Teenagers make mistakes–it’s a fact of life. Some kids have to learn lessons the hard way. Most parents would prefer that these mistakes don’t extend into legal trouble, but sometimes they do.

If your child’s behavior has gotten them pickup by the police–or if you fear that day is near–you are probably wondering what consequences they will face and how the juvenile justice system works.

Status Offenses

According to the Texas attorney general’s office, “a status offense occurs when a juvenile is charged with engaging in conduct that would not be prohibited for an adult.”

A status offender cannot be committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD), but they can be placed on varying levels of probation.

There are six types of status offenses:

  • Any offense that warrants a fine
  • Running away
  • Using or abusing inhalants
  • Getting expelled from school for violating the student code of conduct
  • Prostitution
  • Sexting

Delinquent conduct

Delinquent conduct consists of more serious violations. These offenses, like status offenses, can bring varying levels of probation, but they could also warrant serving time in the TJJD. Depending on their severity, the case could also be transferred out of juvenile jurisdiction and into the adult criminal justice court.

Delinquent conduct offense could include:

  • Committing a felony offense or a misdemeanor that warrants time in jail
  • Violating of a lawful court order resulting in being held in contempt of the court
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated
  • A second or third offense of driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Committing assault or manslaughter while intoxicated

Defending your child against juvenile convictions

As a parent, you know that your child is better than their actions at their core, and you believe that there are other ways for them to change their behavior outside of the legal system.

If your child is facing charges stemming from juvenile misconduct, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can advocate for your child so that they can get the best outcome possible.

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