Burnet County Juvenile Crime Attorneys
Protecting the Rights of Minors in Burnet County, TX
When a minor is accused of a crime, it is important to remember that they are not adults. The juvenile justice system is designed to rehabilitate young offenders, not punish them. However, this does not mean that the consequences of a juvenile crime are not serious. A conviction can have a lasting impact on a young person’s life, affecting their ability to get into college, find a job, and more. If your child has been accused of a crime, it is important to take the matter seriously and seek experienced legal representation.
At Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, we understand the unique challenges that come with defending minors in the criminal justice system. Our Burnet County juvenile crime lawyers are here to help you and your child navigate the process and fight for the best possible outcome.
What is Juvenile Crime?
In Texas, a juvenile is defined as a person who is at least 10 years old but not yet 17. Juvenile crimes are offenses committed by minors. These can include both misdemeanor and felony offenses. In some cases, a minor may be charged as an adult, which means they will be tried in adult criminal court. This is more likely to happen if the minor is at least 14 years old and is accused of a serious crime, such as murder or sexual assault.
What Are the Consequences of Juvenile Offenses?
While the juvenile justice system is focused on rehabilitation, this does not mean that the consequences of a juvenile offense are not serious. A conviction can have a lasting impact on a young person’s life. In addition to the immediate consequences, such as fines, probation, and detention, a conviction can also affect a minor’s future.
Some of the potential long-term consequences of a juvenile offense include:
- Difficulty getting into college
- Ineligibility for certain scholarships
- Problems finding a job
- Ineligibility for certain professional licenses
- Problems finding housing
- Loss of driving privileges
For these reasons, it is important to take juvenile offenses seriously and seek experienced legal representation.
What is the Juvenile Court Process?
When a minor is accused of a crime, the case will be handled in juvenile court. The process is different from adult criminal court, but it is still important to have an experienced attorney on your side. The juvenile court process begins with the arrest. If a minor is arrested, they will be taken to a juvenile detention center. In some cases, the minor may be released to their parents or guardians. The next step is the detention hearing. This is where the judge will decide whether the minor should be held in detention or released to their parents or guardians. If the minor is held in detention, the judge will also decide whether they should be held until the trial or for a shorter period of time.
After the detention hearing, the next steps in the juvenile court process include:
- Arraignment: This is where the minor will enter a plea. They can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the minor pleads guilty or no contest, the case will proceed to the disposition hearing. If the minor pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to the adjudication hearing.
- Adjudication Hearing: This is similar to a trial in adult criminal court. The judge will hear evidence and decide whether the minor is guilty of the offense. If the minor is found guilty, the case will proceed to the disposition hearing. If the minor is found not guilty, the case will be dismissed.
- Disposition Hearing: This is similar to the sentencing phase of a trial in adult criminal court. The judge will decide what consequences the minor will face. This can include probation, community service, fines, restitution, and more.
It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side throughout the juvenile court process. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and fight for the best possible outcome.
What Are the Legal Rights of Minors in Criminal Cases?
Minors have many of the same legal rights as adults in criminal cases. This includes the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to a fair trial. However, there are some differences between juvenile and adult criminal cases. For example, a minor does not have the right to a jury trial. Instead, the case will be decided by a judge. In addition, a minor does not have the right to bail. This means that they can be held in detention until the trial.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Juvenile Crime Charges?
If your child has been accused of a crime in Burnet County, TX, it is important to seek experienced legal representation. An attorney can help you know your rights and options and fight for the best possible outcome. At Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, we have a proven track record of success in juvenile crime cases. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we understand the unique challenges that come with defending minors in the criminal justice system and are prepared to put our experience to work for you.
Our Austin juvenile crime lawyers can help with all types of cases, including those involving:
- Drug crimes
- Underage drinking
- Shoplifting and other theft crimes
- Assault and other violent crimes
- Sex crimes
- Weapons charges
- Probation violations
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