Tarrant County Criminal Defense: Juvenile Offenses

Juvenile Offenses: Your Crimes and Punishments?

You are between the ages of 10 and 17 and you have allegedly committed a crime. This means you are in need of an Arlington and Fort Worth criminal lawyer. Tarrant County Criminal Defense is here to help you.

There are many things that can happen once you are accused of engaging in delinquent conduct. The first possibility is going to juvenile court, where you could be dealt with informally or if the crime is severe enough, you could be charged with engaging in delinquent conduct.

There are four potential possibilities once you are in juvenile court:

  • You could be tried as an adult and from there would have a completely different set of rules and sentencing.
  • You could be put on probation and must be discharged by the time you turn 18.
  • You could be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department with an indeterminate sentence.
  • You could be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department with a determinate sentence and could be transferred to an adult prison once you reach a certain age.

We highly recommend hiring our Arlington/Fort Worth criminal attorney services to help and to assist in getting the best outcome for your case.

What is the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD)?

In 2011, the Texas Legislature formed the TJJD which essentially did away with the former Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) and Texas Youth Commission (TYC) and reassigned both departments to just one TJJD department. The TJJD states that their mission is to “create a safer Texas through the establishment of a continuum of services that promotes positive youth outcomes.” The organization hopes to accomplish this through “the delivery of a continuum of services and programs to help youth enrich and value their lives and the community by focusing on accountability of their actions and planning for a successful future.” TJJD website, 2013

What is indeterminate sentence versus determinate sentence?

An indeterminate sentence is just as it sounds: you will not be given a specific number of months or years that you are sentenced at TJJD. You are given a minimum stay, anywhere between 9 to 24 months or community supervision, depending upon the severity of the crime. You are eligible for release once you have completed your minimum stay and have made appropriate progress. You are required to be released once your turn 19 years old.

A determinate sentence is specific time determined by the court prior to being sent to TJJD. Sentences can range from 10 years for third-degree felonies to up to 40 years for capital and first-degree felonies. Depending on your case and circumstances, you could have the possibility of serving the rest of your sentence under adult parole instead of in adult prison. Some offenses that result in a determinate sentence includes aggravated and attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault and robbery, murder and first-degree felony arson. TJJD, Website 2013

If you find yourself under arrest and facing juvenile charges, you need an aggressive Fort Worth and Arlington criminal attorney with experience handling juvenile offenses. Our criminal lawyers have handled hundreds of juvenile cases. Call us today to find out how we can help you.