Juvenile Offenders

Appearance of Juvenile Defendant and Parents – If a defendant is younger than 17 years of age and has not had the disabilities of minority removed, the judge must take the defendant’s plea in open court and shall issue a summons to compel the defendant’s parent, guardian or managing conservator to be present during the taking of the defendant’s plea and all other proceedings relating to the case.

Expunction of Certain Conviction Records of Children – “Child” means person who is ten (10) years of age and under seventeen (17) years of age. A person convicted of not more than one misdemeanor punishable by fine only other than public intoxication or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision, while the person was a child may, on or after the person’s 17th birthday, apply to the court in which the child was convicted to have the conviction expunged.

The person must make a written request to have the records expunged. The request must be made under oath. The request must contain the person’s statement that the person was not convicted while the person was a child of any other offense, other than the offense the person seeks to have expunged.

This does not apply to any offense otherwise covered by:

(1) Chapter 106, Alcoholic Beverage Code;
(2) Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code; or
(3) Section 25.094, Education Code.

Records of a person under 17 years of age relating to a complaint dismissed as provided by Article 45.051 (Deferred Disposition and Defensive Driving) or 45.052 (Teen Court) may be expunged under this article.

The justice or municipal court may not require a person who requests expungement under this article to pay any fee or court costs.

Failure of Juvenile to Pay Fines as Ordered by the CourtA justice or municipal court may not order the confinement of a child for the failure to pay all or any part of a fine or costs imposed for the conviction of an offense punishable by fine only or contempt of another order of a justice or municipal court.

If a child fails to obey an order of a justice or municipal court under circumstances that would constitute contempt of court, the justice or municipal court, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard, may refer the child to the appropriate juvenile court for  delinquent conduct for contempt of the justice or municipal court order; or retain jurisdiction of the case, hold the child in contempt of the justice or municipal court, and order either or both of the following that the contemnor pay a fine not to exceed $500;  or that the Department of Public Safety suspend the contemnor’s driver’s license or permit or, if the contemnor does not have a license or permit, to deny the issuance of a license or permit to the contemnor until the contemnor fully complies with the orders of the court.

Failure to Attend School – On a finding by a municipal court that an individual has committed an offense under Section 25.094, Education Code, the court has jurisdiction to enter an order that includes one or more of the following provisions requiring that the individual:
(1) attend school without unexcused absences;
(2) attend a preparatory class for the high school equivalency examination administered under Section 7.111, Education Code, if the court determines that the individual is too old to do well in a formal classroom environment;  or
(3) if the individual is at least 16 years of age, take the high school equivalency examination administered under Section 7.111, Education Code;
(4)attend a special program that the court determines to be in the best interest of the individual, including an alcohol and drug abuse program, a rehabilitation program, a counseling program, including self-improvement counseling, a program that provides training in self-esteem and leadership, a work and job skills training program, a program that provides training in parenting, including parental responsibility, a program that provides training in manners, a program that provides training in violence avoidance, a program that provides sensitivity training, and a program that provides training in advocacy and mentoring.

The court may also require the individual and the individual’s parent attend a class for students at risk of dropping out of school.

The court may require the individual complete reasonable community service requirements, or for the total number of hours ordered by the court, the individual participate in a tutorial program covering the academic subjects in which the student is enrolled provided by the school the individual attends. The child in contempt of the justice or municipal court, and order either or both of the following that the contemnor pay a fine not to exceed $500


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