In Texas, children can be called to testify in court cases in certain circumstances. Whether it's a criminal case involving a juvenile defendant or a family law matter, having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference when it comes to successfully navigating these cases.
Let's take a closer look at what you need to know about child testimony in court and why you should talk to an attorney who specializes in working with children.
How Are Children Allowed To Testify?
Before a child is allowed to testify, the judge must determine that they are “competent” enough to give meaningful testimony. Generally speaking, this means that the judge must decide whether or not the child understands their obligation to tell the truth and if they are capable of understanding questions posed by attorneys and giving appropriate answers.
In Texas specifically, there are laws that govern when children can testify and how they should be treated while doing so. For example, a child aged ten or above may be found competent by a judge as long as they understand their obligation to tell the truth and are able to respond appropriately when questioned by attorneys. If the child is younger than ten years old, though, the judge will have more discretion when determining whether or not that individual is competent enough to testify.
The Benefits of Working With An Attorney Who Works With Children
If you find yourself facing a juvenile crime case or family law matter where your child might be called upon to testify in court, it’s essential that you contact an experienced attorney who has experience working with children. This type of lawyer will have extensive knowledge of state laws regarding child testimony and can help ensure that your rights—and your child’s rights—are protected throughout the process.
They will advocate on behalf of your family and do everything within their power to ensure that your case has the best possible outcome. In addition, having an experienced lawyer on hand can help alleviate any stress or anxiety you might feel during this difficult time—especially if this is your first time dealing with such matters.
We Can Do More
Children can testify in court cases—including out-of-court testimonies—if necessary for your family’s case. It is important for parents with children facing such cases to hire an experienced attorney who specializes in working with children so that their rights are fully protected throughout proceedings, as well as minimize any potential stress during this challenging time.
At Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, our team is passionate about helping families overcome their legal challenges, no matter if your child is facing a juvenile crime charge, you are going through a divorce, or are facing another legal challenge. Call us today at (512) 991-0576 to learn more about how we can do more for your case and schedule a consultation with a member of our award-winning team.