By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Juvenile arrests in Texas (children younger than 17 years of age) are different from adult arrests.
Whereas an adult has a right to see a magistrate within 24-48 hours after arrest (depending on the level of offense), a juvenile has no such right. See Texas Family Code Chapters 53.02 and 54.01.
The Immediate Determination
A Judge or “other authorized officer” makes an immediate determination as to weather the child should be detained under factors which include;
(1) whether or not the juvenile is likely to abscond,
(2) the degree of parental supervision at home,
(3) whether a firearm was involved,
(4) and the likelihood of re-offending if released.
For more specifics, you can read Tex.Fam.C. 53.02.
After the Immediate Determination
If it is determined that the child should be detained under 53.02, then “not after the second working day after the arrest,” the juvenile is entitled to a “Detention hearing” under 54.01.
The Juvenile Detention Hearing
At the detention hearing it is determined whether the juvenile should be detained for an additional 10 working-days based on the same general criterion as discussed above. After another 10 days, the juvenile is entitled to another hearing.
The Police and Juvenile System Aren’t Always there to Help
This process can be confounding to parents who are dealing with the trauma of having a child arrested. The police and the state can seem sympathetic, but unfortunately they often bring their institutional mind-frame to dealing with you and your child.
Getting your child released back to you can be a difficult and delicate process under the rules discussed above. You should seek attorney representation as soon as possible to maximize the chances of getting your child out of the machine that is the juvenile process.
After the release, there are generally charges which must be answered in court. But that’s another issue altogether. Obviously an experienced lawyer helps there too.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For specific legal advice, you should consult an attorney directly.
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