FAQ Regarding Juvenile Charges in Texas
If your child is facing a criminal charge, your entire family is facing a difficult situation. While your child’s case is not exactly like anyone else’s, there are some frequently asked questions that apply nearly universally, and knowing the answers can help.
What Is a Delinquent Conduct Charge?
Delinquent conduct refers to a juvenile’s violation of a state or federal criminal law or to the disobedience of an order issued by a municipal or justice court.
What Is CINS?
CINS stands for conduct indicating a need for supervision, and it refers to relatively minor misconduct that violates less serious laws – and can involve some non-criminal conduct, including:
Running away from home
Inhaling glue or paint
Other fine-only offenses
What Should I Do after Receiving a Summons?
If you receive a summons, it is a notice that the charge or charges therein have been levied against your juvenile and that the case is going to juvenile court. The summons must reach you at least two days prior to the hearing, and it should contain pertinent information regarding the hearing, including the petition and the hearing's date, time, and location. If you do receive a summons, you are well-advised to consult with a dedicated Belton criminal defense attorney with significant experience successfully handling juvenile cases like your child’s.
Do I Have the Right to See the Alleged Evidence against my Child?
Yes, as your juvenile child’s parent, you have a variety of important rights, which include:
The right to communicate with your child privately
The right to know the offense that your child has been charged with and the date and time he or she was taken into custody
The right to see the evidence the prosecution has against your child
The right to know the names of any other person taken into custody with your child and whether a weapon was used in the commission of the alleged crime in question
It is important not to lose sight of your legal rights as a parent.
What Are All the Different Hearings My Child Faces?
There are three primary hearings your child can face as a juvenile, and he or she has the right to legal representation at each. These hearings include:
A detention hearing, which is an informal hearing that takes place after your child is taken into custody (at which the judge will determine if your child should remain in custody or should be released)
An adjudication hearing, which is the juvenile version of a trial in a criminal case and is generally separate from the disposition hearing
A disposition hearing, which is the juvenile equivalent of a sentencing hearing in a criminal case
Do Not Wait to Consult with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Belton Heights
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard understands the urgent nature of juvenile charges and is well prepared to help. We are here for you, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.