What are the Most Common Juvenile Criminal Offenses?
Posted By Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass || 13-Jun-2012
In Texas, juveniles under the age of 17 can be charged with the same crimes as adults and receive serious sentences. Here are a few of the most common crimes among juvenile offenders in Texas and why you should hire a criminal defense attorney to help you:
- Driving Under the Influence
Drivers under 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system, no matter how small, will be arrested for driving under the influence. Penalties for this offense can include a 60-day license suspension and a $500 fine.
- Purchasing or Consuming Alcohol
Anyone under 21 who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol or who is publicly intoxicated is subject to a license suspension between 30 and 180 days, a $500 fine, and up to 40 hours of community service, in addition to an alcohol awareness class.
Juvenile drug offenses are a major issue in Texas, and the state imposes severe penalties on offenders. Sentencing varies based on the drug in question and the amount found on the offender, but penalties can include probation, drug and alcohol counseling, placement at a juvenile detention center, and, in severe cases, detention until age 25 followed by transfer to an adult facility.
Sending sexually explicit text messages or other pictures to other teens was recently downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor. It now carries a sentence of a fine of more than $4,000, no more than a year in jail, and mandatory participation in an education program about the dangers of sexting.
Shoplifting is a major problem, especially in hard economic times. Penalties for this offense are tied to the value of the merchandise stolen and whether the juvenile is a repeat offender. Penalties can range from informal probation to heavy fines and possible jail time.
If your child has been arrested, it doesn’t have to mean a severe penalty. With a skilled, experienced defense attorney’s help, your child may be eligible for more lenient sentencing. To find out what the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass can do for you, call today.