Your child has been taken into custody.  What are your rights as his parent? Not many, but Denton County attorney Craig Price will make sure that as the child’s parent, you will know what your rights are and what your child’s rights are concerning contact with his parents.

Texas Family Code § 52.02(b) states:

52.02(b) A person taking a child into custody shall promptly give notice of his action and a statement of the reason for taking the child into custody, to:

(1) the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian; and

(2) the office or official designated by the juvenile court.

“Promptly” is  the operative word here.  In Pham v. State, a two hour delay in notification of parents by officers who took the child to a processing office to take statement invalidated the child’s confession.

Both parent and child have rights regarding a parent’s access to his child while his child is in custody.  Section 52.025(c) states: (c) A child may not be left unattended in a juvenile processing office and is entitled to be accompanied by the child’s parent, guardian, or other custodian or by the child’s attorney.

Specific rights of the parents are dictated by Texas Family Code §61.103. Right of Access To Child which states:

(a) The parent of a child taken into custody for delinquent conduct, conduct indicating a need for supervision, or conduct that violates a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court has the right to communicate in person privately with the child for reasonable periods of time while the child is in:

(1) a juvenile processing office;

(2) a secure detention facility;

(3) a secure correctional facility;

(4) a court-ordered placement facility; or

(5) the custody of the Texas Youth Commission.

(b) The time, place, and conditions of the private, in-person communication may be regulated to prevent disruption of scheduled activities and to maintain the safety and security of the facility.

Denton County attorney Craig Price will make sure you are afforded the rights as set out in the Texas Family Code.  Section 61.103 gives the parent the right to be with and speak with his or her child, in private, after he has been taken into custody and while he is in the juvenile processing office (where confessions are taken from a child in custody).  Becausse this right is specifically for the parent, §61.106 does not allow the child or the child’s attorney to use failure of the parent to be present with the child as a defense during trial.

Another time frame to consider is Texas Family Code §52.025(d) which states:

A child may not be detained in a juvenile processing office for longer than six hours.

If your child has been arrested in North Texas, including Denton and Collin Counties, contact attorney Craig Price with Hammerle Finley Law Firm.