Top Juvenile Defense Attorney in Sugar Land & Fort Bend County
If your son, daughter, or loved one is facing criminal charges, you need a strong juvenile charges attorney to fight for your rights.
I am David Hunter, an experienced juvenile charges lawyer in Sugar Land, and former Texas juvenile judge. I work to protect the rights and freedoms of juveniles charged with crimes in Fort Bend County, Texas. I always seek a solution that will preserve the future career and educational options of your child if at all possible.
- 1,000's Of Cases Successfully Handled
- More Than 30 Years of Legal Experience
- More Than 20 Awards For Excellence In Criminal Defense
In today’s “zero-tolerance” legal environment, even a first-time juvenile offender may face the prospect of incarceration. To protect your child from such penalties and its potential impact on his or her future, it is essential to fight back with an aggressive juvenile law defense. As a former Texas juvenile judge and experienced juvenile defense lawyer, Attorney David Hunter has a strong command of the criminal procedures involved, how to build and prepare cases, and how to fight for positive results in juvenile court.
If you want a lawyer who’s straight with you and in it for your benefit, D. Hunter is the man for the job. You won’t be disappointed.
When youths are arrested, they can be detained in juvenile detention overnight. If they have been arrested for violent crimes, the detention may extend for 10 days or longer. This is not something that involves “bail.” Within 24 hours of a juvenile arrest, a detention hearing must be held by a juvenile court judge to decide whether or not your child should be detained further and for how long.
Your child may be released into your custody as a parent or guardian with conditions set by the judge until another hearing is held in 30 to 90 days. Youths who have committed drug crimes or violent crimes may not be released but held for another 10 to 14 days until the next hearing.
It is up to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether a minor should be referred to the juvenile court, informally handled (outside of court), or have his or her case dismissed. Texas law provides alternatives to conviction and incarceration for many juvenile cases. For example, the First Offender Program is designed for those who commit a nonviolent crime as a first offense. Instead of imposing fines and detention on the youth, they are put on a diversion program that may involve community service, providing restitution to victims, or educational programs.
When a case is referred to court, Juvenile judges “adjudicate” the matter after hearing evidence from the defense and the prosecution. If the court finds that the minor committed the crime, he or she will be either put on probation or placed in a juvenile facility.
Generally, the results of a juvenile arrest can lead to the following:
- A case dismissal.
- “Supervisory caution,” which can include referral to social services programs, advising the juvenile to refrain from such behavior in the future, and other non-judicial actions or requirements.
- Deferred prosecution, which involves court supervision with certain conditions which, if violated, can lead to formal court adjudication.
- Adjudicated probation, generally for a period of a year under the guidance of a juvenile probation officer or it may involve being sent to a state-operated or private residential treatment center.
In some cases, a juvenile may be referred to the adult court system for trial. However, this is only done based on the type of crime, the surrounding circumstances of a crime, and/or the youth’s previous criminal history, if any. Starting at age 14, juveniles can be tried as adults, generally for very serious crimes, such as felonies.
Sometimes, it may be possible to have a child’s juvenile record sealed, leaving their indiscretions in the past. At The David Hunter Law Firm, we fight hard to obtain these positive results for your child with an aggressive juvenile law defense.