|FAMILY CODE CHAPTER 53. PROCEEDINGS PRIOR TO JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS
Sec. 53.01. PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION AND DETERMINATIONS; NOTICE TO
(a) On referral of a person believed to be a child or on referral of the person's case to
the office or official designated by the juvenile board, the intake officer, probation
officer, or other person authorized by the board shall conduct a preliminary
investigation to determine whether:
(1) the person referred to juvenile court is a child within the meaning of this title;
(2) there is probable cause to believe the person:
(A) engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision; or
(B) is a nonoffender who has been taken into custody and is being held solely for
deportation out of the United States.
(b) If it is determined that the person is not a child or there is no probable cause, the
person shall immediately be released.
(c) When custody of a child is given to the office or official designated by the
juvenile board, the intake officer, probation officer, or other person authorized by
the board shall promptly give notice of the whereabouts of the child and a
statement of the reason the child was taken into custody to the child's parent,
guardian, or custodian unless the notice given under Section 52.02(b) provided fair
notice of the child's present whereabouts.
(d) Unless the juvenile board approves a written procedure proposed by the office of
prosecuting attorney and chief juvenile probation officer which provides otherwise,
if it is determined that the person is a child and, regardless of a finding of probable
cause, or a lack thereof, there is an allegation that the child engaged in delinquent
conduct of the grade of felony, or conduct constituting a misdemeanor offense
involving violence to a person or the use or possession of a firearm, illegal knife, or
club, as those terms are defined by Section 46.01, Penal Code, or prohibited weapon,
as described by Section 46.05, Penal Code, the case shall be promptly forwarded to
the office of the prosecuting attorney, accompanied by:
(1) all documents that accompanied the current referral; and
(2) a summary of all prior referrals of the child to the juvenile court, juvenile
probation department, or a detention facility.
(e) If a juvenile board adopts an alternative referral plan under Subsection (d), the
board shall register the plan with the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission.
(f) A juvenile board may not adopt an alternate referral plan that does not require
the forwarding of a child's case to the prosecuting attorney as provided by
Subsection (d) if probable cause exists to believe that the child engaged in
delinquent conduct that violates Section 19.03, Penal Code (capital murder), or
Section 19.02, Penal Code (murder).
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts
1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 21, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch.
1374, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 18, eff. Sept.
1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Sec. 53.012. REVIEW BY PROSECUTOR. (a) The prosecuting attorney shall
promptly review the circumstances and allegations of a referral made under
Section 53.01 for legal sufficiency and the desirability of prosecution and may file a
petition without regard to whether probable cause was found under Section 53.01.
(b) If the prosecuting attorney does not file a petition requesting the adjudication of
the child referred to the prosecuting attorney, the prosecuting attorney shall:
(1) terminate all proceedings, if the reason is for lack of probable cause; or
(2) return the referral to the juvenile probation department for further
(c) The juvenile probation department shall promptly refer a child who has been
returned to the department under Subsection (b)(2) and who fails or refuses to
participate in a program of the department to the prosecuting attorney for review
of the child's case and determination of whether to file a petition.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 22, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
Sec. 53.013. PROGRESSIVE SANCTIONS PROGRAM. Each juvenile board may
adopt a progressive sanctions program using the model for progressive sanctions in
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 22, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by
Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch.
479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Sec. 53.02. RELEASE FROM DETENTION. (a) If a child is brought before the court
or delivered to a detention facility as authorized by Sections 51.12(a)(3) and (4),
the intake or other authorized officer of the court shall immediately make an
investigation and shall release the child unless it appears that his detention is
warranted under Subsection (b). The release may be conditioned upon
requirements reasonably necessary to insure the child's appearance at later
proceedings, but the conditions of the release must be in writing and filed with the
office or official designated by the court and a copy furnished to the child.
(b) A child taken into custody may be detained prior to hearing on the petition only
(1) the child is likely to abscond or be removed from the jurisdiction of the court;
(2) suitable supervision, care, or protection for the child is not being provided by a
parent, guardian, custodian, or other person;
(3) the child has no parent, guardian, custodian, or other person able to return the
child to the court when required;
(4) the child may be dangerous to himself or herself or the child may threaten the
safety of the public if released;
(5) the child has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously
been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term in jail or prison and is likely
to commit an offense if released; or
(6) the child's detention is required under Subsection (f).
(c) If the child is not released, a request for detention hearing shall be made and
promptly presented to the court, and an informal detention hearing as provided in
Section 54.01 of this code shall be held promptly, but not later than the time
required by Section 54.01 of this code.
(d) A release of a child to an adult under Subsection (a) must be conditioned on the
agreement of the adult to be subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and to
an order of contempt by the court if the adult, after notification, is unable to
produce the child at later proceedings.
(e) Unless otherwise agreed in the memorandum of understanding under Section
37.011, Education Code, in a county with a population greater than 125,000, if a
child being released under this section is expelled under Section 37.007, Education
Code, the release shall be conditioned on the child's attending a juvenile justice
alternative education program pending a deferred prosecution or formal court
disposition of the child's case.
(f) A child who is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct and to have used,
possessed, or exhibited a firearm, as defined by Section 46.01, Penal Code, in the
commission of the offense shall be detained until the child is released at the direction
of the judge of the juvenile court, a substitute judge authorized by Section 51.04(f),
or a referee appointed under Section 51.04(g), including an oral direction by
telephone, or until a detention hearing is held as required by Section 54.01.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1460, ch. 544, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1973. Amended by Acts
1979, 66th Leg., p. 1102, ch. 518, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 1979; Acts 1981, 67th Leg.,
p. 291, ch. 115, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 23,
eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 17, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts
1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1374, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch.
232, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
Sec. 53.03. DEFERRED PROSECUTION. (a) Subject to Subsections (e) and (g), if
the preliminary investigation required by Section 53.01 of this code results in a
determination that further proceedings in the case are authorized, the probation
officer or other designated officer of the court, subject to the direction of the juvenile
court, may advise the parties for a reasonable period of time not to exceed six
months concerning deferred prosecution and rehabilitation of a child if:
(1) deferred prosecution would be in the interest of the public and the child;
(2) the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian consent with knowledge that
consent is not obligatory; and
(3) the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian are informed that they may
terminate the deferred prosecution at any point and petition the court for a court
hearing in the case.
(b) Except as otherwise permitted by this title, the child may not be detained
during or as a result of the deferred prosecution process.
(c) An incriminating statement made by a participant to the
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|Juvenile Justice Code
CONDUCT INDICATING A
NEED FOR SUPERVISION
ADMISSIBILITY OF A
STATEMENT OF A CHILD
PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE
FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM
REFERRAL TO JUVENILE
COURT; NOTICE TO PARENTS
TIME SET FOR HEARING
COUNTY, JUSTICE, OR
DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN
CASES ON COMPLETION OF
TEEN COURT PROGRAM
CHILD PLACED ON
PROBATION FOR CONDUCT
PAYMENT OF PROBATION
WITH MENTAL ILLNESS OR
LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY
FOR CONDUCT AS A RESULT
OF MENTAL ILLNESS OR
FINDING OF LACK OF
RIGHT TO APPEAL
RIGHTS OF VICTIMS
Toll Free 1-(866)-454-7312
Principal Office 2016 Main St. #808 Houston, Texas 77002
|Houston Juvenile Lawyer Andy Nolen
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|HOUSTON JUVENILE DEFENSE ATTORNEY
OVER 17 YEARS CRIMINAL LAW EXPERIENCE
LICENSED IN BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL COURT
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