When a minor within the Dallas-Fort Worth area is arrested, it can be quite difficult to determine the outcome of their trial. Because they are a minor and have little to no understanding of the law, states will seek to protect them. However, total forgiveness for their crimes is not typically possible; offenders must face some type of consequence. This is where the concept of the juvenile court comes in. Read on further to learn more about the juvenile court proceedings and how they differ from the traditional justice system.
Who is a juvenile in Texas?
Every state in the union has its own range of ages considered juvenile. In Texas, that age range is between 10 years and 17 years of age. When an offender is just a few days or weeks shy of being an adult, criminal law attorneys may argue that they should still be tried as a juvenile. This usually means receiving a lesser sentence.
Differences between adult and juvenile court proceedings
States place additional measures to protect minors from facing consequences that adults are likely to go through. For example, unlike adults, juvenile records are ordered to be sealed and remain confidential. In fact, those records are often erased at the time when they turn 18. Another big difference is who is actually bringing judgment on the offender. Because minors do not have the same constitutional rights as adults, they cannot be judged by a jury of their peers. Instead, a judge will oversee the case and make a final judgment.
Are you accused of committing a crime and unsure if you are going to be tried as an adult or juvenile? Having an attorney at your side might make all the difference. An attorney experienced in dealing with juvenile cases may be able to get you through the process by explaining your rights and potential outcomes.