Juvenile Law

One purpose of the Texas juvenile justice system is to remove the stigma of criminality from juvenile cases. The reality, though, is that getting caught up in the justice system can lead to very negative consequences for children and their parents.

At The Molina Law Firm, we aggressively defend the rights and futures of young people accused of juvenile offenses. If your child is facing any kind of juvenile misconduct charge, then contact our San Antonio law office today.

How Does The Texas Juvenile Justice System Work?

In Texas, juvenile court proceedings can result from two kinds of juvenile misconduct. One is conduct indicating a need for supervision — often called CINS — and the other is delinquent conduct.

CINS charges are generally less serious than delinquent conduct charges, but CINS violations can still result in probation, which, if violated, could lead to more serious penalties. The Texas Family Code lists the following as CINS offenses:

  • Running away
  • Expulsion from school
  • Truancy
  • Violation of a "child at risk" order
  • Inhalant abuse
  • Sexting
  • Prostitution
  • Any other fine-only offense

The Stakes Are High With Delinquent Conduct Violations

Unlike CINS charges, a delinquent conduct charge can result in the child being sentenced to a juvenile justice facility. In some cases, if the child is accused of a serious felony, the penalties may extend beyond the child's 19 th birthday, or the case may be transferred to adult criminal court.

Delinquent conduct violations include the following:

  • Any misdemeanor or felony offense that could result in a jail sentence
  • Drunk driving, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter
  • Conduct that in adult court would constitute contempt of court

At The Molina Law Firm, we know what is at stake when a young person is accused of a juvenile offense, and we do everything in our power to protect children from the negative consequences of CINS charges and delinquent conduct charges.

How The Rules Are Different For Police And Prosecutors In Juvenile Cases

As former prosecutors in Bexar County, we know how juvenile prosecuting attorneys decide whether to formally charge a child with a crime. We also know what police, prosecutors and probation officers must do in the course of juvenile cases. In other words, we know what to look for in defending juveniles.

For example, it is unlawful for a police officer to detain a child in a juvenile processing office for more than six hours. This office must be an actual office or a room — not a cell or other holding facility.

Texas law also guarantees a child's right to be accompanied by a parent, guardian, custodian or defense attorney while the child is being held in a processing office, and a parent is guaranteed private, in-person communication with the child during that time.

Additionally, there are very specific rules regarding juvenile confessions, written or recorded.

If a child's rights are violated at any point in the process, or if it can be shown that there was no probable cause to charge a child, then evidence may be thrown out or law enforcement may decline to prosecute.

Want To Protect Your Child's Future? We Can Help.

Every child deserves support and guidance, from both the child's family and the wider community. At The Molina Law Firm, when a child is accused of a juvenile offense — no matter how serious — we believe that same standard of support and guidance should apply. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your child's case, please contact our San Antonio law office online or by calling 210-591-0687 or toll free at 800-560-4016.