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What Happens to Juveniles Charged with Violent Crimes?

Published: Feb 08, 2018 in Juvenile Crimes

If your teenage son or daughter has been accused of committing a violent crime, you need to contact an experienced Houston juvenile lawyer right away. The Texas juvenile justice system is far different than the adult criminal courts. However, your child has the right to an attorney, due process, and fair court proceedings. While you and your child are at the mercy of the system, hiring a lawyer enables you to protect your child as best you can and increase the chance of a fair and appropriate outcome in their case.

To learn how we can help juveniles charged with violent crimes, call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free consultation.

Probable Detainment

If your child has been arrested or accused of a violent crime, it is likely they will be detained and placed in a juvenile detention facility. A youth facility is for teenagers who are considered a flight risk and may try to run away instead of handling their case, and for juveniles who are considered a danger to the public. Adolescents charged with violent crimes are going to be considered a danger and placed in a detention facility, though the length of their time in the facility depends on a number of factors.

Adolescents who are detained must go through regular hearings to determine if there is enough cause to continue to hold them. With a lawyer representing your child, there is the chance of fighting for your child to be released to your care, another relative’s care, or another type of facility.

Potential Transfer to Adult Court

The Texas juvenile justice system has jurisdiction over adolescents for delinquent acts and offenses they committed prior to their 17th birthday. However, there are times when adolescents are transferred to the adult criminal court system and tried as adults. This is a genuine concern when your child is accused of committing a violent crime.

In Texas, your child can be transferred to the adult courts if they are at least 14 years old and there is probable cause to believe they committed a first-degree felony, an aggravated drug felony, or a capital felony. If your child is at least 15 years old, then they can be transferred if they face any level of felony.

The more serious the accusations against your son or daughter, the greater the likelihood that prosecutors will want to transfer the case. You will need an experienced and aggressive attorney to fight for what is best for your child.


Whether your teen is able to stay in the juvenile system or is transferred to adult court, they may face years or decades of incarceration for a violent crime. In the adult system, felony charges (other than a state-jail felony) result in imprisonment in a state prison with other adult offenders. It is not the place for teenagers.

Unfortunately, even in the juvenile system, your child faces years of detention. Depending on their adjudication and sentencing, they could be required to remain in a youth detention facility until they are 19 years old and then be transferred to an adult prison for years.

Let an Experienced Juvenile Lawyer Help

When your child’s freedom is on the line, you want an experienced and relentless attorney there to help. Ned Barnett has decades of experienced as a defense attorney and has handled a wide range of juvenile cases. He will fight for what is best for your child and strive to keep them out of the adult prison system.

To learn more about how The Law Offices of Ned Barnett can help, contact us at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free, initial consultation.