Aggressive Criminal

When can a minor be tried as an adult in Texas?

On Behalf of | Juvenile Law |

A minor can be tried as an adult under certain circumstances in Texas. For context, a minor is (in the broadest sense) an individual in their teens who has not yet reached the age of 18. Whether or not they can be tried as an adult depends on various factors, like their age and the nature of the crime.

With that said, Texas is among the few states that treat teenagers aged 17 and above as adults. 17-year-olds are automatically considered adults in the eyes of the law regardless of the offense they are accused of committing. That said, minors between the age of 14 and younger than 17 can also be tried as adults under certain circumstances.

The prosecution can file a motion to transfer the case to adult court due to the seriousness of the offense, the minor’s criminal history and their potential for rehabilitation. Certain crimes, like capital murder and specific aggravated sexual acts, can likely result in a minor being tried as an adult, even if they are younger than 17.

Why is this important?

If a minor is tried as an adult, they face the same potential penalties as an adult, with a few exceptions. As such, it is a significant situation that can have far-reaching consequences. In addition, the adult criminal justice system prioritizes punishment, while the juvenile system focuses on rehabilitation. It means there is a high likelihood of facing severe penalties if a minor is tried and convicted as an adult compared to a juvenile court’s resolution of a concern.

Navigating the legal system can be a complex undertaking, especially when a minor has been accused of a serious offense. It’s something that can have a profound impact on their future. Seeking legal guidance can help you understand the legal process, explore defense strategies and champion for the best possible outcome.