Are you wondering how to prevent juvenile crimes in Texas? If so, this blog post is for you. As a lawyer based in Texas, I have witnessed numerous cases of juvenile delinquency and the severe consequences it can have on young people and their families. Juvenile crimes, committed by minors under the age of 18, range from minor infractions to serious felonies. In this blog post, I will share with you some of the most common juvenile crimes in Texas, their penalties, and effective strategies to prevent them.

Theft: Taking or controlling someone else’s property without consent.

Theft is one of the most common juvenile crimes in Texas. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property stolen. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, or probation. To avoid theft charges, respect other people’s property and don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you.

According to the Texas Penal Code, theft occurs when a person unlawfully takes or exercises control over another person’s property without their consent and with the intent to deprive them of it. Theft can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property stolen. For example, theft of property worth less than $100 is a Class C misdemeanor, while theft of property worth more than $300,000 is a first-degree felony.

The penalties for theft vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors, the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000, community service, restitution, counseling, or probation-like supervision. For felonies, the court may impose detention, placement in a residential facility, or transfer to adult court. Additionally, theft convictions may affect the juvenile’s future employment, education, or housing opportunities. You can read our blog on theft here.

To avoid theft charges, juveniles should respect other people’s property and not take anything that does not belong to them. They should also avoid peer pressure or the temptation to steal for fun or profit. If they witness or suspect theft, they should report it to the authorities or their parents. See our Blog on “Theft” https://cueroattorney.com/what-are-the-types-of-theft-under-texas-law/

Assault: Harming or threatening another person.

Assault is another common juvenile crime in Texas. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the injury inflicted, the use of a weapon, or the status of the victim. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, anger management classes, or probation. To avoid assault charges, learn how to control your emotions and impulses, and don’t resort to violence when you are angry or frustrated.

According to the Texas Penal Code, assault occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another person, threatens another person with imminent bodily injury, or causes physical contact with another person that can be reasonably regarded as offensive or provocative. Assault can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the injury inflicted, the use of a weapon, or the status of the victim. For example, assault causing bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor, while assault with a deadly weapon is a second-degree felony.

The penalties for assault vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors, the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000, community service, restitution, counseling, anger management classes, or probation-like supervision. For felonies, the court may impose detention, placement in a residential facility, or transfer to adult court. Additionally, assault convictions may affect the juvenile’s reputation, relationships, or self-esteem.

To avoid assault charges, juveniles should learn how to control their emotions and impulses and not resort to violence when they are angry or frustrated. They should also learn how to resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully without hurting others. If they are involved in or witness an assault situation, they should seek help from an adult or call 911.

Drug-related offenses: Possessing or using illegal substances.

Drug-related offenses are also common among juveniles in Texas. They can include possession, distribution, or sale of illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or prescription drugs without a valid prescription. They can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the type, quantity, and purpose of the substance involved. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, drug education classes, driver’s license suspension, ignition interlock device installation, or probation. To avoid drug-related charges, stay away from illegal substances and don’t use or share them with others.

According to the Texas Health and Safety Code, drug-related offenses include possession,

distribution,

or sale of illegal substances such as marijuana,

cocaine,

heroin,

methamphetamine,

or prescription drugs without a valid prescription. Drug-related offenses can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the type,

quantity,

and purpose of the substance involved. For example,

possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor,

while possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver is a first-degree felony.

The penalties for drug-related offenses vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors,

the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000,

community service,

restitution,

counseling,

drug education classes,

driver’s license suspension,

ignition interlock device installation,

or probation-like supervision. For felonies,

the court may impose detention,

placement in a residential facility,

or transfer to adult court. Additionally,

drug-related convictions may affect the juvenile’s health,

mental state,

or addiction issues.

To avoid drug-related charges,

juveniles should stay away from illegal substances and not use or share them with others. They should also avoid peer pressure or curiosity to experiment with drugs for recreation or escape. If they have a drug problem or know someone who does,

they should seek help from a professional or a trusted adult.

Drug-related offenses can impair one’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, and can lead to accidents, injuries, or deaths. Drug-related offenses can also damage one’s brain, liver, heart, and other organs, and can increase the risk of developing various diseases and disorders. Drug-related offenses can also affect one’s mood, behavior, and personality, and can cause problems with one’s family, friends, school, or work.

Therefore, it is wise for juveniles to stay away from drug-related offenses and their negative consequences. By doing so, they can protect their health, safety, and future. See our Blog on illegal drugs in Texas:https://cueroattorney.com/which-drugs-are-generally-illegal-in-texas/

Vandalism: Damaging or destroying another person’s property.

Vandalism is another frequent juvenile crime in Texas. It can include acts such as graffiti, breaking windows, slashing tires, or setting fires. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property damaged or destroyed. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, or probation. To avoid vandalism charges, respect other people’s property and don’t damage or destroy it for fun or revenge.

According to the Texas Penal Code, vandalism occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys another person’s property without their consent. Vandalism can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property damaged or destroyed. For example, vandalism of property worth less than $100 is a Class C misdemeanor, while vandalism of property worth more than $300,000 is a first-degree felony.

The penalties for vandalism vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors, the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000, community service, restitution, counseling, or probation-like supervision. For felonies, the court may impose detention, placement in a residential facility, or transfer to adult court. Additionally, vandalism convictions may affect the juvenile’s sense of responsibility, respect, or remorse.

To avoid vandalism charges, juveniles should respect other people’s property and not damage or destroy it for fun or revenge. They should also find constructive ways to express themselves or cope with their emotions without harming others. If they witness or commit vandalism, they should report it to the authorities or their parents.

Curfew violations: Being out in public places during prohibited hours.

Curfew violations are also common among juveniles in Texas. They occur when juveniles are out in public places during prohibited hours without a valid reason or permission from their parents or guardians. Curfew laws vary by city or county, but generally they restrict juveniles under the age of 17 from being out between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and between midnight and 6 a.m. on weekends. The penalties are usually minor and may include a warning, a citation, a fine, community service, counseling, or probation. To avoid curfew violations, obey the curfew laws and don’t stay out late without a good reason or permission from your parents or guardians.

According to the Texas Local Government Code, curfew laws are enacted by local governments to protect juveniles from crime, violence, or other dangers that may occur at night. Curfew laws vary by city or county, but generally they restrict juveniles under the age of 17 from being out in public places during prohibited hours without a valid reason or permission from their parents or guardians. Some valid reasons include attending school, work, religious, or civic activities, responding to an emergency, or exercising constitutional rights.

The penalties for curfew violations are usually minor and may include a warning, a citation, a fine of up to $500, community service, counseling, or probation-like supervision. However, repeated curfew violations may lead to more serious consequences such as detention, placement in a residential facility, or transfer to adult court. Additionally, curfew violations may affect the juvenile’s safety, academic performance, or social life.

To avoid curfew violations, juveniles should obey the curfew laws and not stay out late without a good reason or permission from their parents or guardians. They should also plan ahead and arrange for transportation or communication if they need to be out during curfew hours. If they are stopped by the police for violating curfew, they should cooperate and provide truthful information.

Curfew laws are designed to protect juveniles from the dangers and temptations of the night. By following them, juveniles can ensure their safety and well-being.

Alcohol-related offenses: Possessing or consuming alcohol by minors.

Alcohol-related offenses are also prevalent among juveniles in Texas. They include possession or consumption of alcohol by minors under the age of 21. They can also include driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), public intoxication (PI), furnishing alcohol to minors (FAM), or minor in possession of alcohol (MIP). They can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances and consequences of the offense. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, alcohol education classes, driver’s license suspension, ignition interlock device installation, or probation. To avoid alcohol-related charges, abstain from alcohol and don’t use or share them with others.

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, alcohol-related offenses include possession or consumption of alcohol by minors under the age of 21. Alcohol-related offenses can also include driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), public intoxication (PI), furnishing alcohol to minors (FAM), or minor in possession of alcohol (MIP). Alcohol-related offenses can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances and consequences of the offense. For example, DUI causing serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony, while MIP is a Class C misdemeanor.

The penalties for alcohol-related offenses vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors, the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000, community service, restitution, counseling, alcohol education classes, driver’s license suspension, ignition interlock device installation, or probation-like supervision . For felonies, the court may impose detention, placement in a residential facility, or transfer to adult court . Additionally, alcohol-related convictions may affect the juvenile’s health, mental state, or addiction issues.

To avoid alcohol-related charges, juveniles should abstain from alcohol and not use or share them with others. They should also avoid peer pressure or curiosity to experiment with alcohol for recreation or escape. If they have an alcohol problem or know someone who does, they should seek help from a professional or a trusted adult.

Alcohol can impair one’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, and can lead to accidents, injuries, or deaths. Alcohol can also damage one’s brain, liver, heart, and other organs, and can increase the risk of developing various diseases and disorders. Alcohol can also affect one’s mood, behavior, and personality, and can cause problems with one’s family, friends, school, or work.

Therefore, it is wise for juveniles to stay away from alcohol and its negative consequences. By doing so, they can protect their health, safety, and future.

Gang-related activity: Joining or associating with criminal gangs.

Gang-related activity is another frequent juvenile crime in Texas. It occurs when juveniles join or associate with criminal gangs that engage in illegal or violent activities such as drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, assault, murder, or turf wars. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature and extent of the involvement and the harm caused by the gang. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, gang intervention programs, or probation. To avoid gang-related charges, steer clear of gangs and don’t join or associate with them for any reason.

According to the Texas Penal Code, gang-related activity occurs when juveniles join or associate with criminal gangs that engage in illegal or violent activities such as drug trafficking,

robbery,

extortion,

assault,

murder,

or turf wars. Gang-related activity can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature and extent of the involvement and the harm caused by the gang. For example,

participation in organized criminal activity is a state jail felony,

while directing the activities of a criminal street gang is a first-degree felony.

The penalties for gang-related activity vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors,

the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000,

community service,

restitution,

counseling,

gang intervention programs,

or probation-like supervision. For felonies,

the court may impose detention,

placement in a residential facility,

or transfer to adult court. Additionally,

gang-related convictions may affect the juvenile’s safety,

identity,

or future prospects.

To avoid gang-related charges,

juveniles should steer clear of gangs and not join or associate with them for any reason. They should also avoid places or situations where gangs are known to operate or congregate. If they are approached or pressured by gang members,

they should refuse and seek help from an adult or the police.

Gang-related activity can expose juveniles to crime,

violence,

or other dangers that can harm their lives or others. Gang-related activity can also influence juveniles to adopt negative values,

attitudes,

or behaviors that can hinder their personal growth or development. Gang-related activity can also affect juveniles’ relationships with their family,

friends,

school,

or community.

Therefore,

it is smart for juveniles to stay away from gang-related activity and its negative consequences. By doing so,

they can protect their safety,

identity,

and future.

Weapon offenses: Possessing or using weapons unlawfully.

Weapon offenses are also common among juveniles in Texas. They include unlawful possession or use of weapons such as firearms, knives, brass knuckles, clubs, or explosives. They can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the type of weapon, the manner of possession or use, and the intent or result of the offense. The penalties can include fines, community service, restitution, counseling, weapon education classes, or probation. To avoid weapon charges, don’t possess or use any weapons without a valid reason or permission from your parents or guardians.

According to the Texas Penal Code, weapon offenses include unlawful possession or use of weapons such as firearms, knives, brass knuckles, clubs, or explosives. Weapon offenses can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the type of weapon, the manner of possession or use, and the intent or result of the offense. For example, unlawful carrying of a handgun by a minor is a Class A misdemeanor, while aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is a second-degree felony.

The penalties for weapon offenses vary depending on the type and degree of the offense. For misdemeanors, the court may impose a fine of up to $4,000, community service, restitution, counseling, weapon education classes, or probation-like supervision. For felonies, the court may impose detention, placement in a residential facility, or transfer to adult court. Additionally, weapon convictions may affect the juvenile’s rights, privileges, or responsibilities.

To avoid weapon charges, juveniles should not possess or use any weapons without a valid reason or permission from their parents or guardians. They should also follow the laws and regulations regarding weapon ownership and usage in Texas. If they encounter or witness a weapon situation, they should report it to the authorities or their parents.

Weapon offenses can endanger one’s life or others’ lives, and can lead to accidents, injuries, or deaths. Weapon offenses can also damage one’s property, reputation, or character, and can cause problems with the law enforcement or justice system. Weapon offenses can also affect one’s moral values, judgment, or conscience, and can cause guilt or remorse.

Therefore, it is wise for juveniles to stay away from weapon offenses and their negative consequences. By doing so, they can protect their rights, privileges, and future.

Conclusion: How to Prevent Juvenile Crimes in Texas

A teen vandalizing a brick wall with a spray can

In conclusion, juvenile crimes are serious offenses that can have negative impacts on the lives of young people and their families in Texas. Juvenile crimes can result in legal consequences such as detention, placement, transfer, fines, restitution, or supervision, as well as personal consequences such as health problems, mental issues, addiction, reputation damage, relationship breakdown, or future difficulties.

Therefore, it is important for parents and teens to be aware of the most common juvenile crimes in Texas and how to prevent them. Some of the best ways to prevent juvenile delinquency are:

  • Educating oneself and others about the laws and penalties for juvenile crimes
  • Developing positive values and attitudes that respect oneself and others
  • Seeking help and support from professionals or trusted adults when facing problems or challenges
  • Engaging in constructive activities that enhance one’s skills and interests
  • Avoiding negative influences such as peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, gangs, or weapons

By following these tips, juveniles can stay out of trouble and achieve their goals and dreams.

I hope you found this blog post helpful and informative.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. Thank you for reading!

For more information about the juvenile justice system in Texas, you can read the full text of the Texas Family Code, Chapter 51

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.51.htm.