The Juvenile Justice Code is found in Title 3, Chapter 51 of the Texas Family Code. Texas Family Code § 51.02 defines a child as a person who is 10 years of age or older and under 17 years of age, or 17 years of age or older and under 18 years of age but alleged or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision as a result of acts committed before becoming 17 years of age.
Children who commit crimes, such as offenses involving drugs, will often have their cases handled in the 323rd Family District Court, which handles juvenile court proceedings in Tarrant County. While juvenile cases are different from traditional adult criminal charges, the consequences of convictions can still be very serious and have long-lasting consequences.
If you or your child were recently arrested for any kind of drug crime in the Fort Worth area, you are going to want to be sure that you have legal counsel familiar with juvenile courts. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy regularly defends juveniles all over Texas.
Our firm understands what is on the line for younger defendants and works to help them achieve the outcomes that result in the fewest penalties. We will assess all of your legal options as soon as you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
A minor could theoretically be charged with any one of a number of violations of state law regarding drugs. Some of the most common kinds of criminal charges include:
● Possession of a Controlled Substance
● Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
● Drug Trafficking
● Drug Manufacturing
● Prescription Drug Fraud
● Possession with Intent to Deliver
● Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs
● Prescription Drug Fraud
● Synthetic Drugs / Synthetic Marijuana
In cases involving minors, there can be many complicating factors as to how a juvenile obtained drugs. Some drug charges may stem from children selling or distributing prescription medications stolen from parents. In other cases, children may have entered vehicles containing a controlled substance and charged with possession even when they were not the owners of the drugs.
If an intake officer, probation officer or other person designated by the juvenile court determines that further proceedings against a juvenile are authorized, the officer may recommend deferred prosecution. This option is generally reserved for juveniles who commit less serious offenses and who are not habitual offenders.
Deferred prosecution is a voluntary alternative to adjudication and typically the child, parent, prosecuting attorney and the juvenile probation department all agree to certain probation conditions. When a child does not violate the conditions of this type of informal probation, no juvenile record will be created.
Some of the requirements of probation may include, but are not limited to:
● Drug rehabilitation
● Confinement in a juvenile detention center
● Substance abuse educational courses
● Payment of court fees
● Community service
The court must order the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend a juvenile’s driver’s license or permit, or deny the issuance of a license or permit, if the juvenile is adjudicated for certain controlled substance violations. If a child is placed on probation, the probation must end on or before the offender’s 18th birthday, and a juvenile committed to TJJD must have their sentence completed on or before their 19th birthday.
Juvenile drug cases often involve many complicating factors. Children may be charged with drug possession or other crimes when they were not actually the party who owned the drugs involved.
Many of these cases result from complicated scenarios at school, and you will want to have an attorney who can examine exactly what happened and help shield your child from criminal charges. Prescription drug cases are always more complicated depending on whether a child had a valid prescription for the drug involved in an alleged offense.
It is also important in these cases to examine exactly how law enforcement obtained the drugs involved in a juvenile drug case. When drugs were found through an illegal search and seizure, the prosecutor will be unable to use any of the evidence obtained by police.
Juvenile Services | Tarrant County, Texas — Services are provided to juveniles under the authority of the Tarrant County Juvenile Board, which has designated the 323rd State District Court to serve as the Juvenile Court. Tarrant County Juvenile Services is the agency designated to receive law enforcement reports of law violations defined either as delinquent conduct (class A misdemeanors and class B misdemeanors as well as felony-grade offenses) or conduct indicating a need for supervision allegedly committed by juveniles. Tarrant County Juvenile Services operates the Juvenile Detention Center, which is a 24-hour secure facility for the temporary detention of juveniles for serious law violations. Tarrant County Juvenile Services has the following satellite offices:
3800 Adam Grubb Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76135
3809 Colleyville Blvd.
Colleyville, TX 76034
3840 Hulen Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
1100 E. Broad Street
Mansfield, TX 76063
Central - Resource Connection
2100 Circle Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76119
Lena Pope Campus
3200 Sanguinet Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Family Partnership Program
4500 Mercantile Plaza, Suite 234
Fort Worth, TX 76111
2018 Juvenile Justice Handbook | Texas Attorney General — View this document providing an overview of how the Juvenile Justice System works in Texas. You can learn more about steps in the juvenile process, offenses tried by juvenile courts, and parental rights and responsibilities. Also find information about juvenile courts, judges, referees, and magistrates.
Were you or your child arrested for an alleged drug crime in Fort Worth or another community in Tarrant County? It will be very important for you to quickly find an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy defends clients accused of all kinds of drug crimes. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.