If you are under the age of 17 and have been charged with a criminal offense in Williamson County, whether it's for a misdemeanor or a felony, it's likely that your case will be handled in juvenile court. If you are a parent, and your child has been accused of a crime, you are probably wondering how serious the charges are and whether you need an attorney.
I am a Georgetown criminal defense attorney, and I strongly believe that anyone accused of a crime, no matter what their age, deserves the opportunity for a vigorous criminal defense. I represent clients in the Williamson County Juvenile Courts.
Helping You Understand the Juvenile Justice System
In Texas, children under 17 can be charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes just like anyone else, but those charges are often dealt with in juvenile court under unique procedures. These courts are overseen by judges who often focus much or all of their attention on juvenile cases.
Juveniles who are charged or convicted of crimes in Williamson County may be sent to the Juvenile Justice Center, a detention facility where they're required to wear uniforms, attend classes on-site and face restrictions on visitation with family members and friends.
Although the purpose of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate and educate children who have broken the law so they can become law-abiding adults, many who spend their younger years in detention facilities are unable to escape the cycle of crime as they get older.
Options for Avoiding Harmful Consequences
Minors charged with juvenile crimes have options. The juvenile prosecutors and courts should consider all the evidence and the seriousness related to the crime. In some cases, deferred probation is available. Juveniles who complete a deferred disposition (probation) successfully can have their charges dismissed and can generally come back later and get their juvenile records sealed. Contact my office, The Law Office of Clovis Martin, so we can discuss the facts of your situation and determine what options are available.