What Is A Juvenile Crime?

October 23, 2018

The U.S. judicial system separates children who have been accused of a crime into a Juvenile Justice System. The state in which the child is accused determines the procedure of the Juvenile Court including the age of minors who are under the jurisdiction of the court. In Texas, it is 16 years old and younger. Children who are found guilty of a crime are sent to a government-run correction center or are released to their parents or legal custodian.

When a minor is arrested for a crime, he or she will receive a notice to appear that the child brings home when released, or that is mailed to his or her parents or guardian. The notice provides information concerning the arrest as well as the time and place he or she must report for a hearing.

On occasion, when the child is convicted of a minor crime he or she moves into the jurisdiction of the probation department and may be required to pay a fine, perform community service, or participate in anger management courses. Parents may be required to pay fines for victim restitution, court reimbursement, and state fines. Once retribution is done, the child no longer has to report to the probation department.

A child who is accused of a more serious crime must appear in court, where it will be determined whether or not there should be a trial. If a trial is deemed necessary, the child is given a date on which the trial will begin, and the parents or guardian are advised to hire an attorney.

The juvenile court may also determine that a minor who is accused of a felony should be tried in adult court. Each state determines the age of juveniles who can be tried as an adult.

Juvenile Offenses

Minors can be charged with status offenses, violent crimes, drug and alcohol violations, and sexual offenses.

Status offenses are minor crimes that require child offenders to be sentenced to supervision. In Texas, those offenses include truancy, running away from home, failure to attend school, curfew violations, and alcohol-related crimes.

Violent crimes with which minors may be charged include homicide, rape, robbery, arson, auto theft and burglary, larceny and theft, vandalism, and weapons possession.

Drug and alcohol violations include driving under the influence, drunk and disorderly conduct, drug abuse, liquor law violation, drug possession, and intent to sell drugs.

Sexual offenses include prostitution, rape, and other crimes of a sexual nature.

According to the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2016, juveniles accounted for just 8 percent of all arrests.

Of those arrests, the juvenile offenses from most common to least common in 2016 were as follows:

  • Arson 26%
  • Robbery 20%
  • Vandalism 20%
  • Motor vehicle theft 18%
  • Disorderly conduct 18%
  • Liquor laws 16%
  • Burglary 15%
  • Larceny-theft 13%
  • Weapons 12%
  • Other assaults 12%
  • Stolen property 12%
  • Aggravated assault 7%
  • Murder 7%
  • Drug abuse violations 6%
  • Offenses against the family 4%
  • Fraud 4%
  • Prostitution 1%
  • Drunkenness 1%
  • DUI 1%

If your child has been accused of a juvenile crime, then your first step is to hire a juvenile attorney who understands and has participated in cases in the juvenile justice system. If your child has already been accused and you are looking for an attorney to defend him, then the team at Fears Nachawati is here to help. Our firm includes some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state of Texas and we have attorneys that specialize in a wide-range of criminal charges, as well as extensive experience representing juvenile clients.

When you retain the services of an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer like those at Fears Nachawati, you can be assured that our team will fight tirelessly to defend your child’s rights and freedom.

If your child has been charged with a crime, don’t delay in reaching out to the attorneys at Fears Nachawati for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of their case.

Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

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