Is Your Juvenile “Under Arrest”?

You have just been notified by the local authorities that your juvenile has been taken into custody.  Does that mean he or she has been “arrested” for a criminal offense?  For juvenile defense, Denton County attorney Craig Price turns to the Texas Family Code.  Texas Family Code Section 52.01(b) provides: (b) The taking of a child into custody is not an arrest except for the purpose of determining the validity of taking him into custody or the validity of a search under the laws and constitution of this state or of the United States.

And Section 51.095(d) defines a child “in custody” as follows:

(1) while the child is in a detention facility or other place of confinement;

(2) while the child is in the custody of an officer; or

(3) during or after the interrogation of the child by an officer if the child is in the possession of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and is suspected to have engaged in conduct that violates a penal law of this state.

The timeline between “taken into custody” and “release” is very important.  Attorney Craig Price will make sure the steps taken by Denton County authorities against your child are totally by the book.

Texas Family Code §52.01 dictates when a child may be taken into custody.

§52.01. Taking into Custody

(a) A child may be taken into custody:

(1) pursuant to an order of the ,juvenile court under’ the provisions of this subtitle; (2) pursuant to the laws of arrest;

(3) by a law enforcement officer, including a school district peace officer commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, if there is probable cause to believe that the child has engaged in:

(A) conduct that violates a penal law of this state or a penal ordinance of any political subdivision of this state; or

(B) delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(C) conduct that violates a condition of probation imposed by the, juvenile court;

(4) by a probation officer if there is probable cause to believe that the child has violated a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court; or

(5) pursuant to a directive to apprehend issued as provided by Section 52.015; or

(6) by a probation officer if there is probable cause to believe that the child has violated a condition of release imposed by the juvenile court or referee under section 54.01.

Juvenile detention is not only dictated under the Texas Family Code, but also the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.  Article 14 (arrest without a warrant), and article 15 (arrest with a warrant), apply to juveniles.  In any situation that an adult can betaken into custody, a child can also be taken into custody.

A juvenile can be taken into custody by:   a law-enforcement officer, including a school district peace officer commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, if there is probable cause to believe the child has engaged in:

(A) conduct that violates a penal law of this state or a penal ordinance of any political subdivision of this state; or

(B) delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision;

(C) conduct that violate a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court.

Denton County attorney Craig Price knows that once a child is taken into custody, the law enforcement officer’s must follow Texas Family Code §52.02:

Release or Delivery to Court

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a person taking a child into custody, without unnecessary delay and without first taking the child to any place other than a juvenile processing office designated under Section 52.025, shall do one of the following:

(1) release the child to a parent, guardian, custodian of the child, or other responsible

adult upon that person’s promise to bring the child before the juvenile court as

requested by the court;

(2) bring the child before the office or official designated by the juvenile court if there is probable cause to believe that the child engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision, or conduct that violates a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court;

(3) bring the child to a detention facility designated by the juvenile court;

(4) bring the child to a secure detention facility as provided by Section 51.12(j);

(5) bring the child to a medical facility if the child is believed to suffer from a serious physical condition or illness that requires prompt treatment; or,

(6) dispose of the case under Section 52.03.

(7) if school is in session and the child is a student, bring the child to the school campus to which the child is assigned if the principal, the principal’s designee, or a peace officer assigned to the campus agrees to assume responsibility for’ the child for the remainder of the school day. 

The terms “without unnecessary delay” and “without first taken the child to any place other than a juvenile processing office designated under §52.025” are very important. Denton County attorney Craig Price can and will determine if procedure was followed, and if not, how the law enforcement officer’s deviating from the procedure will affect your child’s case.

If your child has been “taken into custody” and you need help, please contact Denton County defense attorney Craig Price with Hammerle Finley Law Firm.