1. My child has been taken to a juvenile detention facility. How long will he be held there?
   A child is entitled to an initial detention hearing within two working days of being detained. If the   child is not
released at the initial detention hearing a subsequent hearing will be held within 10 working days, and each 10
working days thereafter until the child is released or the case is disposed of. The child may by advised by his
attorney to waive a subsequent detention hearing.

2. What factors does the judge consider at the detention hearing when determining whether or not
to release a child to the custody of a parent?
   The court will consider such factors as whether the child is likely to abscond or run away, or be removed from
the jurisdiction of the court, whether proper supervision if being provided for the child at home, whether the
child may be a danger to himself or others if released, whether the child has a prior history in juvenile court,
and whether the child tested positive for drugs when he was detained.         

3. Can my child be sent to prison?
   A juvenile found to have committed a felony offense can be sent to TYC, the Texas Youth Commission, which
is prison for juveniles. Certain juveniles who receive a determinate sentence for committing a felony offense can
be sentenced up to 40 years in prison, which would be a combined sentence in TYC followed by a transfer to
an adult prison where the remainder of the sentence would be served.

4. Will my child have a criminal record as a result of this case?
   A juvenile case does not result in an adult juvenile record, although the child will have a juvenile record.
Under certain circumstances a juvenile record can be sealed. See #4.

5. Can a juvenile record be expunged?
   A juvenile record can be sealed under certain circumstances. Generally, if a juvenile was adjudicated for a
misdemeanor offense his record can be sealed if two years have elapsed since the juvenile’s final discharge or
the last official action in the person’ case, and since that time the person has not been convicted of a felony or
a misdemeanor.
   For a juvenile adjudicated for a felony offense, a juvenile record can be sealed once the person reaches the
age of 21, the child’s case was not transferred to adult court, the records of the case have not been used as
evidence in the punishment phase of a criminal case, and the person has not been convicted of a felony after
turning 17.

6. If my child gets probation how long will the probation be?
   A juvenile can be placed on probation until his 18th birthday. In the rare case that a juvenile receives a
determinate sentence, his probation can extend beyond his 18th birthday for a total probationary period of 10
years.

7. Can the court order that my child be removed from his regular school?
   Yes. The court can order that a juvenile attend an alternative education program.

8. My child has been charged with a sexual offense. Will he have to register as a sex offender?
   A juvenile can be required to register as a sex offender. However, the judge can order that the decision
regarding whether or not a juvenile will be required to register as a sex offender can be postponed until the
child completes any court-ordered therapy. Ultimately, the judge may order that the juvenile is exempt from
registration.
LAW OFFICE OF
ERIC ASHFORD
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Juvenile Law