Juvenile Crimes

At both the state and federal levels, an offense is categorized and treated as an underage/juvenile only when it has been committed by a minor.  Regardless of the type, an underage or juvenile offense can severely damage your child’s future, career, and employment opportunities.  In addition, the emotional and psychological effects, and distress suffered by a minor can be fatal when a competent attorney does not manage the case.

In the state of Texas, it is required for all juveniles to have legal representation at juvenile court.  Legal representation should be chosen wisely by selecting an attorney with multi-faceted experience who is also acquainted with pertinent documentation, such as the Penal Code, the Family Code, and the Juvenile Justice Code, among others.

There is a great array of juvenile offenses, and none of them should be managed lightly.  Any type of offense or violation of the law may result in jeopardy of a future and career, without mentioning the devastation suffered by the individual and those around him or her.  Some of the most common types of juvenile offenses include:

·   Alcohol related offenses (i.e. DUI, DWI)
·   Sex crimes (i.e. sexual assault, prostitution)
·   Theft crimes (i.e. shoplifting, burglary)
·   Drug crimes (i.e. possession, distribution)
·   Traffic violations (i.e. reckless and distracted driving)
·    Violence (i.e. assaults, street fights)

Because drivers licenses are obtained during adolescence, alcohol related offenses such as DUI and DWI are amongst the most common juvenile offenses.

DUI, DWI, and Juveniles

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired) are terms with different connotations according to state law. Although many states have developed a “zero tolerance” policy, that is, they do not recognize any difference between a DUI and a DWI, other states like Texas do make a distinction between the two.
In Texas, a DUI is a minor offense and a DWI is a more serious offense:
DUI:  This offense is only available for minors (individuals under 21 years old).  A law enforcement officer only has to detect the presence of alcohol to charge an individual with a DUI; they do not have to prove intoxication.  A DUI is a Class C misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $500.
DWI: This offense is more serious than a DUI and is available for individuals below or above 21 years old.  An individual may be charged with a DWI if law enforcement officers can prove that the driver of a motor vehicle had above a .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) or lost the mental or physical faculties due to the influence of alcohol, drugs, and/or any other substance.  Penalties for a DWI may carry up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000 for first offenders, but can increase dramatically for individuals with prior convictions, including a minimum of 25 years in prison.

A juvenile offense may seriously jeopardize a juvenile’s future, career, record, future criminal proceedings, future loans, as well as applications for driver’s licenses, colleges, universities, graduate schools, and armed services.  Not only is it required that a minor has legal representation, but it is also encouraged to help a juvenile seek legal counsel with a knowledgeable and caring attorney.  As a former prosecutor, Phil J. Morin  can eliminate or reduce the sentence relating to underage offenses.

Allow Phil J. Morin to put his knowledge and unparalleled experience as a former prosecutor to work in your favor to fight for your child’s Constitutional rights.  The future of a minor should not be left in the hands of inexperienced attorneys.  Contact Phil J. Morin today by calling  (281) 229-5883 or contact us online.