Juvenile Crime Lawyer in Dallas, TX
Protecting Minors from a Lifetime of Consequences
Sometimes even the most caring, attentive, and responsible parenting cannot stop a child from making poor decisions. Making mistakes is part of learning and growing up. Sometimes a juvenile’s poor decision making leads to trouble with the law, proving much more difficult than dealing with a teenager who simply ditches gym class.
In the 21st Century, courts are coming to the realization that children and teenagers do not make good, reasonable decisions at times because of peer pressure, and because their hearts and minds are still developing. The law treats juvenile crimes in a different fashion than adult crimes, though it is in your child’s best interest to minimize any charges against them by hiring an experienced Dallas juvenile criminal defense lawyer. According to the Texas Attorney General, children aged 10 to under 17, or 17 to under 18 are defined as juveniles, and children under 10 years old cannot be prosecuted for committing crimes. However, the Department of Family and Protective Services may intervene for children under 10.
Parental Liability for Juvenile Crimes
In some cases it can be argued that the parent had knowledge of their child’s misgivings or knew of past behavior that could lead to future crimes. The parent, in this case, may be held financially liable in a civil case outside of the juvenile justice system.
Juvenile Crime Punishments Can Be Severe
Just because the crime, whether it was theft, assault, or underage drinking and driving, was committed by a child under 18 does not mean that the penalties will be a mere slap on the wrist. Major offenses such as sex crimes and murder can lead to life sentences in the state of Texas. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that even states that have mandatory life sentences without parole for certain juvenile crimes must, at some point, provide the chance to make the case for release and will be applied retroactively to teens that were sentenced to life in prison for murder, according to The Washington Post.
Other serious punishments can include:
- Severe fines
- Being committed to the Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Corrections
Some crimes can have an effect on your child’s record for the rest of your child’s life. Having to register as a sex offender can greatly limit your child’s future. Additionally, drug crimes can result in an inability to be eligible for student loans and can limit driving abilities, while any juvenile record can hamper career options for the future.
Our Dallas juvenile crime defense attorneys fight aggressively in court for underage minors charged with crimes. Some of the juvenile crimes we defend include:
No matter the charge, going through the legal system alone is a dangerous decision to make. A Dallas juvenile defense attorney with extensive knowledge and experience of Texas’ juvenile crime laws can greatly minimize the charges that your child would face if they went unrepresented.
Do not let your child go unrepresented or represented by an attorney without experience in juvenile court, because the ramifications down the road may lead to a lifetime of hurdles that are nearly impossible to overcome. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC today at (214) 238-9392 for an initial consultation.