This is the next post in my series discussing Austin, Texas criminal charges which involve juveniles. My last article discussed how courts address juveniles who face drug-related charges. Parents must understand that how the court will address such situations is going to depend on the nature and amount of the controlled substance, the youth’s history, and whether they are charged with additional crimes. How the court will rule is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case. It is important that you speak with an experienced attorney to fully understand your options. In this article I will discuss how judges and prosecutors address cases which involve violence. If your son or daughter has been arrested then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
I have previously discussed the fact that the goal of the juvenile system is to put a minor on a better path, and not to punish. The Court, however, will often take a stricter view of cases which involve violence. If the youth is charged with assault then the court, at a minimum, is likely to require that the youth serve a period of formal probation, that they complete anger management and/or counseling programs, and that restitution be paid to the victim (for expenses such as medical bills). If the assault involved a weapon, resulted in serious injury, or was part of a larger crime (such as a robbery) then prosecutors will likely seek a “determinate sentence”, which could involve incarceration in a juvenile facility with the possibility of transfer to adult prison once the offender turns 18. Under extreme circumstances, a child may even find themselves certified to stand trial as an adult. This can result in the youth having to serve time in prison after having first been incarcerated in a juvenile facility.
A young man or woman who is charged with a violent offense will have options available to them. This is because a juvenile will have the same rights and defenses available to them that are available to adults. These include the right to claim self-defense, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to be free from overly suggestive eyewitness identifications. Say, for example, that a child is defending themselves from another individual. Now suppose that police make a mistake as to who was the “primary aggressor.” Under these facts the youth would be able to argue self-defense. Also, it is not uncommon for the police to gain a confession from a juvenile through a violation of the youth’s Miranda rights. It may be possible to exclude such statements from the evidence at trial. Finally, the procedures which the police use to gain an eyewitness identification may result in that identification being ruled inadmissible, or at least unreliable. The strategy employed in defending a case, however, will always depend on the particulars of the situation.
If your son or daughter has been arrested then contact my office today to speak with an Austin juvenile defense lawyer. I devote my practice to the handling of criminal and juvenile cases. I have been licensed since 1995 and am Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I pride myself on providing the highest levels of service and my firm will give your case the attention it deserves. Call today to speak with an attorney. We also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.