What can the Judge decide?

Juvenile court judges have many options from outright dismissal to long-term confinement in a correctional facility. For felony offenses, a youth 14 or older can be "certified" to stand trial in the adult criminal courts. For other serious offenders, the Determinate Sentencing Law allows a juvenile to be confined up to 40 years, first in a facility, followed by an optional court transfer to prison. For less serious offenders who require confinement, the judge may order an indeterminate commitment to the Texas Youth Commission where the child may be held until his or her 19th birthday. In most cases, however, the judge orders some form of probation supervision in the community, or placement in a private, state or local residential treatment facility. Learn more about the

Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

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1. What happens when charges are filed against a child?
2. What happens when a child goes to court?
3. What can the Judge decide?
4. How can I contact the juvenile probation department in my area?