What once would have got you detention or in house suspension can now get your child a ticket for disorderly conduct. Yes, according to The Texas Tribune, Texas Appleseed released new data this week regarding criminal citations issued in the schools.
In Dallas public schools in 2006 and 2007, there were 92 criminal citations given to 10 year olds. Such tickets aren’t completely unheard of for children as young as 6, the report stated. True, disorderly conduct is a minor criminal charge, but it’s a criminal charge and these are children.
Studies have shown that introducing children into the criminal justice system in this manner at a young age has a tendency to desensitize them to the system in general. Does this mean all kids ticketed for disorderly conduct will be in prison as adults? No, but it certainly doesn’t keep them out of future trouble.
Most tickets like these are handled with a fine and occasionally through community service. As the article portrays, the lesson taught to children by ticketing them for a classroom disruption is highly questionable. These incidences are quite different from criminal activity an officer might see on the streets.
Whether your child is arrested for a serious crime or ticketed at school, their introduction into the criminal justice system can be traumatic. The criminal processes for juveniles can be confusing even for an adult
Oftentimes criminal matters are resolved using what’s called an informal disposition like deferred prosecution or even a warning. Sometimes, however, your child has to go to court and this is when you will want an experienced defense attorney on your side.
Typically, when a child is sent through the Texas criminal system it is with a delinquency petition and an adjudication hearing. In very serious situations, however, they can be certified or charged as an adult.
If your child is facing criminal charges and you have questions, contact our offices today.