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Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (2014)

Juvenile Charges in Houston

Who Can be Tried as a Juvenile?

A person is eligible to be tried for juvenile charges in Houston in juvenile court until the age of 17. Prosecutors can try juveniles as adults, however, depending on one’s prior criminal record, school attendance, the seriousness of the offense and other relevant considerations. These are things every experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston should know.


The types of juvenile offenses are very similar to criminal charges in adult court, including theft, alcohol offenses, drug offenses, rape and murder. If you or someone you know is charged with a juvenile crime, you will need a criminal defense attorney with experience handling these types of cases to represent  you. The consequences for juvenile charges can include detention in a juvenile rehabilitation facility, community supervision or probation, fines, and harsher punishment for future offenses committed as an adult.


Avoid a juvenile conviction by hiring an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to fight a juvenile charge. Attorney John P. “Casey” Keirnan has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, both in juvenile and adult court. Call NOW to find out what it will take to resolve your case.

If you are convicted of a juvenile offense, you are not subject to imprisonment in state jail or prison. Instead, you could be sent to a juvenile detention center with other juvenile offenders. There are significant benefits to confinement in a juvenile facility as opposed to prison, which can be a traumatic experience for younger offenders. One difference between juvenile court and adult court is the type of judgment handed down upon conviction. In juvenile court, you are not found “guilty”, as in adult court. Instead, you are found to have “engaged in delinquent conduct”, which you do not have to disclose on future school and job applications.  Your record as a juvenile can, however, be used against you if you are  later charged as an adult as a means of increasing your punishment.

Failure to Appear in Juvenile Court

Anyone charged with a juvenile offense is required to appear in court, as are their parents or guardians. The court will issue a warrant for the arrest of anyone who fails to appear in juvenile court.  Failure to appear is a separate criminal offense with its own penalties and punishment. If you or someone you know has neglected a juvenile charge and failed to appear in juvenile court, there may be a warrant out for your arrest. Call a criminal defense attorney to find out whether a warrant for your arrest exists, and if so, how to fight it.

Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in Houston - Mercer & Keirnan

With more than 40 years of experience as a top criminal defense attorney in Harris County, Texas, we know what it takes to fight any criminal charge. The criminal attorneys at Mercer and Keirnan will work directly with you throughout trial and will make sure that your best interests are served before the court. Our juvenile attorneys are standing by 24/7 to discuss your case with you. Call us today!





(713) 236-9700 – M-F, 8am-5pm

(713) 208-7682 – after hours and weekends

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