My Kid Got Arrested, Now What? The Texas Criminal Process For Parents

If your minor child has been arrested and charged with a crime, you are probably concerned not only about how this will affect them now, but also in the future. Many times, children get charged with crimes as a result of impulsive behavior or bad judgment.

Whatever the reason may be, the best way to protect your child is to call an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to guide you through the juvenile justice system so that you can focus on providing the emotional support your child needs to deal with a criminal charge.

Depending on the nature of the crime, your child may be arrested or taken into the juvenile probation department. During intake, officers will evaluate your child, his or her home situation and the crime he or she is accused of committing. At that point, they will determine whether the case needs to be referred to the juvenile court or if it can be resolved more informally.

While the preference is usually to send a minor child home with their parents, there are several factors that could lead to your child being detained, including if:

  • There is no adequate supervision at home
  • The child is likely to leave to avoid court action
  • There is no one who can ensure the child will return to court
  • The child is a danger to the public or himself
  • The child has a criminal history that leads probation officers to believe he or she may commit more crimes if they are released

If the decision is made to detain a child, a detention hearing must be held before a judge within 48 hours. Further detention hearings are scheduled at least every two weeks to gauge whether detainment is still be best option.

The best outcome parents can hope for is a warning, where no other action is required. Other options that can keep your child out of the juvenile court system include deferred prosecution or counseling.

If it is determined that a court must intervene, there are other options that will hopefully lessen the impact on your child’s future. Having an attorney with experience in the Texas juvenile court system will typically provide a more positive outcome for your child’s case.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a full service criminal litigation and appellate law firm. We provide client-focused representation at all stages of the process, whether our clients are seeking to avoid charges, have been charged, or are seeking reversal of a conviction on appeal. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or