How Much Does A Juvenile Lawyer Cost Parents often have questions about their child’s legal rights and representation when facing juvenile offenses in Texas. This article addresses key concerns, explaining the necessity of a juvenile attorney, the appointment process, and the importance of experienced legal counsel.
Does My Child Need a Juvenile Attorney in Texas?
If your child is taken into custody and charged with an offense in Texas, it is a legal requirement that they are represented by a juvenile attorney. The choice of hiring an attorney or having one appointed by the court depends on your ability to pay for legal representation.
Can I Represent My Child in Juvenile Court in Texas?
No, parents cannot represent their children in juvenile court in Texas, and children cannot represent themselves. Juveniles must be represented by a qualified juvenile attorney licensed to practice law in Texas.
When Does My Child Need a Juvenile Attorney?
A juvenile needs an attorney ideally before the first detention hearing, which occurs within two working days after being taken into custody. The court must inform the child and their parents of the right to legal counsel before this hearing.
What If There Wasn’t Enough Time to Secure an Attorney Before the Detention Hearing?
In some cases, due to the strict two-day timeline for detention hearings, juveniles may not have legal representation during the initial hearing. If detained, the judge will appoint an attorney or order parents to hire one. An attorney can then request another detention hearing.
For juveniles released by intake or without a detention hearing, they must have an attorney within five working days after prosecutors file charges against them.
What If I Can’t Afford a Juvenile Attorney?
If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for your child, either before the initial detention hearing or within five working days after prosecutors file charges. Indigence is determined based on criteria established by the juvenile board of the county where the juvenile court is located.
Can I Choose the Court-Appointed Juvenile Attorney?
No, you cannot select the court-appointed juvenile attorney. The judge will choose an attorney from a list of qualified candidates eligible for representing children in juvenile proceedings.
What If I’m Dissatisfied With My Child’s Court-Appointed Attorney?
If you are unhappy with the court-appointed juvenile attorney, you have the option to hire a different attorney of your choice to replace them. Alternatively, you can request that the court appoint a different attorney, but you must provide reasons for your request. The judge will decide whether to grant a new attorney based on these reasons and whether there is good cause to do so.
Why Is It Important to Have an Experienced Juvenile Attorney?
Juvenile law is a specialized field that combines civil and criminal rules and procedures. Hiring an experienced lawyer who practices in juvenile court daily is crucial. Attorney Lisa Herrick at Varghese Summersett is Board Certified in Juvenile Law, a rare designation in Tarrant County. With expertise in juvenile cases, she understands the system, knows the key players, and can provide invaluable guidance for your child’s future.
Understanding your child’s right to a juvenile attorney in Texas is vital when navigating the legal complexities of juvenile offenses. Whether you hire an attorney or have one appointed, having experienced legal counsel is essential to protect your child’s interests and rights in the juvenile justice system.