By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
In the adult system a person arrested sees a magistrate judge that sets a bond amount. Once the bond is paid, the person is released. Very simple. With teenagers under 17 years old the process is much different and more difficult in many ways.
When a juvenile is arrested, they must be brought for a “juvenile detention hearing” within 2 business days of the arrest. If the arrest is on a Friday or a Saturday, then the detention hearing is on the following Monday.
A juvenile detention hearing is an informal proceeding before a district judge or, if waived, before a master (an associate judge). The State must prove just one of five elements to determine whether the teen needs to be incarcerated for an additional 10 business days under Texas Family Code 54.01(e) 1-5:
(1) he is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court;
(2) suitable supervision, care, or protection for him is not being provided by a parent, guardian, custodian, or other person;
(3) he has no parent, guardian, custodian, or other person able to return him to the court when required;
(4) he may be dangerous to himself or may threaten the safety of the public if released; or
(5) he has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term in jail or prison and is likely to commit an offense if released.
In Collin County, your juvenile will have the opportunity to be represented by counsel. A lawyer can assist your minor in securing a release during the pendency of the case. It is important to act immediately if you have a juvenile or teen that gets arrested and is posed with a detention hearing.
*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 legal advice about any specific case you should consult an attorney directly.