Juvenile crimes are taken seriously in Texas. While adults know that children make mistakes and do things that they later regret, juvenile crimes are still punishable by law. The courts are generally understanding but will move to prosecute and convict minors who have committed crimes.
Officers are able to issue warnings for minor offenses instead of taking a child into custody. A warning notice copy will be sent to parents if that happens. With probable cause, however, an officer does have a right to take your child into custody.
What happens when a child’s taken into custody by a police officer?
When peace officers decide that children need to be taken into custody, they are legally able to take the minors to a juvenile processing office. The juvenile may be kept there for up to six hours. Parents, guardians and appointed attorneys may pick children up from the juvenile processing office.
If your child is taken into custody and not released to you for any reason, they will be moved to the juvenile detention facility. As a parent, that may be shocking and scary to you, but you should know that juvenile detention is not the same as prison. Juvenile detention is completely separate from areas where adults may be held. Juveniles cannot be within hearing range or sight of incarcerated adults within the facility, either.
As a parent, you may be worried about this arrangement, but you still have the right to communicate with your child in person, privately, for reasonable amounts of time. You should also know that simply taking your child into custody isn’t an arrest.
Can your child be taken to a juvenile detention facility that is out of the county?
Yes. If that happens, the arresting officer takes your child to the facility. You will still retain the right to see your child at that facility.
Know your rights if your child is arrested and detained
If your child is arrested and taken into custody, it’s important that you know your rights and the rights your child has in this situation. With the correct information, it’s possible to reach out to the appropriate parties to work on having your child released to you. You should always be able to see your child, and your attorney can make sure that your and your child’s rights are not violated in any way during the processing of the charges or case.