Effective Juvenile Defense Attorney in Denton, TX
What can Daniel K. Peugh, Attorney at Law help you with?
If you are a parent who has a child who has been charged with a crime, it is important to understand their rights and yours as their guardian. At The Peugh Law Firm, our juvenile defense attorney in Denton, TX has more than 20 years of experiencing assisting parents with the difficult circumstances that surround their child’s legal issues.
Our Denton juvenile defense lawyer has defended thousands of juveniles and their families in wide-ranging cases that include lesser charges of truancy and runaways, and much more severe cases where children are being charged with serious crimes and are turned over to the adult court system. If your child is in trouble, no matter how simple you may think the charges are, it is important that their rights are protected. Contact our experienced Denton County juvenile defense attorney to ensure your son or daughter is getting the best representation available in the State of Texas.
Has Your Child Been Detained by the Authorities?
Juveniles are easily influenced, and often do not understand the consequences associated with violating the law.
Throughout the country, juveniles are detained for crimes that are common in their age groups, including:
- Curfew violations
- Disorderly conduct
- Underage alcohol or tobacco consumption
- Vandalism and graffiti
- Shoplifting or petty theft
- Simple assault or fighting
When these charges become more severe, so do the consequences. The first segment of juvenile offenses is described as “Conduct indicating a need for supervision.”
The most common of these cases, which are outlined by the Texas Legislature, include:
- Truancy, or expulsion from school
- Runaway charges or leaving the home without permission from a parent or guardian
- Inhalant abuse, also known as huffing paint or glue
The second segment of juvenile offenses are much more severe and can be moved to adult courts under complex circumstances, and are outlined by the Texas Attorney General as violations of state or U.S. criminal laws.
These offenses can include, but are not limited to:
- Weapon Possession or Use
- Drug Possession or Distribution
- Gang-related Activity
- Sex Crimes
If your child has been detained by any authority, for any reason, contact our Denton juvenile defense attorney today for help. Your child has a specific set of rights that must be upheld, and our Denton juvenile defense law firm will ensure you are not denied access to him or her going forward.
Juvenile Law – What To Know
Juvenile Law only applies to children 10 years of age or older and less than 17 years of age accused of wrongdoing. As a former Chief Juvenile Prosecutor for the Denton County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Denton juvenile defense attorney Daniel Peugh has handled thousands of juvenile cases. His broad experience ranges from the most serious offenses resulting in juveniles being referred to the adult courts to much less serious status offenses such as truancy and runaway. As a former prosecutor, Daniel Peugh has an insider’s knowledge of Juvenile Justice System procedures. Mr. Peugh works closely with Juvenile Probation, prosecutors, and the Texas Juvenile Courts to get the appropriate results for his juvenile clients.
If your juvenile son or daughter has been arrested or charged with an offense, Daniel Peugh is ready to help see your family through the difficulties of the juvenile justice system.
My Child has Been Arrested – Who Should I Call
If your child is being held by the authorities your child is NOT in jail. Your child is being held in a juvenile detention facility. You cannot bond your child out like you could an adult. You must attend a juvenile detention hearing to have your child released. If you have not already, contact a Denton juvenile defense lawyer who practices juvenile law. You will also find it helpful to read the following Texas Bar Journal article about juvenile detention hearings authored by Attorney Daniel Peugh.
Juvenile Charges – How Can I Avoid Them?
When juveniles are charged with an offense, legally, the offense falls under one of two categories. First, there is delinquent conduct. Allegations of juvenile delinquent conduct are allegations that a child under the age of seventeen has committed what we think of as adult crimes. Delinquent conduct allegations come from the Penal Code, Health & Safety Code, and all other places that adult crimes are found. Examples of delinquent conduct include theft, assault, and possession of drugs.
The second category of juvenile offenses is conduct indicating a need for supervision (CINS). CINS offenses are also known as “status” offenses. The term status offense is useful because it provides an easy way to understand the types of charges involved. Conduct indicating a need for supervision offenses are actions that have no adult equal because, they are things that are only illegal for juveniles because of their young age. Examples of CINS offenses are runaway and truancy.
As your family proceeds through the Juvenile Justice System parents will be asked to provide information about the family and about the child that has come into the system. For a preview of the type of information that you will be asked for please click on the Youth Assessment link. Click Here
Click here for the legal definitions of Delinquent Conduct and Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision as they appear in the Texas Juvenile Justice Code.
Juvenile Punishments – Learn How We Can Help
Texas has Progressive Sanction Guidelines for Juvenile Offenders. Probation Officers, Prosecutors, and Juvenile Judges follow these guidelines in determining what punishment a juvenile that has been found to have offended should receive. A typical first offense can be put through a diversion program. These provide consequences for juveniles without pushing them formally through the full juvenile justice system. Therefore, if successful, there is only a minimal impact on the juvenile’s record. Most other offenses result in probation. Juvenile probations vary in severity from mildly inconvenient to full house arrest. If a child is found to have committed a serious offense or to have repeatedly committed lesser offenses, it is likely the child will be removed from his or her home in the community. Juveniles are placed in boot-camps and locked facilities until they complete the rehabilitation programs offered by the facilities.
Click here for the Progressive Sanction Guidelines for Juvenile Offenders as they are stated in the Texas Juvenile Justice Code.
Treating Juveniles as Adult Offenders… What Does This Mean
Juvenile law is most often in the public eye when an especially terrible crime has been committed and the suspect is under the age of 17. It is possible under Texas Law for juvenile offenders to be moved out of the juvenile justice system and into the adult criminal justice system. This is a very harsh consequence for a juvenile. Many protections are built into the juvenile system that simply do not exist in the adult system. Only the most serious felonies committed by older juveniles are sent to the adult system typically.
Click here for the Texas Law on Transferring Juveniles to the Adult System.
Juvenile Records… What Are They
Juvenile records are, by law, confidential. That means that, generally, the public does not know that a child has gotten into trouble. Police agencies, prosecutor’s offices, juvenile courts, and juvenile probation offices will maintain records regarding juvenile offenses and juvenile offenders. These agencies can use juvenile records against a juvenile that repeatedly gets into trouble. Further, juvenile records DO NOT automatically disappear when the child turns 18. That is a popular misconception. The law is that juvenile records can be maintained and used by the government until they are sealed or subjected to restricted access. Juvenile records are used in the adult criminal justice system to secure harsher punishments for adult offenders who have a history as juvenile offenders. The records are confidential so a child seeking employment, credit, or acceptance to an institution of higher learning should NOT put on any application that he or she has ever been in trouble before.
Sealing Juvenile Records… How Can You – What to Know
If you were charged with a crime before you turned 17 years of age, you have a Juvenile Record. Juvenile Records are, by law, non-public. Unfortunately, that does NOT mean that your juvenile record cannot hurt you. Many public data websites have come and gone since the dawn of the internet. Not all of the managers of these websites knew or cared about the confidentiality laws that protect juvenile records. As these internet businesses continue to come and go your juvenile record could be made public. Just two or three short years ago my juvenile record sealing business was booming because private websites were not obeying the law and it was hurting my clients.
Even Juvenile Records that are kept confidential can still cause a problem for adults with juvenile issues in their background. Juvenile records are only kept confidential from the general public. The government, all governmental entities, still have access to juvenile records. I am frequently called on to seal juvenile records because my clients are told by military recruiters, who as federal government employees have access to the juvenile records, that they cannot be commissioned into the service with their current juvenile record.
I have handled hundreds of cases sealing juvenile records. Give me a call before your juvenile past causes you a problem.
Juvenile Record Sealing Eligibility
A person is eligible to get his or her Juvenile Record sealed at 17 years of age. You may have heard that Juvenile records “automatically go away at 18.” That is not and has never been true. A person who is less than 18 years of age can also be eligible for record sealing if one year has elapsed since the last official action on the case that is the subject of the records. Sealings in Texas are always discretionary, meaning the Judge can say “yes” or “no” to sealing records. This makes knowing the Judge and his or her preferences very important. The Peugh Law Firm has been doing juvenile record sealing for 18 years and we have come to know the local Judges.
Under Texas’ new Sealing Law there is a provision for the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) to alert local jurisdictions when cases can be sealed by action of the local government without a petition from the person to whom the records pertain. For this to work you must believe that TDPS can sort through all of the State’s Juvenile records to find the records eligible for sealing without a petition. Further, there are several requirements for records to be sealed this way and not all people will qualify. Also, this process will not begin to take place until the subject of the records is at least 19 years of age. Finally, it is unclear how a person with a juvenile record would ever know that the record has been sealed and cannot hurt them, unless they seek the sealing themselves.
Daniel Peugh is a former Chief Prosecutor for the Denton County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. He has an insider’s knowledge of local Judges, Prosecutors, and Probation Officers. At The Peugh Law Firm we try cases and we get jury verdicts. Our ability to make our case before judges and juries benefits all of our clients at every level of representation. Most of our clients do not go to trial. Still, the plea bargain offers our clients receive are based in large part on what the prosecutors know we can do if the case goes to trial.
Contact Daniel K. Peugh, Attorney at Law today 940-566-0271
Juvenile Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Kid is bullied at school. Kid takes a knife to school and when the bully starts in on him again, the kid pulls out the knife. Attorney tells prosecutor the real story of the Kid and negotiates a plea bargain to a lesser offense.
Contact attorney Daniel K. Peugh today at 940.566 0271
in Denton, Texas, for comprehensive criminal defense.
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