Juvenile Law

juvenile

The Media Versus Confidentiality of Juvenile Proceedings

In the 1940s, Texas recognized that juvenile proceedings are different than adult proceedings. A stated purpose of the juvenile system was to “remove the taint of criminality and provide for the protection and wholesome moral and mental development of children.” Two key components of removing the taint of criminality, are the confidentiality of juvenile proceedings and the ability of juveniles

Read More »
juveniles

What Happens When We Treat Children Like Adults?

“The Dallas Morning News” recently reported more than 2,100 inmates serving time in Texas prisons began their sentences between the ages of 11 and 16. If Texas counted 17-year-olds as adults, the number would skyrocket to more than 8,000. Since the mid-90s, Texas has had two options for dealing with juveniles accused of serious, violent crimes – determinate sentencing or

Read More »
permanent record

Will It Be on My Permanent Record?

It is spring and college admission letters are showing up in mailboxes all over the country. This made me think of the one of the most frequent questions I am asked by the parents of juveniles in trouble: “Will this be part of a permanent record?” The answer is always a firm, “Maybe.” Ordinarily, the records and hearings that make

Read More »
brain

The Teen Brain vs. the State of Texas

Teens are different but not in Texas. When you hit the ripe old age of 17, you are considered an adult under Texas criminal law. Changes may be coming, but not this year. Advances in neuroscience over the last decade show the teen brain is different. It does not resemble a child’s brain and it is not a miniature adult

Read More »
sex offender

Dallas’ Proposed Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Affects Juveniles Too!

“Why now?” is the question that immediately springs to mind as the Dallas City Council considers residence restrictions for sex offenders. The laws providing for a sex offender registry passed in 1991 and for child safety zones in 1995. These laws apply to both adults and juveniles. In the last 20 years, no study has shown either to be effective

Read More »
grand jury involvement

The Role of the Grand Jury in Juvenile Proceedings

As in any civil or family matter, a juvenile case begins with the filing of a petition. There is no grand jury involvement. No matter what the charge in a juvenile case – even serious felony offenses – the case begins with the prosecutor’s decision to file a petition. That does not mean there is no role for the grand

Read More »
Affluenza

What’s Your Opinion About the Affluenza Case?

A recent Tarrant County intoxication manslaughter case has sparked an intense debate about juvenile crime and punishment. While the pundits all have opinions, most were too busy talking to be bothered with actual facts or the law. As the saying goes, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” So before we declare

Read More »
juvenile

The Media Versus Confidentiality of Juvenile Proceedings

In the 1940s, Texas recognized that juvenile proceedings are different than adult proceedings. A stated purpose of the juvenile system was to “remove the taint of criminality and provide for the protection and wholesome moral and mental development of children.” Two key components of removing the taint of criminality, are the confidentiality of juvenile proceedings and the ability of juveniles

Read More »
juveniles

What Happens When We Treat Children Like Adults?

“The Dallas Morning News” recently reported more than 2,100 inmates serving time in Texas prisons began their sentences between the ages of 11 and 16. If Texas counted 17-year-olds as adults, the number would skyrocket to more than 8,000. Since the mid-90s, Texas has had two options for dealing with juveniles accused of serious, violent crimes – determinate sentencing or

Read More »
permanent record

Will It Be on My Permanent Record?

It is spring and college admission letters are showing up in mailboxes all over the country. This made me think of the one of the most frequent questions I am asked by the parents of juveniles in trouble: “Will this be part of a permanent record?” The answer is always a firm, “Maybe.” Ordinarily, the records and hearings that make

Read More »
brain

The Teen Brain vs. the State of Texas

Teens are different but not in Texas. When you hit the ripe old age of 17, you are considered an adult under Texas criminal law. Changes may be coming, but not this year. Advances in neuroscience over the last decade show the teen brain is different. It does not resemble a child’s brain and it is not a miniature adult

Read More »
sex offender

Dallas’ Proposed Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Affects Juveniles Too!

“Why now?” is the question that immediately springs to mind as the Dallas City Council considers residence restrictions for sex offenders. The laws providing for a sex offender registry passed in 1991 and for child safety zones in 1995. These laws apply to both adults and juveniles. In the last 20 years, no study has shown either to be effective

Read More »
grand jury involvement

The Role of the Grand Jury in Juvenile Proceedings

As in any civil or family matter, a juvenile case begins with the filing of a petition. There is no grand jury involvement. No matter what the charge in a juvenile case – even serious felony offenses – the case begins with the prosecutor’s decision to file a petition. That does not mean there is no role for the grand

Read More »
Affluenza

What’s Your Opinion About the Affluenza Case?

A recent Tarrant County intoxication manslaughter case has sparked an intense debate about juvenile crime and punishment. While the pundits all have opinions, most were too busy talking to be bothered with actual facts or the law. As the saying goes, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” So before we declare

Read More »

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