As a parent, you certainly want your child to have beneficial experiences and live a happy life. Though you likely also hope that your child will make good choices, children can often experience lapses in good judgment. If serious enough, making the wrong choice or being in the wrong place at the wrong time could result in your child facing a serious legal situation.
If your child faces criminal charges as a minor, you will undoubtedly want to ensure that you know what your child may face during juvenile legal proceedings and what decisions you may need to make on his or her behalf. Therefore, you may want to know more about the juvenile court process.
Arrest and evaluation
One way for juvenile court proceedings to begin involves police taking a minor into custody for an alleged offense. The situation will then go through an evaluation to determine whether additional steps need to be taken in order to properly address the circumstances. During this time, the necessary authorities could decide whether the child needs a referral to social services or if the situation warrants a formal hearing in juvenile court.
Juvenile correction facility
If the alleged criminal activity seems serious enough, your child could potentially face detainment in a juvenile correction facility. Although, alternative placement methods could potentially also apply, and your child could go into a shelter, group home or foster home. This type of decision could obviously cause you to feel a great deal of concern for your child and his or her safety.
Juvenile court hearing
In the event that authorities decide that your child's case needs to go through a juvenile court hearing, the filing of a petition will then take place. The petition will detail to the court what alleged offense authorities accused your child of carrying out. If your child denies that he or she carried out the offense, a trial will then take place to determine the outcome. However, a jury does not participate in the trial. Rather a judge makes an overall decision.
The outcomes of the case will depend on the specific circumstances of your child's criminal case. The judge could dismiss the case or additional legal action may take place. As a parent, you will certainly want to ensure that your child has the best chance possible when dealing with a criminal legal situation. Therefore, you may want to utilize local Texas legal resources in order to better understand the predicament and your child's options.