Your child or younger relative being charged with a criminal offense in Katy, TX, can be a frightening and stressful experience. You will likely be worried about what will happen to them, if they will have to spend time in jail, and if they will get a permanent criminal record.
Texas criminal law deals with juvenile offenders differently from adult offenders, and trying to navigate the juvenile justice system can be complicated. It is important that you seek legal assistance from a criminal defense attorney with experience handling juvenile cases if you or your child are facing criminal charges.
An experienced juvenile defense lawyer can help guide you through the juvenile legal system, offer you advice on how to proceed with the case, negotiate with the prosecutor to get the case dismissed or penalties reduced, and build a strong criminal defense on their behalf. The experienced juvenile lawyers at The Love DuCote Law Firm have been serving Katy TX for over 40 years and helping families fight juvenile criminal charges for over 40 years.
Our law firm understands how minors often make mistakes and how one mistake should not be enough to ruin their future opportunities. We dedicate ourselves to providing aggressive representation for our clients, keeping the best interests of the juvenile at the core of the case, and ensuring the most favorable outcome possible for the juvenile criminal case.
TX Juvenile Defense Lawyers at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC
The stress and anxiety of a child facing criminal charges can be difficult for parents to handle. Not knowing whether your child will have to spend time in a juvenile detention center and whether they will receive a criminal record that will limit their education and employment opportunities can be frightening.
At The Love DuCote Firm, we have seen how worrying and difficult it can be to deal with the juvenile justice system in Katy, TX. As such, we know how important it is to have a strong legal advocate backing your case and guiding you through the process. The Texas juvenile defense lawyers at our law office have a wealth of experience handling juvenile criminal cases, and we have helped hundreds of juvenile clients avoid harsh penalties. All of our attorneys are highly skilled at criminal defense and are recognized by the respective state bar association.
Whether you are dealing with a drug possession charge, an underage DUI/DWI charge, or theft, our lawyers will help you and your child throughout the legal process and ensure that their future is not severely impacted. Through our dedication and hard work over the past 40 years, we have built up a strong attorney-client relationship with our clients, all over Katy, Fort Bend County, Sugar Land, Harris County, Houston, and the surrounding areas.
Our law firm specializes in criminal defense law, juvenile defense cases, family law, domestic violence, and DUI/DWI cases. Because of our wide range of experience, we have the skills necessary to protect your child from a criminal conviction and ensure that their legal rights are protected at all stages of the case.
Who is Considered a Juvenile in Katy, TX?
Law in Katy, TX, considers individuals under the age of 17 to be juveniles. Criminal law deals with adults and juveniles separately and juveniles will be charged under a separate legal system. The aim of having a separate system is to provide rehabilitation and guidance to juveniles, rather than harsh punishment.
However, in some cases where the crime is significantly serious, a juvenile may be charged as an adult. Texas tends to prioritize a tough approach to crime rather than rehabilitation for juveniles, which is why a child may end up being charged under the adult system.
Juvenile Offenses our Law Firm Can Help With in Katy, TX
Juveniles in Katy are subject to the same laws as adults and are required to abide by criminal statutes and laws in the same way. The main difference however is that juveniles will be tried in the juvenile justice system rather than the adult criminal system, provided that their offense was not sufficiently serious to warrant being tried in a standard criminal court. Our law firm deals with all types of juvenile defense cases, and some cases we often help clients with include:
Texas law takes a no-tolerance approach to minors driving under the influence. The state applies separate charges to minors and adults, DUI and DWI respectively. If a person under the age of 21 is caught operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in the blood system, they will face a DUI charge. The penalties for a DUI conviction include:
- Automatic license suspension.
- Court-mandated alcohol awareness program.
- Community service.
Repeat minor DUI offenders may also be subject to jail time and much harsher penalties. Juveniles can also face further consequences for a DUI conviction, such as suspension from school or disciplinary measures.
The juvenile law lawyers from our law office often deal with cases of juvenile drug possession and related drug charges. Minors sometimes encounter drugs in school or while hanging out with their friends, and they often do not realize the serious consequences of getting involved in drugs. Apart from minor drug possession charges, most drug crimes are charged as felonies in Katy, TX, and carry harsh penalties for minors.
Minor drug possession charges, for small quantities of marijuana or prescription drugs or possession of drug paraphernalia, can result in a misdemeanor charge. In the juvenile criminal system, a minor can face probation up until their 18th birthday, time in a treatment facility, or a similar type of education or rehabilitation placement for a conviction.
If they are convicted of a felony drug charge under juvenile law, they could also face probation up until their 18th birthday, time in a treatment facility, or jail time in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) prison system. If their drug crime was more serious, such as drug trafficking, they may be tried under the adult system.
If your child has been charged with a drug crime in Katy, TX, it is vital that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Receiving a sentence of probation or time in juvenile prison at such a young age can have a damaging impact on a child’s life. Our juvenile law lawyers will do everything in their power to ensure that your child does not face a harsh penalty for a drug crime in Texas.
Our juvenile law lawyers have helped many juveniles fight against theft charges in a juvenile court in Katy TX. In many cases, children decide to steal something from a store or mall because of peer pressure or because they do not realize the serious consequences of getting caught.
However, being caught and charged with shoplifting can result in a misdemeanor conviction. In the juvenile system, a child may be ordered to pay fines or restitution for theft, go on probation, or spend time in a detention center for multiple offenses. If it is a first-time theft offense for a juvenile, a criminal defense lawyer can petition the judge to get your case thrown out and the child returned to their parents with a warning.
How Does The Juvenile Justice System Work in Katy, TX?
In comparison to the adult criminal justice system in Texas, the juvenile system operates with the aim of rehabilitating children rather than punishing them for crimes. In the juvenile system in Katy, TX judges and officers take a much more lenient approach towards minors and are often reluctant to impose harsh penalties, unless they deem it appropriate.
The juvenile law system has a First Offender program for juveniles, which helps them avoid ever having to come before a court or judge. Under this program, a juvenile may pay restitution to the victim of their crime and carry out community service, rather than entering the criminal system. Another option for juveniles is to get a deferred prosecution which in practice works as a probation period for 6 months and avoids the child having to face formal criminal procedures.
In some cases, however, a child may face time in a juvenile detention center for felonies and more serious crimes, or may even be charged as an adult if it was a violent crime or the prosecutor deems it more appropriate under the circumstances. It is important to note that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, even if they are charged with a capital or first-degree felony in the adult system.
The best way to ensure that your child avoids entering the criminal justice system and avoids facing harsh penalties is to speak with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience dealing with juvenile cases. The juvenile law lawyers at our firm have been serving Katy, TX for over 40 years and helping families navigate the juvenile justice system with ease.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer For Juvenile Criminal Cases
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer for juvenile criminal cases in Katy, TX, is the best way to ensure that your child is not seriously impacted by a criminal conviction and that they do not face harsh penalties. When choosing a criminal defense lawyer to work with a juvenile case, it is important to ensure that they have the requisite experience dealing with cases in the juvenile system, have strong negotiation skills, and can advise you throughout every stage of the case.
The lawyer that you hire should do everything in their power to prevent a juvenile conviction or limit the impact of a conviction. Ways they can limit the impact of a criminal conviction for your child include helping them get a deferred prosecution to avoid serious penalties or getting their criminal records sealed following a conviction. Juvenile records are not made public however they are still visible to law enforcement agencies unless they are sealed.
To avoid your child going through the process of the juvenile justice system, a Katy TX juvenile lawyer will negotiate with a juvenile judge and law enforcement agencies to get the charges thrown out and allow your child to return home with a court warning.
Contact a Katy Juvenile Defense Lawyer at Love DuCote Law Firm LLC!
Children who get caught up in the criminal system are much more likely to reoffend at a later age and are at a higher risk of being exposed to criminality. As such, it is important that you protect your child from the serious consequences of a criminal conviction and hire a criminal defense attorney to help with their case.
At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we know how stressful and difficult it can be to deal with a juvenile criminal case. The lawyers from our firm have significant experience dealing with Katy juvenile law and have helped guide many families through the juvenile justice system to ensure a positive outcome for their child’s criminal case. Our juvenile law lawyers can help get your child’s case dismissed, get them returned back to the family home with a warning, and try to avoid any serious penalties.
Our attorneys have significant experience dealing with criminal cases and have won multiple awards for their unique skills and dedication. One of our managing partners, Jeremy B. DuCote has been awarded a “superb” rating on AVVO and is a former president of the Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. When you hire us as your legal representatives, you know that you are getting the highest standard of legal care possible for your child’s case.