Juvenile Crime

If you or your underage child has been accused of committing a criminal offense, it is important to immediately consult an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer. If a juvenile is adjudicated, or determined guilty, of the charges against them, they could receive long-lasting consequences. These repercussions can include, but are not limited to:

  • A driver’s license suspension,
  • Loss of driving privileges,
  • A criminal record,
  • Incarceration in a state detention facility,
  • Probation,
  • Counseling,
  • Substance abuse treatment,
  • Inability to be admitted into certain colleges or educational programs,
  • Community service, and/or
  • Ineligibility to apply for certain jobs.

Even if you have been adjudicated of a juvenile offense, you may not have to receive these serious punishments and consequences. Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you receive deferred adjudication or enroll you in a program for underage offenders that will not result in a criminal record.

Juvenile Crime

Dallas Juvenile Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a juvenile offense in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Attorney Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome to the charges against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about alleged juvenile crime.

Dallas Juvenile Offense Information Center

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Definition of a Juvenile in Texas

According to Tex. Fam. Code § 51.02, a juvenile is defined as a person who is under the age of 17 or older than 17, but under the age of 18 when the alleged offense was committed, and at least ten years old.

Juvenile courts only have jurisdiction over offenders who are between the ages of 10 and 17. If the alleged offender is older than 17, they will be prosecuted in the Dallas adult criminal justice system.

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Dallas Juvenile Delinquency

According to Texas law (Texas Family Code § 51.03), delinquent conduct, or juvenile conduct that can result in criminal penalties can include any of the following:

  • Delinquent conduct can be anything that violates a Texas criminal law and is punishable by a jail or prison sentence, including offenses that are classified as Class B misdemeanors or felonies of the first degree.
  • Delinquent conduct can include any act that would be in contempt of court or in violation of a court order and is punishable by a fine.
  • A juvenile offender can also engage in delinquent conduct if they commit any act that would be considered driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Texas. Additionally, if the juvenile commits a third or subsequent driving under the influence (DUI) offense as a minor, they have committed delinquent conduct.

A juvenile in Texas can also be penalized for engaging in conduct indicating a need for supervision (CINS). This type of conduct can include:

  • A violation of any Texas criminal law that is punishable by a fine, not including traffic offenses;
  • Not attending school;
  • Running away from home;
  • Using inhalant substances;
  • Actions in violation of a school’s conduct policy; and/or
  • Court order violations.

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Common Juvenile Offenses in Dallas

According to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05, a juvenile in Dallas can be charged with a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) offense if they possess an alcoholic beverage without any lawful justification. This offense is generally punishable by a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $500. Subsequent MIP offenses can result in increased penalties.

A minor can be charged with juvenile driving while intoxicated under Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.041 if they operate a motor vehicle in public while under the influence of any detectable amount of alcohol. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $500. However, subsequent juvenile DWIs can result in increased penalties.

As defined in Texas Penal Code § 49.02, a juvenile can be charged with public intoxication if they appear in a public place under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent they will cause danger to themselves or another person. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of not more than $500. However, subsequent public intoxication offenses can result in more serious penalties.

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Dallas Penalties for Juvenile Offenses

If a juvenile is adjudicated guilty of an offense by a judge or jury, they will have a disposition hearing, where they could be sentenced to any of the following possible penalties:

  • Probation in their home, possibly until their 18th birthday;
  • Probation in a foster home, possibly until their 18th birthday;
  • Probation in a public or private institution or agency, possibly until their 18th birthday;
  • Confinement to the Texas Youth Commission for felony juvenile offenses;
  • A driver’s license suspension or loss of driving privileges;
  • Restitution;
  • Up to 500 hours of community service;
  • Counseling;
  • Rehabilitation;
  • Substance abuse treatment; and/or
  • Payment of court costs and supervision fees.

If a juvenile offender is adjudicated of a criminal offense, they will likely receive a criminal record. This record is generally kept confidential, except in certain situations. A juvenile may be eligible to have their record sealed:

  • After a felony juvenile offender turns 21 and meets certain criteria to seal their record;
  • Two years after leaving the juvenile system, if they do not commit any juvenile offenses and meet additional criteria; or
  • Any other situation the court determines is necessary to seal the criminal record.

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Alternative Penalties to Juvenile Crimes in Dallas

Drug Court – This program was created to reduced substance abuse and related behavior through education, treatment, intervention, and family involvement. This program is available for first-time or minor drug offenders who voluntarily participate in the program instead of going to Juvenile Court.

Deferred Prosecution – This program is for low-risk first-time juvenile offenders in Dallas County and is an early intervention program as an alternative to going to Juvenile Court. Participants in the program are required to complete a service plan or agreement that generally involves voluntary participation in counseling services, restitution agreements, or community service.

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Dallas Resources for Juvenile Offenses

Dallas County Juvenile Department – This department is responsible for assisting juvenile offenders to become law-abiding citizens and rehabilitating youthful offenders while also promoting public safety. This department provides programs, such as the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (DCJJAEP) and the Short Term Adolescent Residential Treatment Program (START). The Juvenile Department is located at:

2600 Lone Star Dr.
Dallas, Texas 75212
Phone: (214) 698-2224

Texas Juvenile Justice Department – The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) was created on December 1, 2011 after the existing Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) and Texas Youth Commission (TYC) were abolished and had their operations transferred to the new TJJD. On this website, you can view an organizational chart, review policies and procedures, and download forms.

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Find a Fort Worth Juvenile Offense Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged juvenile crime throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas who will make every to fight the allegations against you and help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your juvenile crime allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County, Denton County, Collin County, and Tarrant County.

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