Use of Juvenile Priors

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is whether a particular juvenile prior adjudication can be used to enhance a new adult criminal charge and bar probation eligibility. Under Penal Code ยง12.42, felony offenses can result in enhanced punishments for those previously convicted of felony offenses. When looking at a prior juvenile adjudication, certain … Read more

To Plea or Not to Plea?

As a takeoff from my presentation today at Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Defending Juveniles, I wanted to share an outline of how to approach advising your juvenile client to plea or not to plea. What is a Plea? In this context, a “plea” is similar to a plea-bargain in a criminal case. A “plea” … Read more

Sept 1, Day of New Laws

This September 1, the criminal justice system finds itself amidst change. Below are some of the highlights of our new legislation. Theft Through House Bill 1396, Texas passed legislation that changes the “value ladder” for many property crimes. Property crimes such as theft, mischief, graffiti, frauds and other various offenses use the “value” of the … Read more