Determinative sentencing in Texas juvenile cases

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2021 | Criminal Law |

Juveniles who are not tried as an adult in court will face placement in a Texas juvenile facility. In this type of facility, the child is under the custody and care of the state of Texas. The facility can range from low security to high security; which type of facility a minor is placed in and for how long will depend on the judge’s sentence.

Juvenile or adult sentencing

When a minor is charged with a crime, they are tried as either a juvenile or an adult. Minors who are tried as an adult have typically committed a severe crime and are given a specific sentence that reflects the severity of their case.

In many juvenile cases, minors are given indeterminate sentences. This is a sentence with no specific number of years decided.

Review by the facility

When a minor receives an indeterminate sentence by the judge, the facility administrators will review the case. They will set an MLOS, or minimum length of stay. This is the minimum period that the juvenile must stay at the facility before they can be released. An MLOS usually ranges from 9 to 24 months in length.

Once the juvenile reaches their designated MLOS, they are eligible for release. The facility will also require that the juvenile undergo assigned treatment programs before they are eligible for release. It’s important to note that a juvenile’s MLOS is not a mandatory release date. The facility may continue to hold a juvenile in their custody if it’s determined that the juvenile is not ready to be reintroduced into society. It’s customary for any juvenile to be released from the Texas juvenile system at the age of 19 years old.

Being charged as a juvenile can bring up a lot of different questions for minors and their parents. Understanding how it varies from the traditional prison sentencing process is a necessity. If you’re confused about the sentencing process or you need assistance with fighting your case, it’s advisable to contact a lawyer for help.