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How the Texas Juvenile System Works

Over 100,000 juveniles are arrested in Texas each year. Every one of these offenders has a different journey through the courts, depending on the effectiveness of their criminal defense team. In general, a first time offender always starts with the least amount of sanctions possible to give them a chance to become a productive citizen.

When it comes to juvenile offenders, the focus is supposed to be on rehabilitation and to teach discipline and work ethic rather than incarceration.

Technically, a juvenile is defined as someone between 10 or 17 at the time they commited their act of “delinquent conduct”. Delinquent conduct is defined as something that an adult would be sent to jail for.

The punishments for committing delinquent conduct could be probation, or they might be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department depending on the handling of the case by the juvenile criminal defense team. If the juvenile committed the equivalent of a felony, then they will stay in a facility for an indeterminate sentence, which means they will be there until they are 19. Once they are out, they still might have probation to seve as an adult.

Each county in Texas is requireds to have a juvenile board. These boards are in charge of overseeing the juvenile system. They have their own judges and probation officers who deal with juvenile offenders.

The Texas juvenile justice department manages facilities and halfway houses in San Antonio and other major areas for young people who have recurring delinquency problems and are in danger of becoming adult offenders.


Jean Brown, the founding attorney of Jean Brown Law Firm, is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas State Bar Association, and the San Antonio Family Lawyer’s Association. She is licensed to practice in the Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Federal Districts of Texas, and is a licensed mediator in family law matters. She is also a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Delta Phi, attorneys’ honor societies.

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Phone: (210) 354-2662
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222 E Main Plaza,
San Antonio, TX 78205