Juveniles are defined by law as persons 16 years of age or younger. Minors are defined as persons 21 years of age or younger on alcohol-related charges or 18 years of age or younger on tobacco-related charges.
Required Court Appearance
The law requires that all juveniles must appear in open court with a parent or legal guardian present. Minors are also required to appear in open court on alcohol or tobacco related charges. However, a parent or legal guardian is not required to be present with a minor. The Court will automatically set juveniles and minors on a docket and notice of the hearing date and time will be mailed to the address on the front of the citation that was issued.
Pursuant to Texas Law, Article 45.057(j), Code of Criminal Procedure, a child and parent are required to appear before the Court and have an obligation to provide the Court in writing with the current address and residence of the child. This obligation does not end when the child reaches the age of 17. On or before the seventh day after the date the child or parent changes residence (any place where the child lives or resides for a period of at least 30 days), the child or parent shall notify the Court in writing of the current address. Failure to provide notice is considered a Class C offense. The obligation to provide notice terminates on discharge and satisfaction of the judgment or final disposition not requiring the finding of guilt.
Failure To Appear
If the juvenile or minor fails to appear at the scheduled Court hearing, a charge of Failure To Appear will be added. For juveniles, notification will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety to either keep the juvenile from obtaining a driver’s license or suspend a current driver’s license until appearance is made. For minors, a warrant for arrest will be issued.