James R. Makin Law Firm

JUVENILE Q & A

Q.     What is the Texas Youth Commission (TYC)?
A.     The Texas Youth Commission is an agency for the State of Texas which operates the institutional component of the Juvenile Justice System. TYC provides for the care, custody, rehabilitation and re-establishment in society of the juveniles who are committed by the courts for having engaged in "delinquent conduct." The Texas Youth Commission operates both institutional and community-based residential programs and provides supervision for juveniles upon their release into the community.


Q.     When may a juvenile/child be committed to the Texas Youth Commission (TYC)?
A.     A juvenile may be committed to the Texas Youth Commission if: (1) the child is adjudicated for a felony offense or violates probation for a felony offense; (2) the child is adjudicated for a third misdemeanor offense or violates probation on the second misdemeanor adjudication; and (3) the child has been adjudicated for a misdemeanor offense and has previously been adjudicated for any felony offense. All commitments to the TYC, except under the "Determinate Sentence Act" are for a intermediate term not to extend beyond the child's 21st birthday.


Q.     What is delinquent conduct as it applies to juveniles?
A.     (1) Conduct that violates a penal law of Texas or the United States that is punishable by imprisonment or by confinement in jail; (2) Conduct that violates a municipal or justice court order under circumstances that would constitute contempt of court.


Q.     Who is subject to a juvenile court?
A.     To invoke the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, an alleged juvenile offender must be a person who is between 10 and 17 years of age, or a person who is under the age of 18 who is alleged or found to have engaged in "delinquent conduct" or "conduct indicating a need for supervision" as a result of acts committed before becoming 17 years of age.


Q.     What is the "Automatic Restriction Access to Juvenile Records System"?
A.     It is the system that limits access to a juvenile's records after the juvenile reaches the age of 21, if the juvenile does not commit any criminal offenses after reaching 17 years of age.


Q.     How does the "Juvenile Restricted Access Records System" benefit my child?
A.     If a juvenile's records are placed on restricted access the juvenile may deny the existence of the juvenile record and deny the arrest, prosecution or adjudication ever happened.


Q.     If a juvenile's records are placed on restricted access, who will be denied access?
A.     Employers, educational institutions and other persons will be denied access. Only criminal justice will have access and only for criminal justice purposes.

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