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How is Juvenile Court Different from Criminal Court?
When children between 10 and 17 years of age are accused of committing a felony offense or a Class A or B misdemeanor, their cases are handled in the Juvenile District Courts in Harris County (in other counties, it would be county courts or juvenile district). Rather than criminal law cases, these cases are considered civil law, although certain aspects and rules of criminal law are applicable to juvenile cases. Rather than being "found guilty", juveniles are instead "adjudicated to have engaged in delinquent conduct". Furthermore, rather than being released on "bond" like in criminal court, juveniles are either released or detained depending upon the circumstances and the ruling of the judge. Lastly, rather than being based on the offense itself, punishment for juveniles is based upon guidelines and levels.
To properly represent a juvenile, an attorney must be familiar with both the civil and criminal aspects. Therefore, you should hire a juvenile defense attorney who specializes in juvenile law. Houston juvenile defense attorney Jim Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law. He has 18 years of experience in both juvenile and criminal law and devotes a large percentage of his legal practice to representing juveniles. You can call Jim Sullivan right now at 281-546-6428.