If your child has never been charged with a juvenile offense before they may be eligible for pre-court deferred probation. Juveniles who are charged with a criminal offense are generally only eligible for a pre-court offer if they are facing a minor misdemeanor charge, such as shoplifting.
Deferred probation is the simplest form of probation a juvenile can be offered. It comes with less restrictions than regular probation and is the shortest probationary period available. Additionally, successful completion of deferred probation also allows a child to avoid having a conviction on their record.
Even if your child is not offered pre-court deferred pronation, they may still have an opportunity to receive deferred probation from the Court through agreement with the State or after a hearing before the court.
If your child is not offered deferred probation, they will most likely receive an offer of regular probation. The term for regular probation can last anywhere from six months all the way up to their eighteenth birthday, depending on the nature of their current charge and history of juvenile charges. Regular probation can require any of the following conditions:
- Weekly meetings with a probation officer
- Community service hours
- Compliance with school attendance and behavioral requirements
- Drug testing
If your child has a history of juvenile charges, has a more serious offense or several charges, they could receive Intensive Supervision Probation. Intensive Supervision Probation requires more restrictive conditions than regular probation, such as a stricter curfew, additional counseling or community service hours or corrective classes.
The Court could also require your child to participate in a live-in placement at a juvenile treatment facility. Placement referrals often require that your child live in a facility away from their home for a period of six to twelve months.
If your child has numerous charges, their charges are especially serious or they have previously been on Intensive Supervision Probation or sent to a juvenile treatment facility for placement previously, they could be sent to the Texas Youth Commission.