Juvenile Theft, Burglary and Property Crimes
Denton | Cooke | Wise
One of the most challenging parts of growing up is facing and learning from mistakes. This is made only more difficult when those mistakes are serious enough to involve the juvenile justice system. In the state of Texas, the juvenile system is strongly focused on rehabilitation for first-time and misdemeanor offenders. However, with theft, burglary, and other property crimes, there may be circumstances where your child may be referred to the adult criminal system and tried as an adult.
The good news about the juvenile justice system is that judges are given quite a bit of leeway in determining how to handle charges against a minor. For this reason, having an attorney who is familiar with the court system and judges in your county is a great way to help provide a strong legal defense for your child. The potential penalties your child could face depend in large part on the circumstances of the charges against them.
How the Juvenile Justice System Works in Texas
A Juvenile who commits a crime is not considered a criminal in Texas, rather a delinquent. Juvenile cases are governed by the Texas family code. Juveniles have a right to a jury trial where the charges are found to be true or not true. But unlike adults, the judge, not a jury, handles the punishment phase of the trial. Instead, the judge will review the charges and make a recommendation. One such recommendation they could make is to transfer the case against your child to the adult justice system. Depending on your case, the judge has broad discretion in punishment. Punishment can be as little as nothing, all the way up to probation, removal from the home, or TJJD.
Theft, Burglary and Property Crimes
In the juvenile system, theft typically addresses issues of larceny, that is, taking someone’s property with the intent to deprive that person of their ownership on a permanent basis. The conviction of a theft charge results in delinquency. Whether the charges are considered a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the value of the property in question.
Burglary, on the other hand, is considered the act of entering any private place or structure with the intent of committing some kind of crime. In fact, one does not have to even commit the crime but simply enter the structure to be guilty of burglary. For example, smashing a window to steal a TV and then fleeing the scene before taking anything can still result in a burglary charge. With burglary, there will be questions of intent and entry. An experienced juvenile defense attorney will help argue the facts of the charges on your behalf to the judge.
Other property crimes, such as vandalism, trespassing, etc. are treated similarly and can be considered in conjunction with a burglary or theft charge depending on the circumstances. Ultimately, Paine & Nolter, P.C. can discuss your child’s case with you and evaluate the charges to determine the best possible defense.
If your child is facing a Juvenile Theft, Burglary, or Property Crime charge in Denton, Texas or the surrounding area, please contact Paine & Nolter, P.C. Attorneys and Counselors at Law at 940-382-400 or by filling out our online form. Our consultations are always free and no-risk. We also offer weekend and early morning appointments for your convenience.