There are many birthdays that are special over the course of a Texas resident’s life, but none is as monumental as one’s 18th birthday. That is because when a person turns 18, they are legally recognized as an adult. While many youths look forward to this age as a time when they will be free to live as they want and independent of their parents’ rules, they should also recognize that becoming an adult can bring with it many significant consequences.
For example, once a person turns 18 they may face the adult sanctions for crimes that they are alleged to have committed and for which they are convicted. Individuals under the age of 18 can also face adult charges depending on the circumstances of their legal situations. Youths 17 and under can face juvenile charges that may impact their futures.
Even children as young as 10 can face juvenile charges for certain alleged conduct. If a prosecutor can show beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the youth understood the wrongfulness of their conduct when they were allegedly engaged in it, such a youth may be convicted of their alleged crime. These cases often revolve around alleged property crimes, breaks of curfew and vandalism.
Whenever a child is accused of violating the criminal laws of Texas, it is important that they and their parents or guardians seek supportive and knowledgeable legal help. Not all criminal defense attorneys work with youth clients and operate within the juvenile justice system. A juvenile charge can change the course of a young person’s life and affect the future that they hope to achieve. This post does not provide any legal advice and is offered as information only for its readers.