(3) the child who is the alleged victim testifies or is available to testify at the hearing in court or in
any other manner provided by law.
Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 590, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch.
76, Sec. 14.31, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Sec. 54.032. DEFERRAL OF ADJUDICATION AND DISMISSAL OF CERTAIN CASES ON COMPLETION
OF TEEN COURT PROGRAM. (a) A juvenile court may defer adjudication proceedings under Section
54.03 for not more than 180 days if the child:
(1) is alleged to have engaged in conduct indicating a need for supervision that violated a penal law
of this state of the grade of misdemeanor that is punishable by fine only or a penal ordinance of a
political subdivision of this state;
(2) waives, under Section 51.09, the privilege against self-incrimination and testifies under oath
that the allegations are true;
(3) presents to the court an oral or written request to attend a teen court program; and
(4) has not successfully completed a teen court program in the two years preceding the date that the
alleged conduct occurred.
(b) The teen court program must be approved by the court.
(c) A child for whom adjudication proceedings are deferred under Subsection (a) shall complete the
teen court program not later than the 90th day after the date the teen court hearing to determine
punishment is held or the last day of the deferral period, whichever date is earlier. The court shall
dismiss the case with prejudice at the time the child presents satisfactory evidence that the child
has successfully completed the teen court program.
(d) A case dismissed under this section may not be part of the child's records for any purpose.
(e) The court may require a child who requests a teen court program to pay a fee not to exceed $10
that is set by the court to cover the costs of administering this section. The court shall deposit the fee
in the county treasury of the county in which the court is located. A child who requests a teen court
program and does not complete the program is not entitled to a refund of the fee.
(f) A court may transfer a case in which proceedings have been deferred as provided by this section
to a court in another county if the court to which the case is transferred consents. A case may not be
transferred unless it is within the jurisdiction of the court to which it is transferred.
(g) In addition to the fee authorized by Subsection (e), the court may require a child who requests a
teen court program to pay a $10 fee to cover the cost to the teen court for performing its duties under
this section. The court shall pay the fee to the teen court program, and the teen court program must
account to the court for the receipt and disbursal of the fee. A child who pays a fee under this
subsection is not entitled to a refund of the fee, regardless of whether the child successfully
completes the teen court program.
(h) Notwithstanding Subsection (e) or (g), a juvenile court that is located in the Texas-Louisiana
border region, as defined by Section 2056.002, Government Code, may charge a fee of $20 under those
Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1031, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch.
748, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 216, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th
Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 910, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.
Sec. 54.033. SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE, AIDS, AND HIV TESTING. (a) A child found at
the conclusion of an adjudication hearing under Section 54.03 of this code to have engaged in
delinquent conduct that included a violation of Sections 21.11(a)(1), 22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code,
shall undergo a medical procedure or test at the direction of the juvenile court designed to show or
help show whether the child has a sexually transmitted disease, acquired immune deficiency
syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection
with any other probable causative agent of AIDS. The court may direct the child to undergo the
procedure or test on the court's own motion or on the request of the victim of the delinquent conduct.
(b) If the child or another person who has the power to consent to medical treatment for the child
refuses to submit voluntarily or consent to the procedure or test, the court shall require the child to
submit to the procedure or test.
(c) The person performing the procedure or test shall make the test results available to the local
health authority. The local health authority shall be required to notify the victim of the delinquent
conduct and the person found to have engaged in the delinquent conduct of the test result.
(d) The state may not use the fact that a medical procedure or test was performed on a child under
this section or use the results of the procedure or test in any proceeding arising out of the delinquent
(e) Testing under this section shall be conducted in accordance with written infectious disease
control protocols adopted by the Texas Board of Health that clearly establish procedural guidelines
that provide criteria for testing and that respect the rights of the child and the victim of the
(f) Nothing in this section allows a court to release a test result to anyone other than a person
specifically authorized under this section. Section 81.103(d), Health and Safety Code, may not be
construed to allow the disclosure of test results under this section except as provided by this section.
Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 811, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
Sec. 54.034. LIMITED RIGHT TO APPEAL: WARNING. Before the court may accept a child's plea or
stipulation of evidence in a proceeding held under this title, the court shall inform the child that if
the court accepts the plea or stipulation and the court makes a disposition in accordance with the
agreement between the state and the child regarding the disposition of the case, the child may not
appeal an order of the court entered under Section 54.03, 54.04, or 54.05, unless:
(1) the court gives the child permission to appeal; or
(2) the appeal is based on a matter raised by written motion filed before the proceeding in which the
child entered the plea or agreed to the stipulation of evidence.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 74, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
Sec. 54.04. DISPOSITION HEARING. (a) The disposition hearing shall be separate, distinct, and
subsequent to the adjudication hearing. There is no right to a jury at the disposition hearing unless
the child is in jeopardy of a determinate sentence under Subsection (d)(3) or (m), in which case, the
child is entitled to a jury of 12 persons to determine the sentence, but only if the child so elects in
writing before the commencement of the voir dire examination of the jury panel. If a finding of
delinquent conduct is returned, the child may, with the consent of the attorney for the state, change
the child's election of one who assesses the disposition.
(b) At the disposition hearing, the juvenile court, notwithstanding the Texas Rules of Evidence or
Chapter 37, Code of Criminal Procedure, may consider written reports from probation officers,
professional court employees, or professional consultants in addition to the testimony of witnesses.
Prior to the disposition hearing, the court shall provide the attorney for the child with access to all
written matter to be considered in disposition. The court may order counsel not to reveal items to the
child or the child's parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem if such disclosure would materially
harm the treatment and rehabilitation of the child or would substantially decrease the likelihood of
receiving information from the same or similar sources in the future.
(c) No disposition may be made under this section unless the child is in need of rehabilitation or the
protection of the public or the child requires that disposition be made. If the court or jury does not so
find, the court shall dismiss the child and enter a final judgment without any disposition. No
disposition placing the child on probation outside the child's home may be made under this section
unless the court or jury finds that the child, in the child's home, cannot be provided the quality of
care and level of support and supervision that the child needs to meet the conditions of the probation.
(d) If the court or jury makes the finding specified in Subsection (c) allowing the court to make a
disposition in the case:
(1) the court or jury may, in addition to any order required or authorized under Section 54.041 or
54.042, place the child on probation on such reasonable and lawful terms as the court may
(A) in the child's own home or in the custody of a relative or other fit person; or
(B) subject to the finding under Subsection (c) on the placement of the child outside the child's
(i) a suitable foster home;
(ii) a suitable public or private residential treatment facility licensed by a state governmental
entity or exempted from licensure by state law, except a facility operated by the Texas Youth
(iii) a suitable public or private post-adjudication secure correctional facility that meets the
requirements of Section 51.125, except a facility operated by the Texas Youth Commission;
(2) if the court or jury found at the conclusion of the adjudication hearing that the child engaged in
delinquent conduct that violates a penal law of this state or the United States of the grade of felony
and if the petition was not approved by the grand jury under Section 53.045, the court may commit
the child to the Texas Youth Commission without a determinate sentence;
(3) if the court or jury found at the conclusion of the adjudication hearing that the child engaged in
delinquent conduct that included a violation of a penal law listed in Section 53.045(a) and if the
petition was approved by the grand jury under Section 53.045, the court or jury may sentence the
child to commitment in the Texas Youth Commission with a possible transfer to the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice for a term of:
(A) not more than 40 years if the conduct constitutes:
(i) a capital felony;
(ii) a felony of the first degree; or
(iii) an aggravated controlled substance felony;
(B) not more than 20 years if the conduct constitutes a felony of the second degree; or
(C) not more than 10 years if the conduct constitutes a felony of the third degree;
(4) the court may assign the child an appropriate sanction level and sanctions as provided by the
assignment guidelines in Section 59.003; or
(5) if applicable, the court or jury may make a disposition under Subsection (m).
(e) The Texas Youth Commission shall accept a person properly committed to it by a juvenile court
even though the person may be 17 years of age or older at the time of commitment.
(f) The court shall state specifically in the order its reasons for the disposition and shall furnish a
copy of the order to the child. If the child is placed on probation, the terms of probation shall be
written in the order.
(g) If the court orders a disposition under Subsection (d)(3) or (m) and there is an affirmative
finding that the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the conduct
or during immediate flight from commission of the conduct, the court shall enter the finding in the
order. If there is an affirmative finding that the deadly weapon was a firearm, the court shall enter
that finding in the order.
(h) At the conclusion of the dispositional hearing, the court shall inform the child of:
(1) the child's right to appeal, as required by Section 56.01; and
(2) the procedures for the sealing of the child's records under Section 58.003.
(i) If the court places the child on probation outside the child's home or commits the child to the
Texas Youth Commission, the court:
(1) shall include in its order its determination that:
(A) it is in the child's best interests to be placed outside the child's home;
(B) reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child's removal from the
home and to make it possible for the child to return to the child's home; and
(C) the child, in the child's home, cannot be provided the quality of care and level of support and
supervision that the child needs to meet the conditions of probation; and
(2) may approve an administrative body to conduct permanency hearings pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
Section 675 if required during the placement or commitment of the child.
(j) If the court or jury found that the child engaged in delinquent conduct that included a violation
of a penal law of the grade of felony or jailable misdemeanor, the court:
(1) shall require that the child's thumbprint be affixed or attached to the order; and
(2) may require that a photograph of the child be attached to the order.
(k) Except as provided by Subsection (m), the period to which a court or jury may sentence a person
to commitment to the Texas Youth Commission with a transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice under Subsection (d)(3) applies without regard to whether the person has previously been
adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct.
(l) Except as provided by Subsection (q), a court or jury may place a child on probation under
Subsection (d)(1) for any period, except that probation may not continue on or after the child's 18th
birthday. Except as provided by Subsection (q), the court may, before the period of probation ends,
extend the probation for any period, except that the probation may not extend to or after the child's
(m) The court or jury may sentence a child adjudicated for habitual felony conduct as described by
Section 51.031 to a term prescribed by Subsection (d)(3) and applicable to the conduct adjudicated in
the pending case if:
(1) a petition was filed and approved by a grand jury under Section 53.045 alleging that the child
engaged in habitual felony conduct; and
(2) the court or jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the allegation described by Subdivision
(1) in the grand jury petition is true.
(n) A court may order a disposition of secure confinement of a status offender adjudicated for
violating a valid court order only if:
(1) before the order is issued, the child received the full due process rights guaranteed by the
Constitution of the United States or the Texas Constitution; and
(2) the juvenile probation department in a report authorized by Subsection (b):
(A) reviewed the behavior of the child and the circumstances under which the child was brought
before the court;
(B) determined the reasons for the behavior that caused the child to be brought before the court; and
(C) determined that all dispositions, including treatment, other than placement in a secure
detention facility or secure correctional facility, have been exhausted or are clearly inappropriate.
(o) In a disposition under this title:
(1) a status offender may not, under any circumstances, be committed to the Texas Youth
Commission for engaging in conduct that would not, under state or local law, be a crime if
committed by an adult;
(2) a status offender may not, under any circumstances other than as provided under Subsection
(n), be placed in a post-adjudication secure correctional facility; and
(3) a child adjudicated for contempt of a county, justice, or municipal court order may not, under
any circumstances, be placed in a post-adjudication secure correctional facility or committed to the
Texas Youth Commission for that conduct.
(p) Except as provided by Subsection (l), a court that places a child on probation under Subsection
(d)(1) for conduct described by Section 54.0405(b) and punishable as a felony shall specify a
minimum probation period of two years.
(q) If a court or jury sentences a child to commitment in the Texas Youth Commission under
Subsection (d)(3) for a term of not more than 10 years, the court or jury may place the child on
probation under Subsection (d)(1) as an alternative to making the disposition under Subsection
(d)(3). The court shall prescribe the period of probation ordered under this subsection for a term of
not more than 10 years. The court may, before the sentence of probation expires, extend the
probationary period under Section 54.05, except that the sentence of probation and any extension
may not exceed 10 years. The court may, before the child's 18th birthday, discharge the child from
the sentence of probation. If a sentence of probation ordered under this subsection and any
extension of probation ordered under Section 54.05 will continue after the child's 18th birthday, the
court shall discharge the child from the sentence of probation on the child's 18th birthday unless
the court transfers the child to an appropriate district court under Section 54.051.
(r) If the judge orders a disposition under this section and there is an affirmative finding that the
victim or intended victim was younger than 17 years of age at the time of the conduct, the judge
shall enter the finding in the order.
(s) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263, Sec. 64(1), eff. June 8, 2007.
(t) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 263, Sec. 64(1), eff. June 8, 2007.
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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
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CASES ON COMPLETION OF
TEEN COURT PROGRAM
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PROBATION FOR CONDUCT
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OF MENTAL ILLNESS OR
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RIGHT TO APPEAL
RIGHTS OF VICTIMS
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