defense help, please call 940-222-2488 or contact us online to discuss our criminal defense services.