Parents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area may wonder what would happen if their child was placed on probation in Denton County. Young offenders between 10 and 17 years of age are placed on probation when they have committed minor offenses and prosecutors decide not to take the case to court. Prosecutors hoping to settle cases quickly often offer to place young offenders on probation during plea discussions. Parents are expected to work with the juvenile probation officer appointed by the Denton County Juvenile Probation Department to ensure that the young offender meets conditions laid down by the court.
Conditions of probation
Young offenders placed on juvenile probation are given a chance to show that they can be productive members of society, and judges place conditions on probation orders to encourage them to take this opportunity. Young offenders are usually required to attend counseling sessions with their parents and probation officers, and they are expected to obey the law and treat others with respect. Other common juvenile probation conditions include:
- Remaining in school and attending classes
- Refraining from belligerent, abusive or violent conduct
- Obeying a curfew
- Performing community service
- Making financial restitution to their victims
Failure to comply
Juvenile probation officers are tasked with making sure that young offenders comply with the conditions of their probation and stay out of trouble. When young offenders do not meet the standards set for them or commit other juvenile offenses, their probation officers report their behavior to the court. This can lead to additional restrictions and even harsher sanctions. The options judges have in these situations include:
- Ordering additional counseling sessions
- Changing the young offender’s living arrangements
- Transferring the young offender to the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department
- Placing the young offender on Intensive Supervision Probation
Questions about juvenile probation
If your child is ever placed on probation in Denton County, you should seek out an attorney who is certified in juvenile court and is familiar with juvenile prosecutors, judges and probation officers. An experienced defense attorney could work with you, the probation department and the court to ensure that your child is given the best chance to succeed.