Work With The Attorney The Cops Don’t Want You To Hire

Second chances: Juvenile vs. Adult probation in Texas

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Criminal defense

If you’re the parent of a teenager navigating Texas’ juvenile justice system, you’ll be relieved to know that your child will likely be treated differently than an adult offender. This distinct treatment applies to everything, including probation.

The justice system offers probation as a second chance for offenders who don’t need to be incarcerated. The process facilitates an offender’s reintegration into society under supervision. If your teenager was offered this alternative, you can benefit from knowing the difference between juvenile and adult probation in the Lone Star State.

Focus and philosophy

The underlying philosophies guide the primary distinction between adult and juvenile probation. On one hand, the juvenile justice system’s core goal is to rehabilitate teenage offenders in an attempt to rectify their delinquent behavior.

The juvenile justice system acknowledges that teenagers are still developing and are, therefore, capable of change if they’re steered in the right direction. If you’re a parent to a delinquent teenager, this is a relief because it gives you hope, knowing that the system makes efforts to steer your child away from a life of crime.

Unlike juvenile probation, adult probation is a dance between public safety, punishment and rehabilitation. While it offers offenders a second chance, the criminal justice system is very keen to hold adult offenders accountable for their actions for the sake of public safety.

Age and jurisdiction

If your child commits an offense between the ages of 10 and 17, they will navigate the juvenile justice system. The Lone Star State refers to offenses committed by such teenagers as delinquent conduct, whether they’re classified as felonies, misdemeanors or truancy. However, most of these teenagers qualify for probation as an alternative to conviction.

On the other hand, if your teenager has turned 18, they will be treated as an adult offender. In this case, they may be convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in a criminal district court. However, they, too, can qualify for probation under specific circumstances.

With this information, you can advocate for your child’s rehabilitation to save them from a life defined by their time in the system. By speaking with a reliable legal team, you can help secure the second chance your child is entitled to in the Lone Star State.