Is your minor child currently on probation for committing an offense as a juvenile? If so, you need to educate yourself about the juvenile justice system in general and juvenile probation in particular. Doing so could keep your child from going to a correctional facility.

As Houston criminal defense lawyers, we represent juveniles in all stages of the criminal justice process. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department offers some information regarding probation for juveniles.

Minors may be placed on probation.

A juvenile court judge may place a minor on probation. The child would serve the probation at the child’s home, at the home of a relative or another suitable person, at a foster home, at a residential treatment facility, or at a secure, post-adjudication correctional facility.

What happens when a child is placed on probation?

When a child is placed on probation, the court may order the child to attend school, follow curfews, attend counseling, participate in certain programs, perform community service, and make restitution payments. In some situations, the court must order the Texas Department of Public Safety to suspend a juvenile’s driver’s license, or to deny the issuance of a driver’s license. In most instances, the probation will not extend past the child’s 18th birthday.

A child who is placed on probation is assigned to a probation officer. This officer meets with the child regularly to provide supervision and guidance. The probation officer also monitors whether the minor is complying with the terms of probation and reports concerns to the court.

Are parents expected to participate in a child’s probation?

Yes. Parents may be expected to participate in their child’s probation. Sometimes parents are expected to attend family counseling sessions or parenting classes. Sometimes parents are expected to assist in making restitution payments and in paying part or all of the costs associated with a required treatment program. Sometimes, parents may be ordered to perform community service with their children.

What happens if a child breaks a term of probation?

If a child breaks any of the terms of probation, the minor may be returned to juvenile court for a hearing to modify or to revoke the probation. Before that happens, the child’s parent should contact a Texas probation revocation attorney. A probation revocation attorney can work with the family to minimize the consequences.

To speak to a Houston, Texas, criminal defense lawyer about your child’s probation situation, contact the experienced father-son criminal defense team at Topek & Topek, Attorneys at Law (888) 661-5030.