When juveniles are taken into custody in Texas, they face serious consequences. After going through a process to determine age and type of offense, minors may be sent to juvenile court or recommended for diversion in a deferred prosecution program, which keeps them out of the court system. Their fate rests largely on whether the delinquent conduct they committed qualifies as conduct indicating a need for supervision (CINS).
Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision
CINS is the less serious of the two types of punishable juvenile conduct. It is conduct that would not cause an adult to go to jail or prison, but would result in a fine and is not a traffic offense. Types of behavior that result in this status offense include:
- Running away
- Truancy (failure to attend school)
- Expulsion from school
- Sexting or electronic transmission of certain visual material depicting a minor
- Inhaling or “huffing” paint, glue, or other substances
- Some alcohol or tobacco violations
- Violation certain court orders
Consequences of CINS
This type of behavior is troublesome for adolescents and needs to be addressed. However, it is not a criminal offense. These actions have legal consequences for a youth, but do not result in detention or jail.
There is a wide variety of options for helping or punishing a juvenile charged with CINS. A youth may be sent to a substance abuse treatment program or another diversionary program to help the juvenile with emotional, sexual, or other behavioral issues. The available programs can depend on your specific county’s services.
The youth can also be sentenced to probation, but cannot be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) for detention. The restrictions of the probation will depend on the type of seriousness of the offense.
Speak with an experienced juvenile defense attorney to learn about the likely consequences of your child’s behavior.
Texas law states delinquent conduct is the violation of a state or federal law that is punishable by jail or prison if the offender were an adult, but is not a traffic offense. This means the juvenile committed a felony or Class B misdemeanor or above. Some of these types of offenses include:
- Driving, flying, or boating while intoxicated
- Intoxicated assault
- Intoxication manslaughter
- Third driving with detectable alcohol in the minor’s system offense (DUIM)
- Contempt of court
- Sex offenses
Penalties for Delinquent Conduct
A juvenile charged with delinquent conduct will go through a court process or diversion program. The possible consequences of delinquent conduct include 1 to 2 years of probation or for more serious offenses, being sent to TJJD with a determinate or indeterminate sentence at a detention center.
A determinate sentence involves a specific amount of time in TJJD, though a juvenile can be released early for various reasons. An indeterminate sentence allows for the TJJD to keep a youth for any period of time until they turn 19. The juvenile could be on probation until they are 18 or in detention until they turn 19.
Serious offenses or habitual offenders may end up with a hybrid punishment, where they are transferred to an adult criminal court and prison system when they turn 18, and then spend a number of years in an adult prison.
Contact a Juvenile Attorney for Help
As a parent, you want to help your child in any way you can. You want to make sure that they are treated fairly by the court system and that they don’t end up detained for a significant period of time. Ned Barnett feels the same way. He understands how hard it can be for a family to face this situation, and he wants to ensure a beneficial outcome for your child.
Ned Barnett has more than 30 years of experience as a Houston criminal defense attorney, beginning as a prosecutor and then dedicating his practice to defending individuals like your child. Call the Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to learn how he can help your son or daughter get through this situation.