Police officers in Texas and around the country take thousands of juvenile offenders into custody every day. When juveniles are arrested in Collin County, the way they are treated will largely depend on the type of crime they are suspected of committing. Juveniles taken into custody for relatively minor offenses like shoplifting or vandalism are often released to their parents, guardians or caregivers. In these situations, police may refer the case to Collin County Juvenile Probation Services instead of making an arrest.
Juvenile detention center
When children are accused of committing serious crimes like arson or murder, they are usually processed and then transported to the John R. Roach Juvenile Detention Center in McKinney. This is a secure facility that was built to protect the community and ensure that juvenile offenders commit no further crimes and appear at their scheduled court hearings. When children arrive at the facility, intake officers and medical personnel check to see if they are injured, sick, intoxicated or depressed. Intake officers also determine whether children should be released or remain in custody. Juveniles who are released are not required to post bail.
A detention hearing is scheduled when an intake officer determines that releasing a juvenile is not in the best interests of the child or the public. Texas law requires juveniles to be represented by an attorney during these proceedings. Before an attorney can appear in court to advocate on behalf of juveniles, they must be licensed to practice law before the state courts of Texas and approved to represent juveniles by the State Bar of Texas and the Collin County Fair Defense Plan for Juveniles.
When juveniles are accused of committing Class A or Class B misdemeanor offenses, experienced criminal defense attorneys who are authorized to represent young offenders may argue that they should be placed in the Deferred Prosecution program. This program was established to give juveniles a chance to show that they will not get into trouble with the law again. The program lasts for six months, and juveniles who complete it successfully avoid court and further contact with the authorities. During this time, juveniles may be required to make restitution to their victims and perform community service.