Our Juvenile Defense Lawyer Will Help Find Productive Alternatives For Your Teen
The juvenile justice system is set up to hold youths accountable while also providing them with a second chance. The Law Office of Larry McDougal in Richmond handles Fort Bend County juvenile court cases. Our goal is to find productive alternatives to punishment and detention for crimes committed by youthful offenders.
Our familiarity with the full range of diversion and community-based treatment programs can help you find the right solution for your family’s circumstances. Larry P. McDougal Sr. is a former police officer, prosecutor and municipal court judge whose comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice system helps protect clients’ rights and keep the focus on rehabilitation. His experience with Texas family law also adds value and perspective in a juvenile case.
Sound Advice In Juvenile Delinquency And Dependency Cases
We counsel teenagers and their parents in the full range of juvenile offenses, including:
- Drug crimes
- Underage drinking and underage DWI
- Shoplifting and theft
- Auto theft
- Sexual offenses
- Assaults, fights and weapon offenses
- Vandalism and destruction of property
- Burglary or robbery
- Criminal offenses at school
Youths arrested for lesser offenses are commonly released to their parents and later summoned to juvenile court. For more serious crimes, they may be taken into custody and held over in a juvenile detention facility for up to 10 days until a hearing. Punishments may range from probation, restitution and community service to the Pegasus School, “boot camp” and other special programs that take them away from home for a period.
All defendants under age 17 are adjudicated in the juvenile system, even for felony crimes. The most serious offenders are incarcerated by the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) or charged as adults if they face serious prison time.
The Slate Is NOT Wiped Clean At Age 18
Many youths and parents mistakenly believe that juvenile offenses are not a big deal because they do not follow the person into adulthood. Since 1994, there is no “fresh start.” A juvenile adjudication does stay on one’s record and can disqualify the youth for college, scholarships, housing, the military and certain career paths. The Texas Nursing Board, for example, is notoriously hard on applicants with drug or theft arrests. Juveniles can petition for expunction (sealing of records), but it is not automatic at age 18 and sealed records still count as priors for judicial purposes.
This is yet another reason to retain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. At The Law Office of Larry McDougal, we make sure our clients understand the long-term ramifications and we do all we can to avoid the harshest consequences.
An important strength of our juvenile practice is defense team’s ability to establish and maintain close relationships with parents, young people, probation officers, police, prosecuting attorneys and judges. At its most effective, the juvenile justice system very much depends on cooperation within these relationships, and our experience can help make it work for you.
Fort Bend County Juvenile Crimes Law Firm
No matter what charge your son or daughter is facing, our goal is to minimize the risk of a sentence to TYC detention. In most cases, we are able to find productive alternatives that meet the needs of each stakeholder.