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A look into the Texas juvenile detention process

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Criminal Law |

While every case is different, there are general procedures after a minor gets arrested in Texas. A juvenile detention center accepts minors between the ages of 10 and 16. The minor needs to be accused of a serious offense to be considered for such a facility. Such crimes typically include murder, attempted murder and deadly conduct with a weapon.

What to know about the initial process

Juvenile law judges can sentence minors who commit a class B misdemeanor or worse to time in a juvenile detention center. A class B minor can put an adult in jail. Sometimes, the juvenile detention center knows that the minor has repeat offenses. Under those circumstances, after the law enforcement agency finishes their paperwork, they can call an intake officer. The intake officer decides whether to detain the minor or process and release them. Under juvenile law, minors need to go before a judge 48 hours after the detention center detains them.

What else to expect

There are detention hearings three times a week for the minors to go before a judge within their first two days. Those released still have charges pending, and their case goes to the district attorney’s office for review. There are instances where juvenile detention centers detain minors for a while. On average, most minors stay between 10 and 12 days. Sometimes, those accused of committing serious crimes stay longer. These cases typically involve a transfer hearing. Transfer hearings allow their case into adult court. Rarely, a minor stays over 300 days.

A minor’s case can go to adult court, but most people are unclear when this happens. There are certain criteria that the circumstances must meet. A minor needs a transfer hearing to bring their case into adult court. To get a transfer hearing under juvenile law, a minor needs to be at least 14 years old.