When your child is in trouble with the law in Collin County, TX, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Hiring an experienced Collin County juvenile crimes lawyer gives you the best chance of putting a mistake in the past.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we have over 22 years of experience fighting juvenile charges in Collin County. Don’t make the mistake of trying to negotiate with prosecutors and police on your own. Call us for a free consultation today.
How the Edgett Law Firm Can Defend Your Child Against Juvenile Criminal Charges
Juveniles can be charged with the same types of crimes as adults. Despite this, the juvenile justice system looks very different. Police and judges have the discretion to impose consequences geared more toward rehabilitation than punishment.
That doesn’t mean you should take the charges any less seriously. You need a strong criminal defense lawyer who will make sure that your child’s age, history, and circumstances are all taken into account when police and judges are handing down the consequences.
At the Edgett Law Firm, our experienced Collin County criminal defense attorneys will:
Walk You Through the Process
Most parents whose children have gotten into trouble wonder what will happen next. If you’re lucky, you haven’t had much experience with the juvenile justice system. Our lawyers will make sure you know what to expect every step of the way.
When you have questions along the way, we’re also here to answer them. We know that you’re focused on your child’s future. Our lawyers will be, too. When you choose us, you can rest assured that you’ll have an experienced and dedicated advocate in your child’s corner.
Help Your Child Make Complex Choices
As your child navigates the criminal justice system, any number of difficult situations can arise. It’s important that your child act rationally and make smart decisions. Otherwise, the long-term consequences can become much more serious than necessary.
Our lawyers have significant experience working with minors who have been charged with delinquent behavior. We’ll work closely with your family to help you understand the options and potential outcomes. That way, your child will have a detailed understanding of how complex decisions can impact their future.
Negotiate With State Prosecutors
Not every arrest or allegation has to result in formal criminal charges. In fact, depending upon the circumstances, police and prosecutors have leeway to resolve cases outside of the formal process.
Our lawyers will start negotiating with the prosecutors right away to try to get the charges dropped. We can advocate for alternative forms of punishment. We’ll do everything we can to keep your child’s record clean.
In more serious cases, we’ll fight to keep your child out of adult court. When the charges are serious, it’s always possible that the prosecutors will try to transfer your child into the adult criminal justice system. This is never a good outcome. It would expose your child to serious prison time, financial penalties, and more.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we’ve worked on just about every type of criminal case you can imagine. We know the system and the types of evidence that the prosecution will take seriously. If your child has gotten into trouble in Collin County, give us a call today to learn more about how we can help and establish an attorney-client relationship.
Understanding Texas Laws on Juvenile Delinquency
In Texas, juvenile criminal law is governed by the Family Code. A minor is defined as a child aged 10 to 17. Children younger than 10 cannot be prosecuted for a crime–instead, the Department of Family and Protective Services might get involved.
Generally, after a child is taken into custody, Family Code Section 52.02 requires the police to release the minor to the parents or guardian without unreasonable delay. In more serious cases, the child can be kept in detention.
However, the child has the right to a hearing to determine whether continued detention is appropriate. That detention hearing must be held no later than the second business day after the child is taken into custody.
Factors relevant in determining whether the child can be detained include:
- It’s likely that the child will leave the court’s jurisdiction
- Suitable supervision isn’t available at home
- The child presents a danger to the public or himself/herself if released
- The child has previously been convicted and is likely to commit a repeat offense if released
- The child is accused of engaging in delinquent conduct that involved the use of a firearm
Law enforcement also has the discretion to dispose of cases without referral to the courts. In cases involving less serious offenses, the police may schedule a conference with the parents or refer the child to another agency.
Transfer to Adult Court
Older teenagers who commit serious crimes risk transfer to the adult criminal system. If that becomes an issue, a transfer hearing will be held to determine where the case should be heard. Factors considered by the court when deciding include:
- The severity and nature of the crime
- The juvenile’s prior criminal record
- Whether the court believes rehabilitation will be effective
- Previous attempts at rehabilitation
Transfer to adult court is warranted only in the most serious of situations. If your child is accused of a serious crime, it’s critical to retain an experienced defense lawyer immediately. At the Edgett Law Firm, we can start work right away and fight to keep your child in the juvenile system.
We Handle All Types of Juvenile Crimes Cases
At the Edgett Law Firm, we handle all types of juvenile criminal cases. Some of the most common crimes that juveniles are charged with include:
- Simple assault
- Possession of marijuana
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Other drug crimes
- Sexual assault
- Violent crimes
- Sex crimes
- Theft crimes
We also handle cases involving status offenses in the juvenile court system. A status offense is a type of behavior that’s only criminal because of the juvenile’s age. Examples of status offenses include:
- Minor in possession of alcohol (MIP)
- Underage DWI
Your child could also get into trouble for delinquent behavior like running away from home. Although these may seem minor, they can indicate that your child is at risk for engaging in more serious criminal activity. A conviction can also make it more difficult for your child to get into college or explore certain professions.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we take juvenile cases seriously regardless of the severity of the offense. Our criminal defense lawyers will act as fierce advocates for your child. Protecting the minor’s future is our top priority.
To discuss your specific case in more detail, schedule a free consultation by calling our law offices today.
What Types of Punishments Are Possible for Juvenile Crimes in Collin County?
Not every minor who is adjudicated delinquent (found guilty) is sent to detention. In fact, police and prosecutors should generally reserve detention for only the most serious cases. That being said, detention is always a possibility.
Potential punishments that your child might face if adjudicated delinquent include:
- House arrest
- Community service
- Making restitution and apologizing to the victims
- Driver’s license suspension
- Drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Completion of an educational program
- Difficulty getting into college, getting a student loan or scholarship
- Incarceration or commitment, including possible transfer to an adult facility at age 21
The courts could also determine that the child lacks supervision at home. Your family could be referred to social services and it’s even possible that your child might be put into foster care.
Even if you think the charges are relatively minor, it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney in your corner. At the Edgett Law Firm, we understand the system and will work tirelessly to get the best outcome for your family.
How Our Texas Juvenile Crimes Lawyers Can Fight the Charges
The particular defense strategy most appropriate for your case will depend upon the nature of the charges. At the Edgett Law Firm, we tailor your defense strategy to your specific situation. That means we’ll evaluate things like:
- Your child’s past criminal record
- Your child’s behavior in school and the community
- Family structure
- Community structure
- Future goals
With juvenile law, there’s much more than the specific facts alleged on the table. Judges have the discretion to consider the whole picture. It’s important that you have a lawyer who knows how to use the positive details of your child’s life to get a favorable outcome.
If your child is facing criminal charges, schedule a consultation with a lawyer invested in protecting your child and their future.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With an Experienced Collin County Juvenile Crimes Lawyer Today
Our experienced juvenile defense lawyers will make sure your child gets the best defense possible regardless of the charges involved. We can also help you with sealing your child’s juvenile record so that issues don’t arise when they apply for college or jobs down the line.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we believe every child deserves a second chance. To learn more about how we can help, call for a free consultation with an experienced Collin County juvenile crimes lawyer today. We represent clients in Plano, Texas, Collin County, and Denton County.