When children are accused of committing crimes, they can face charges and penalties, sometimes even time behind bars. The law recognizes the difference between charges for juveniles and charges against people age 18 and older, but in some juvenile law cases, a child can be charged as an adult. In a recent case in Texas, prosecutors announced the intention to charge a minor as an adult in a murder case.
The girl is facing murder charges after a physical altercation resulted in the death of an 18-year-old. Because she is being tried as an adult, she will face more serious charges and steeper penalties. A judge will hold a hearing to consider the prosecution’s intent to charge her as an adult. The young defendant has the right to legal counsel to defend her interests at the hearing and at every step of the process.
Texas law allows the prosecution to try a juvenile age 15 or older as adult in certain cases involving a felony offense. Juveniles still have the right to the presumption of innocence and to challenge the case against them with a meaningful defense. In this specific case, the nature of the charges makes it particularly important to start developing a defense strategy as soon as possible.
If a minor is facing criminal charges of any kind, his or her future interests are on the line. It is beneficial to consider all defense options, even before formal charges are filed. It may help to work with an attorney experienced in juvenile law matters.