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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

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Juvenile DEFENSE

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, 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 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.

Get My Baby Out of Jail!

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

Below are the legal definitions of Delinquent Conduct and Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision as they appear in the Texas Juvenile Justice Code.

Sec. 51.03. DELINQUENT CONDUCT; CONDUCT INDICATING A NEED FOR SUPERVISION

(a) Delinquent conduct is:

(1) conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates a penal law of this state or of the United States punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail;

(2) conduct that violates a lawful order of a court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of that court in:

(A) a justice or municipal court; or

(B) a county court for conduct punishable only by a fine;

(3) conduct that violates Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code; or

(4) conduct that violates Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code, relating to driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (third or subsequent offense).

(b) Conduct indicating a need for supervision is:

(1) subject to Subsection (f), conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates:

(A) the penal laws of this state of the grade of misdemeanor that are punishable by fine only; or

(B) the penal ordinances of any political subdivision of this state;

(2) the absence of a child on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period from school;

(3) the voluntary absence of a child from the child’s home without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian for a substantial length of time or without intent to return;

(4) conduct prohibited by city ordinance or by state law involving the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of paint and other protective coatings or glue and other adhesives and the volatile chemicals itemized in Section 485.001, Health and Safety Code;

(5) an act that violates a school districts previously communicated written standards of student conduct for which the child has been expelled under Section 37.007(c), Education Code; or

(6) conduct that violates a reasonable and lawful order of a court entered under Section 264.305.

(c) Nothing in this title prevents criminal proceedings against a child for perjury.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to an allegation of conduct under Subsection (b)(2) that one or more of the absences required to be proven under that subsection have been
excused by a school official or by the court or that one or more of the absences were involuntary, but only if there is an insufficient number of unexcused or voluntary absences
remaining to constitute conduct under Subsection (b)(2). The burden is on the respondent to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the absence has been or should be excused or that the absence was involuntary. A decision by the court to excuse an absence for purposes of this subsection does not affect the ability of the school district to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.

(e) For the purposes of Subsection (b)(3), “child” does not include a person who is married, divorced, or widowed.

(f) Except as provided by Subsection (g), conduct described under Subsection (b)(1), other than conduct that violates Section 49.02, Penal Code, prohibiting public intoxication,
does not constitute conduct indicating a need for supervision unless the child has been referred to the juvenile court under Section 51.08(b).

(g) In a county with a population of less than 100,000, conduct described by Subsection (b)(1)(A) that violates Section 25.094, Education Code, is conduct indicating a need for
supervision.

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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.

Below are the Progressive Sanction Guidelines for Juvenile Offenders as they are stated in the Texas Juvenile Justice Code.

CHAPTER 59. PROGRESSIVE SANCTIONS MODEL

Sec. 59.001. PURPOSES. The purposes of the progressive sanctions model are to:

(1) ensure that juvenile offenders face uniform and consistent consequences and punishments that correspond to the seriousness of each offender's current offense, prior delinquent history, special treatment or training needs, and effectiveness of prior interventions;

(2) balance public protection and rehabilitation while holding juvenile offenders accountable;

(3) permit flexibility in the decisions made in relation to the juvenile offender to the extent allowed by law;

(4) consider the juvenile offender's circumstances;

(5) recognize that departure of a disposition from this model is not necessarily undesirable and in some cases is highly desirable; and

(6) improve juvenile justice planning and resource allocation by ensuring uniform and consistent reporting of disposition decisions at all levels.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 59.002. SANCTION LEVEL ASSIGNMENT BY PROBATION DEPARTMENT

(a) The probation department may assign a sanction level of one to a child referred to the probation department under Section 53.012.

(b) The probation department may assign a sanction level of two to a child for whom deferred prosecution is authorized under Section 53.03.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 59.003. SANCTION LEVEL ASSIGNMENT MODEL

(a) Subject to Subsection (e), after a child's first commission of delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision, the probation department or prosecuting attorney may, or the juvenile court may, in a disposition hearing under Section 54.04 or a modification hearing under Section 54.05, assign a child one of the following sanction levels according to the child's conduct:

(1) for conduct indicating a need for supervision, other than conduct described in Section 51.03(b)(4) or (5) or a Class A or B misdemeanor, the sanction level is one;

(2) for conduct indicating a need for supervision under Section 51.03(b)(4) or (5) or a Class A or B misdemeanor, other than a misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a firearm, or for delinquent conduct under Section 51.03(a)(2), the sanction level is two;

(3) for a misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a firearm or for a state jail felony or a felony of the third degree, the sanction level is three;

(4) for a felony of the second degree, the sanction level is four;

(5) for a felony of the first degree, other than a felony involving the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury, the sanction level is five;

(6) for a felony of the first degree involving the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury, for an aggravated controlled substance felony, or for a capital felony, the sanction level is six; or

(7) for a felony of the first degree involving the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury, for an aggravated controlled substance felony, or for a capital felony, if the petition has been approved by a grand jury under Section 53.045, or if a petition to transfer the child to criminal court has been filed under Section 54.02, the sanction level is seven.

(b) Subject to Subsection (e), if the child subsequently is found to have engaged in delinquent conduct in an adjudication hearing under Section 54.03 or a hearing to modify a disposition under Section 54.05 on two separate occasions and each involves a violation of a penal law of a classification that is less than the classification of the child's previous conduct, the juvenile court may assign the child a sanction level that is one level higher than the previously assigned sanction level, unless the child's previously assigned sanction level is six.

(c) Subject to Subsection (e), if the child's subsequent commission of delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision involves a violation of a penal law of a classification that is the same as or greater than the classification of the child's previous conduct, the juvenile court may assign the child a sanction level authorized by law that is one level higher than the previously assigned sanction level.

(d) Subject to Subsection (e), if the child's previously assigned sanction level is four or five and the child's subsequent commission of delinquent conduct is of the grade of felony, the juvenile court may assign the child a sanction level that is one level higher than the previously assigned sanction level.

(e) The probation department may, in accordance with Section 54.05, request the extension of a period of probation specified under sanction levels one through five if the circumstances of the child warrant the extension.

(f) Before the court assigns the child a sanction level that involves the revocation of the child's probation and the commitment of the child to the Texas Youth Commission, the court shall hold a hearing to modify the disposition as required by Section 54.05.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 19, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 42, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 4, 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by: Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 908, Sec. 28, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 59.004. SANCTION LEVEL ONE

(a) For a child at sanction level one, the juvenile court or probation department may:

(1) require counseling for the child regarding the child's conduct;

(2) inform the child of the progressive sanctions that may be imposed on the child if the child continues to engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(3) inform the child's parents or guardians of the parents' or guardians' responsibility to impose reasonable restrictions on the child to prevent the conduct from recurring;

(4) provide information or other assistance to the child or the child's parents or guardians in securing needed social services;

(5) require the child or the child's parents or guardians to participate in a program for services under Section 264.302, if a program under Section 264.302 is available to the child or the child's parents or guardians;

(6) refer the child to a community-based citizen intervention program approved by the juvenile court; and

(7) release the child to the child's parents or guardians.

(b) The probation department shall discharge the child from the custody of the probation department after the provisions of this section are met.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 59.005. SANCTION LEVEL TWO

(a) For a child at sanction level two, the juvenile court, the prosecuting attorney, or the probation department may, as provided by Section 53.03:

(1) place the child on deferred prosecution for not less than three months or more than six months;

(2) require the child to make restitution to the victim of the child's conduct or perform community service restitution appropriate to the nature and degree of harm caused and according to the child's ability;

(3) require the child's parents or guardians to identify restrictions the parents or guardians will impose on the child's activities and requirements the parents or guardians will set for the child's behavior;

(4) provide the information required under Sections 59.004(a)(2) and (4);

(5) require the child or the child's parents or guardians to participate in a program for services under Section 264.302, if a program under Section 264.302 is available to the child or the child's parents or guardians;

(6) refer the child to a community-based citizen intervention program approved by the juvenile court; and

(7) if appropriate, impose additional conditions of probation.

(b) The juvenile court or the probation department shall discharge the child from the custody of the probation department on the date the provisions of this section are met or on the child's 18th birthday, whichever is earlier.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1477, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 59.006. SANCTION LEVEL THREE

(a) For a child at sanction level three, the juvenile court may:

(1) place the child on probation for not less than six months;

(2) require the child to make restitution to the victim of the child's conduct or perform community service restitution appropriate to the nature and degree of harm caused and according to the child's ability;

(3) impose specific restrictions on the child's activities and requirements for the child's behavior as conditions of probation;

(4) require a probation officer to closely monitor the child's activities and behavior;

(5) require the child or the child's parents or guardians to participate in programs or services designated by the court or probation officer; and

(6) if appropriate, impose additional conditions of probation.

(b) The juvenile court shall discharge the child from the custody of the probation department on the date the provisions of this section are met or on the child's 18th birthday, whichever is earlier.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 59.007. SANCTION LEVEL FOUR

(a) For a child at sanction level four, the juvenile court may:

(1) require the child to participate as a condition of probation for not less than three months or more than 12 months in an intensive services probation program that emphasizes frequent contact and reporting with a probation officer, discipline, intensive supervision services, social responsibility, and productive work;

(2) after release from the program described by Subdivision (1), continue the child on probation supervision;

(3) require the child to make restitution to the victim of the child's conduct or perform community service restitution appropriate to the nature and degree of harm caused and according to the child's ability;

(4) impose highly structured restrictions on the child's activities and requirements for behavior of the child as conditions of probation;

(5) require a probation officer to closely monitor the child;

(6) require the child or the child's parents or guardians to participate in programs or services designed to address their particular needs and circumstances; and

(7) if appropriate, impose additional sanctions.

(b) The juvenile court shall discharge the child from the custody of the probation department on the date the provisions of this section are met or on the child's 18th birthday, whichever is earlier.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 43, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 59.008. SANCTION LEVEL FIVE

(a) For a child at sanction level five, the juvenile court may:

(1) as a condition of probation, place the child for not less than six months or more than 12 months in a post-adjudication secure correctional facility;

(2) after release from the program described by Subdivision (1), continue the child on probation supervision;

(3) require the child to make restitution to the victim of the child's conduct or perform community service restitution appropriate to the nature and degree of harm caused and according to the child's ability;

(4) impose highly structured restrictions on the child's activities and requirements for behavior of the child as conditions of probation;

(5) require a probation officer to closely monitor the child;

(6) require the child or the child's parents or guardians to participate in programs or services designed to address their particular needs and circumstances; and

(7) if appropriate, impose additional sanctions.

(b) The juvenile court shall discharge the child from the custody of the probation department on the date the provisions of this section are met or on the child's 18th birthday, whichever is earlier.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 59.009. SANCTION LEVEL SIX

(a) For a child at sanction level six, the juvenile court may commit the child to the custody of the Texas Youth Commission. The commission may:

(1) require the child to participate in a highly structured residential program that emphasizes discipline, accountability, fitness, training, and productive work for not less than nine months or more than 24 months unless the commission extends the period and the reason for an extension is documented;

(2) require the child to make restitution to the victim of the child's conduct or perform community service restitution appropriate to the nature and degree of the harm caused and according to the child's ability, if there is a victim of the child's conduct;

(3) require the child and the child's parents or guardians to participate in programs and services for their particular needs and circumstances; and

(4) if appropriate, impose additional sanctions.

(b) On release of the child under supervision, the Texas Youth Commission parole programs may:

(1) impose highly structured restrictions on the child's activities and requirements for behavior of the child as conditions of release under supervision;

(2) require a parole officer to closely monitor the child for not less than six months; and

(3) if appropriate, impose any other conditions of supervision.

(c) The Texas Youth Commission may discharge the child from the commission's custody on the date the provisions of this section are met or on the child's 19th birthday, whichever is earlier.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 53, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 59.010. SANCTION LEVEL SEVEN

(a) For a child at sanction level seven, the juvenile court may certify and transfer the child under Section 54.02 or sentence the child to commitment to the Texas Youth Commission under Section 54.04(d)(3), 54.04(m), or 54.05(f). The commission may:

(1) require the child to participate in a highly structured residential program that emphasizes discipline, accountability, fitness, training, and productive work for not less than 12 months or more than 10 years unless the commission extends the period and the reason for the extension is documented;

(2) require the child to make restitution to the victim of the child's conduct or perform community service restitution appropriate to the nature and degree of harm caused and according to the child's ability, if there is a victim of the child's conduct;

(3) require the child and the child's parents or guardians to participate in programs and services for their particular needs and circumstances; and

(4) impose any other appropriate sanction.

(b) On release of the child under supervision, the Texas Youth Commission parole programs may:

(1) impose highly structured restrictions on the child's activities and requirements for behavior of the child as conditions of release under supervision;

(2) require a parole officer to monitor the child closely for not less than 12 months; and

(3) impose any other appropriate condition of supervision.

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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.

Below is Texas Law on Transferring Juveniles to the Adult System.

Sec. 54.02. WAIVER OF JURISDICTION AND DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER TO CRIMINAL COURT

(a) The juvenile court may waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a child to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings if:

(1) the child is alleged to have violated a penal law of the grade of felony;

(2) the child was:

(A) 14 years of age or older at the time he is alleged to have committed the offense, if the offense is a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a felony of
the first degree, and no adjudication hearing has been conducted concerning that offense; or

(B) 15 years of age or older at the time the child is alleged to have committed the offense, if the offense is a felony of the second or third degree or a state jail felony, and no
adjudication hearing has been conducted concerning that offense; and

(3) after a full investigation and a hearing, the juvenile court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the child before the court committed the offense alleged and that because of the seriousness of the offense alleged or the background of the child the welfare of the community requires criminal proceedings.

(b) The petition and notice requirements of Sections 53.04, 53.05, 53.06, and 53.07 of this code must be satisfied, and the summons must state that the hearing is for the purpose of considering discretionary transfer to criminal court.

(c) The juvenile court shall conduct a hearing without a jury to consider transfer of the child for criminal proceedings.

(d) Prior to the hearing, the juvenile court shall order and obtain a complete diagnostic study, social evaluation, and full investigation of the child, his circumstances, and the circumstances of the alleged offense.

(e) At the transfer hearing the court may consider written reports from probation officers, professional court employees, or professional consultants in addition to the testimony of witnesses. At least one day prior to the transfer hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child with access to all written matter to be considered by the court in making the transfer decision. The court may order counsel not to reveal items to the child or his parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem if such disclosure would materially harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child or would substantially decrease the likelihood of receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future.

(f) In making the determination required by Subsection (a) of this section, the court shall consider, among other matters:

(1) whether the alleged offense was against person or property, with greater weight in favor of transfer given to offenses against the person;

(2) the sophistication and maturity of the child;

(3) the record and previous history of the child; and

(4) the prospects of adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of the rehabilitation of the child by use of procedures, services, and facilities currently available to the juvenile court.

(g) If the petition alleges multiple offenses that constitute more than one criminal transaction, the juvenile court shall either retain or transfer all offenses relating to a single transaction. A child is not subject to criminal prosecution at any time for any offense arising out of a criminal transaction for which the juvenile court retains jurisdiction.

(h) If the juvenile court waives jurisdiction, it shall state specifically in the order its reasons for waiver and certify its action, including the written order and findings of the court, and shall transfer the person to the appropriate court for criminal proceedings and cause the results of the diagnostic study of the person ordered under Subsection (d), including psychological information, to be transferred to the appropriate criminal prosecutor. On transfer of the person for criminal proceedings, the person shall be dealt with as an adult and in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure. The transfer of custody is an arrest.

(i) A waiver under this section is a waiver of jurisdiction over the child and the criminal court may not remand the child to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

(j) The juvenile court may waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a person to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings if:

(1) the person is 18 years of age or older;

(2) the person was:

(A) 10 years of age or older and under 17 years of age at the time the person is alleged to have committed a capital felony or an offense under Section 19.02, Penal Code;

(B) 14 years of age or older and under 17 years of age at the time the person is alleged to have committed an aggravated controlled substance felony or a felony of the first
degree other than an offense under Section 19.02, Penal Code; or

(C) 15 years of age or older and under 17 years of age at the time the person is alleged to have committed a felony of the second or third degree or a state jail felony;

(3) no adjudication concerning the alleged offense has been made or no adjudication hearing concerning the offense has been conducted;

(4) the juvenile court finds from a preponderance of the evidence that:

(A) for a reason beyond the control of the state it was not practicable to proceed in juvenile court before the 18th birthday of the person; or

(B) after due diligence of the state it was not practicable to proceed in juvenile court before the 18th birthday of the person because:

(i) the state did not have probable cause to proceed in juvenile court and new evidence has been found since the 18th birthday of the person;

(ii) the person could not be found; or

(iii) a previous transfer order was reversed by an appellate court or set aside by a district court; and

(5) the juvenile court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the child before the court committed the offense alleged.

(k) The petition and notice requirements of Sections 53.04, 53.05, 53.06, and 53.07 of this code must be satisfied, and the summons must state that the hearing is for the purpose of considering waiver of jurisdiction under Subsection (j) of this section.

(l) The juvenile court shall conduct a hearing without a jury to consider waiver of jurisdiction under Subsection (j) of this section.

(m) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the juvenile court shall waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a child to the appropriate district court or criminal court for criminal proceedings if:

(1) the child has previously been transferred to a district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings under this section, unless:

(A) the child was not indicted in the matter transferred by the grand jury;

(B) the child was found not guilty in the matter transferred;

(C) the matter transferred was dismissed with prejudice; or

(D) the child was convicted in the matter transferred, the conviction was reversed on appeal, and the appeal is final; and

(2) the child is alleged to have violated a penal law of the grade of felony.

(n) A mandatory transfer under Subsection (m) may be made without conducting the study required in discretionary transfer proceedings by Subsection (d). The requirements of Subsection (b) that the summons state that the purpose of the hearing is to consider discretionary transfer to criminal court does not apply to a transfer proceeding under Subsection (m). In a proceeding under Subsection (m), it is sufficient that the summons provide fair notice that the purpose of the hearing is to consider mandatory transfer to criminal court.

(o) If a respondent is taken into custody for possible discretionary transfer proceedings under Subsection (j), the juvenile court shall hold a detention hearing in the same manner as provided by Section 54.01, except that the court shall order the respondent released unless it finds that the respondent:

(1) is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court;

(2) may be dangerous to himself or herself or may threaten the safety of the public if released; or

(3) has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term of jail or prison and is likely to commit an offense if released.

(p) If the juvenile court does not order a respondent released under Subsection (o), the court shall, pending the conclusion of the discretionary transfer hearing, order that the respondent be detained in:

(1) a certified juvenile detention facility as provided by Subsection (q); or

(2) an appropriate county facility for the detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

(q) The detention of a respondent in a certified juvenile detention facility must comply with the detention requirements under this title, except that, to the extent practicable, the person shall be kept separate from children detained in the same facility.

(r) If the juvenile court orders a respondent detained in a county facility under Subsection (p), the county sheriff shall take custody of the respondent under the juvenile court’s order. The juvenile court shall set or deny bond for the respondent as required by the Code of Criminal Procedure and other law applicable to the pretrial detention of adults accused of criminal offenses.

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 18 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 can also be eligible for record sealing if two years have elapsed since the last official action on the case that is the subject of the records. There is no longer any distinction between misdemeanors and felonies. Both types of cases are eligible within the same time periods. One less favorable change in the law is that there are no longer any Sealings that are mandatory for the Judge to grant. All Sealings in Texas are now 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 16 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.

Contact attorney Daniel K. Peugh today at 940-566-0271
in Denton, Texas, for comprehensive criminal defense.

E-mail criminal defense attorney Daniel K. Peugh
to schedule your free consultation today.

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DANIEL K. PEUGH, ATTORNEY AT LAW

721 W Mulberry Street
Denton, TX 76201

info@peughlawfirm.com

Toll Free: 940-566-0271

Fax: (940) 591-7784