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Texas Criminal Practice Guide
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

5-110 Texas Criminal Practice Guide 110.syn


The Juvenile Court


Editorial Consultant:;Frank Maloney;Update Author:;John M. Schmolesky

Chapter Summary


This chapter covers the various rights which apply to juveniles, including the right to counsel, rights concerning the taking of fingerprints and photographs, the right to notice, and the right to a guardian ad litem. The chapter also discusses the waiver of juvenile rights; various types of conduct which brings a child within the subject matter jurisdiction of juvenile court; and bases for detaining a juvenile. Next, the chapter covers the procedural requirements when an officer takes a juvenile into custody; and the preliminary investigation, whose purpose is to determine whether the subject individual is a child as defined in juvenile law, and whether probable cause exists to believe that the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision. Then, the chapter discusses the creation of a first offender program, which a juvenile board may establish for the referral and disposition of children taken into custody for conduct indicating a need for supervision or for delinquency.

In addition, this chapter discusses how juvenile courts treat juveniles who have a mental disease or defect; the due process rights of committed children; and proceedings in which the juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction, which include proceedings concerning children with mental disabilities, detention hearings, waiver of jurisdiction and discretionary transfer hearings, adjudication hearings, disposition hearings, and modification-of-disposition hearings. Additionally, the chapter discusses the transfer of cases to and from juvenile court and appellate jurisdiction over juvenile matters.

This chapter also covers venue for juvenile court proceedings and the purposes of the juvenile system, which include providing for the protection of the public and public safety, providing for the care, protection, and wholesome moral, mental, and physical development of children, and keeping families together if possible. Further, the chapter discusses the civil character of juvenile proceedings; the effect of an adjudication or disposition in juvenile court; and the administration of juvenile courts.

The chapter concludes with a discussion of the substantive and procedural rights of victims of juvenile misconduct, including the standing of victims, and information the juvenile probation officer responsible for the subject child must provide to the victim.

This chapter contains a helpful practice guide for legal counsel who represent juveniles; useful forms for various juvenile-related motions; and convenient constitutional, statutory, and case law references, among other resources.

Texas Criminal Practice Guide is a complete resource on Texas criminal law. It provides expert legal analysis, practice tips, sample forms, research guides, and updates on legislative changes. It is arranged by section to correspond with the progression of the Texas criminal justice system, making its detailed information easy to access.


Texas criminal practice,juvenile court,juvenile practice,guardian ad litem,waiver of juvenile rights,juvenile detention,first offender program in juvenile cases,mental disease of juvenile,mental defect of juvenile,committed children's due process rights,exclusive original jurisdiction,transfer of juvenile cases,victims of juvenile misconduct,juvenile probation officer


Additional juvenile-related matters are covered in Chapter 111 (arrest and preliminary considerations), Chapter 112 (adjudication), Chapter 113 (disposition), Chapter 114 (juvenile appeal), and Chapter 115 (postdisposition proceedings).


For the most complete discussion and expert analysis of drunk driving law in Texas to date, see Texas Drunk Driving Law (Matthew Bender).

For an organized and comprehensive guide to criminal sentencing in the Texas courts which includes analysis of the collateral consequences of criminal convictions, victims' rights at the sentencing phase, sentencing options for juveniles, community supervision, and the various types of institutional facilities, among other sentencing issues, see Texas Sentencing (Matthew Bender).

For quick reference, expert guidance, and the latest developments in criminal evidence law regarding scientific evidence, polygraph evidence, evidence obtained from automobile stops and other searches and seizures, and amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence, among other evidentiary issues, see Courtroom Criminal Evidence (Matthew Bender).

For a review of all of the major evidentiary doctrines applicable to scientific evidence, see The Methods of Attacking Scientific Evidence (Matthew Bender).

For West's flagship treatise on federal civil, criminal, appellate, and admiralty procedure whose authors are the judges, lawyers, and professors who write and amend the federal rules, see Moore's Federal Practice--Criminal (Matthew Bender).
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