Juvenile Law

Report
Law Enforcement I
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2
What happens when a child is
reported to law enforcement?
Parents reporting a runaway, an abusive
child, a child on drugs, an unruly child,
or their child’s criminal activity
 School personnel reporting juvenile
delinquent activity or conduct in need of
supervision

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What happens when a child is
reported to law enforcement?
(continued)
Community officials, such as county
commissioners or anyone employed by
the county, reporting delinquent conduct
or conduct in need of supervision
 Concerned citizens reporting the same
type of activity
 Victims reporting offenses against their
persons or property by juvenile
offenders

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Providing Warning Notices
A warning issued by law enforcement to
a juvenile is similar to a citation
 It is a warning to make the juvenile
aware that law enforcement has
observed or been made aware of
questionable conduct
 The warning gives the law enforcement
officer a legal reason to stop and
question that juvenile if suspected of
committing the same act in the future

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Providing Warning Notices
(continued)

The Juvenile warning must
 Be in accordance with department standards
(not just one single officer’s method of
controlling kids)
 State the juvenile’s identification and the
type of warning issued
 Include the date and time of the alleged
offense
 Be in writing and limited to one per juvenile
per event
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6
What must occur prior to
taking a child into custody?

Probable Cause
○ Must exist before an officer may take any
person into custody, much less a juvenile
○ Exists when a law enforcement officer has an
articulable reason to believe,
1. that unacceptable conduct had been
committed or was about to be committed
2. by the juvenile offender
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What must occur prior to
taking a child into custody?
(continued)

Mere suspicion
○ A belief that a child is guilty of a crime or looks
like he or she may be committing or about to
commit a crime, is not enough to justify taking
a child into custody.
○ Suspicious activity does provide an officer
with legal grounds to stop and question an
individual. This, however, does not constitute
a detention.

Previous criminal activity by a juvenile
does not constitute probable cause or
suspicion.
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When can a child be taken
into custody?





A juvenile court order
Custody pursuant to the laws of arrest
Probable cause exists leading a law enforcement
officer to believe that a criminal offense or conduct
in need of supervision has occurred
A juvenile who is in violation of probationary
requirements is taken into custody by juvenile
probation based on probable cause
Pursuant to a directive to apprehend from any
legal court
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What is a Directive to
Apprehend?

Authorization of any law enforcement to
take a child into custody
 Probable cause must be determined by
the court
 Juvy version of an arrest warrant
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10
What is the difference between temporary
detention and taking into custody?

If an officer stops a juvenile driver and then
smells marijuana, the officer has the probable
cause to temporarily detain the juvenile, even to
the point of using handcuffs.
 safety of the juvenile and the officer

officer may conduct a search for the marijuana
 Car or person

The officer does not have probable cause to take
the juvenile into custody - yet - but does have
probable cause to search
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11
What is the difference between temporary
detention and taking into custody?
(continued)
If the officer discovers a large bag of marijuana.
 At that point the officer has probable cause to
believe that the juvenile is in possession of the
marijuana due to the fact that the juvenile is in
care, custody, and control of his or her car.
 Therefore, the juvenile could be taken into
custody.
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12
What is the difference between temporary
detention and taking into custody?
(continued)


An exception - another individual in the car
confesses that they were the owners of the
marijuana.
The probable cause for custody would then switch
to the person confessing to the possession.
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13
What is the difference between temporary
detention and taking into custody?
(continued)


However, The officer has probable cause to take
the juvenile into custody as a child with conduct
in need of supervision under the influence of the
drug
At this point the officer may
 release the juvenile to a parent or other responsible adult
or
 take the juvenile directly to a juvenile processing facility
where he or she will be referred to juvenile probation as a
child with conduct in need of supervision.
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14
Taking a child into custody
Once a child is in custody the law
enforcement officer must transport the
child directly to a juvenile processing
facility
 From the moment a child is taken into
custody the clock starts ticking
 A child can only be held in custody by
law enforcement for a total of six hours
 Parents must be notified, if possible.

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What is a juvenile processing
facility?

It is an office or room in a police station,
sheriff’s office, or school office that is
○ Certified and approved by the local juvenile
board
○ Used for temporary detention only
○ Not a cell or holding facility used for other
types of detention
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What happens at a juvenile
processing facility?
(continued)

The child
○ Must not be held longer than six hours
○ Is never left unattended
○ Is entitled to be accompanied by a parent,
guardian, or the child’s attorney
○ Has the right to private consultation, for a
reasonable period of time, at any time during
his or her temporary detention, with the child’s
parents or attorney
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17
What happens to a child
while they are in custody?
The necessary state forms are completed
 The child might be photographed and
fingerprinted

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18
Fingerprinting and
Photographing
A child may not be photographed or
fingerprinted without consent of the local
juvenile board unless the child is taken into
custody for a Class B Misdemeanor or
greater
 Voluntary written consent from a parent or
guardian
 Other fingerprints exist and the officer has
probable cause to believe that the
juvenile’s prints may match the existing
prints

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19
Fingerprinting and
Photographing
(continued)
A juvenile runaway may be printed and
photographed
 Prints and photos are not available to the
public
 All information concerning a juvenile, if the
juvenile is not referred, must be destroyed
within ten days subsequent to the custody
of the juvenile

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20
Taking a child into custody
(continued)
After processing,
juvenile probation may order the child
1. Released to Parents or
2. into a local juvenile detention facility to
protect the child from harming him or
herself or others

At this point the child must have a
hearing in the juvenile court within 48
hours to determine if further detention is
required or whether further processing is
required
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21
What happens to a child
while they are in custody?
(continued)

The child will receive a magistrate’s
warning (if the magistrate is available)
 State The charges against him.
 Includes Miranda type warnings
○ The child can terminate questioning at any time

Police are then free to question child.
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22
Juvenile Confessions
 What
a juvenile tells law enforcement,
subsequent to questioning from law
enforcement, cannot be used against
a juvenile
 To
be admissible, statements must be
written.
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23
What happens after a written
confession?

One of the following events must occur:
 Release the child to a parent or guardian
 Bring the child before the juvenile




processing office
Take the child to a juvenile detention facility
Take the child to a secure detention facility
Take the child to a medical facility
Dispose of the case without referral
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24
2 Types of Juvenile conduct

Conduct indicating a need for
supervision (CINS)
 Class C misdemeanor (other than a ticket)
 Truancy (unexcused Absences from school





for 10 days in 6 mos. Or 3 days in 4 weeks.)
Runaway
Conduct involving fumes (glue, paint, etc)
Conduct that gets her expelled a 2nd time
Violating a court order
Subject to fine or Probation
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25
2 types of Juvenile conduct

Delinquent conduct:
 Crime punishable by confinement
 Contempt of court
 Intoxication offenses
○ DWI
○ Assault
○ Manslaughter
 Subject to confinement
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26
Status Offender

Some laws apply only to juveniles
 Truancy
 Runaway
 Student misconduct
 Curfew violation
A status offender is a child who is
charged with conduct that would not be
a crime if he were an adult.
 These crimes do not result in
incarceration

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27
Juvenile Court
Each county shall have a juvenile court.
 It can be combined with other courts

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28
Right to Attorney
Child has a right to an attorney at every
stage
 Child cannot waive that right in the more
serious hearings
 Court can order parents to pay for an
attorney if they can afford it
 Court can appoint an attorney if parents
cannot afford it, at govt expense

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29
Guardian Ad Litem

The court appoints a guardian ad litem
to represent the child’s best interest if:
 There parents do not appear in court; or
 The parents are not protecting the child’s
best interest.

Child’s attorney may also act as Ad
Litum.
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30
1st Offender Program

Arresting Officer can refer 1st time
offender into program if:
 Conduct does not involve a prison felony,
violence or a weapon.
 No prior delinquent conduct
 Child & parent agree
Avoids Juvenile court
 Disposition includes

 Restitution, community service, training,
probationary reporting

Completion means no juvenile court
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31
Deferred Prosecution
May be available to the child
 Probationary period cannot last more
than 1 year.
 Conditions can include training, rehab,
restitution.
 Parents must agree

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32
Teen Court
Available for class c misd.
 Must waive 5th amend rts
 Def. must request it
 Allowed only once every 2 years
 Upon completion, the case is dismissed.

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33
Detention Hearing
Held within 2 working days of arrest
 Evidence is usually by written report
 The court can seal evidence the child
should not hear.
 The child will be released unless:

 The child may flee
 Parents are not caring for child
 He may be a danger
 Has a previous record and is likely to offend
again

Release may have conditions attached
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34
Transfer to Criminal Court

Juvenile court may decide to treat the
child as an adult by moving the case to
criminal court if:
 Probable cause exist to believe child
committed a felony
 Child was 14 or more at time of a 1st deg.
Felony, Agg. Drug felony or Capitol Felony
 Child was 15 or more for lesser felonies
 “because of the seriousness of the offense
alleged or the background of the child the
welfare of the community requires criminal
proceedings.”
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35
Transfer to Criminal Court (cont.)

Court shall consider:
 Violent nature of crime
 Maturity of child
 Previous record
 Likelihood of rehabilitation

Once convicted as an adult, always an
adult
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36
Adjudication hearing (Trial)
Guilt/not guilty phase of trial
 Jury allowed
 Burden is Beyond a reasonable doubt
 Question is “whether or not the child has
engaged in delinquent conduct or
conduct indicating a need for
supervision.”
 If no – free to go.
 If yes – proceed to Disposition hearing

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37
Disposition Hearing
Separate [punishment] hearing
 1st issue decides whether further action is
required.

 Is the child is in need of rehabilitation
 Does the protection of the public or the child
requires that disposition be made
 If no – child is guilty but goes home (rare)
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38
Disposition Hearing (cont.)
 2nd
issue is what to do with the child.
 Probation, with conditions
○ 2 yr min. for felony
○ May remove child from the home as a
condition
○ Must end on 18th b-day, unless case is
transferred to adult court
 Felony Delinquent conduct - Commitment
to Texas Juvenile Justice Department
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39
Punishment ranges
Felony 3rd – 9 mos. - 10 year
Felony 2nd – up to 20 years
Felony 1st
Agg drug felony – up to 40 years
Capital offense
Punishment is progressive
All youth receive treatment.
success affects time served.
By 19, child is transferred to TDC
Most are put on parole after release.
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40
Resources
Texas Juvenile Law Fourth Edition: Robert
O. Dawson & Bryant Smith University of
Texas School of Law
 Texas Juvenile Law Fourth Edition 1997
Supplement: Robert O. Dawson & Bryant
Smith University of Texas School of Law
 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention http://www.ojjdp.gov/
 Texas Juvenile Probation Commission
http://www.tjpc.state.tx.us/

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