One of the worst calls you can receive as a parent is one from the local Denton police department telling you that your child is under arrest. Resulting emotions often range from anger to shame to guilt, with a healthy side of panic thrown in. After such a call, you may be wondering what to do next or what rights your child has in Texas. One of the first things you should do is learn as much as you can about your child’s charges. Knowing the full scale of the situation can help you decide what to do next.
When it comes it certain juvenile crimes, such as drug possession, a Texas court can take a very strict stance. Your child might be facing expensive court fees, fines, jail time and probation if the courts hands down a conviction. For some basic information on what you can expect, read further.
When a minor child commits a crime, the Juvenile Court generally has jurisdiction. The court will consider the specific circumstances of the case. For example, the judge will look at the nature and seriousness of the offense, the child’s age, whether there are prior offenses, school records and even your family dynamic. Like with adults, the more serious the crime and if there are prior offenses, the harsher the punishment.
Your child has rights
Keep in mind that your child has rights. For example, if the police searched your son without probable cause, you might be able to argue that the officer acted illegally. Like with adults, your child has the right to make a phone a call and to obtain legal counsel. In addition, the prosecution has to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.
What you can do
As a parent, there are several you can do to get through such a difficult time. However, one thing you should not do is argue with the police. This will not do you or your child any good. Instead, focus on what you need to do to ensure your child gets a fair verdict. In the meantime, you should also look into joining a support group, talking to a counselor and reaching out to trusted friends and family for support.
If your child is facing a drug charge in Texas, it is important to remember that he still has rights. By following the above tips, you can take the necessary steps to help your child and provide him with the juvenile defense he needs.