Juvenile & Minors

Juveniles

Article 45.0215, C.C.P., requires the parent, managing conservator, or custodian of a defendant under age 17 to appear in open court with their child. This rule applies regardless of how the defendant wants to handle his or her case. If the defendant wishes to be represented by an attorney, they are still required to be present in court with a parent or legal guardian.
 
Cases include but not limited to, traffic, alcohol, tobacco, and assault cases. The juvenile court seeks to divert juvenile offenders from continued criminal behavior while holding juveniles responsible for their conduct.

The parent of the juvenile will receive a notice to appear, and it will contain the date, time, and location of the hearing. We will mail the hearing to the address on the citation. If you fail to appear at the court date, a notification will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend your driver's license or to prohibit you from obtaining one.
 
During the first appearance setting, prosecutors will meet with the juvenile and the parent or guardian to discuss options for resolving the case. Depending on the specific situation, options may include deferred disposition, driver safety course, or community service. The juvenile also has the option of requesting a trial before a Judge or a Jury.

Minors

Alcohol (17-20)

The Alcoholic Beverage Code provides specific procedures for handling minors charged with alcohol offenses. All minors must appear in open court to enter their pleas. Sec. 106.10, A.B.C.

 The following is a list of A.B.C. offenses with which persons under the age of 21 may be charged and must appear before the Judge:

  • Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor;
  • Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor;
  • Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor;
  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor (DUI);
  • Possession of Alcohol by a Minor;
  • Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor;
  • Public Intoxication.

Tobacco (17-20)

An individual commits an offense if the individual is younger than 21 years of age. The Court must summon a parent, managing conservator, or custodian to appear in court to be present during all proceedings involving his or her child. Art. 45.0215, C.C.P.

An individual under the age of 21 commits an offense if he or she:

  • Possesses;
  • Purchases;
  • Consumes;
  • Accepts a cigarette, e-cigarette, or tobacco product;
  • Individual falsely represents himself or herself as being 21 years of age or older to obtain possession of, purchase of, or receive a cigarette, e-cigarette, or tobacco product.

Know Before You Go:

  • No payment is allowed online or in person before appearing before the Judge. 
  • The juvenile must appear in Court with at least one parent or legal guardian. Relatives, older siblings, or friends are not allowed to appear in the place of the parent or legal guardian.
  • Failure to appear at a juvenile court hearing may result in additional fines, fees, and possible warrants for your arrest.
  • Dress Code strictly enforced. Your clothing should reflect respect for the court. Individuals who are not properly dressed will not be allowed to enter the courtroom.