When a juvenile is referred to Tarrant County Juvenile Services by a local law enforcement agency for an alleged law violation, and is not currently under probation supervision, the case is directed to the Court Intake Unit and assigned to a Court Intake Probation Officer. These law violations are categorized as Felonies, Misdemeanors (Class A & B), and Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision. The assigned Court Intake Probation Officer will meet with the juvenile and parent during a formal intake appointment to discuss the events alleged in the police report and gain information to determine an appropriate disposition of the case. This intake interview includes the use of a series of questions to assist with determining the child's strengths and needs.
In circumstances where the child has had no previous referrals to the Tarrant County Juvenile Services and if the law violation is of a less serious magnitude, it may be possible to divert the case from formal court proceedings to Supervisory Caution or Deferred Prosecution. Additional opportunities are considered including Community Service Restitution, mediation, and referrals to community and contract service providers.
Law violations involving crimes against persons, weapons or felonies are usually reviewed by the Criminal District Attorney, who decides whether a petition of delinquent conduct should be filed. When the Criminal District Attorney files a petition of delinquent conduct, the case is set for a court hearing. If the child is in detention, the court hearing normally will be set within three working days following the detention hearing. If the child is not in detention, the hearing normally will be scheduled in approximately two to three weeks.
A Court Intake Officer is present during all court hearings and provides formal, objective information to the court for any scheduled court proceedings, including Detention, Adjudication and Disposition hearings.
Detention Hearing: At this hearing the judge must decide whether to continue detaining the child or whether the law violation can be safely and effectively resolved if the child goes home in the meantime.
Adjudication Hearing: The result of this hearing is a decision that a delinquent act was or was not committed by the youth as alleged.
Disposition Hearing: The judge reviews the social history and may order probation supervision, placement out of the home, or commitment of the child to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
When a juvenile's case is set for a court hearing, the child must be represented by an attorney.
By statue, all juveniles referred for an offense of a Class B Misdemeanor or greater, must be fingerprinted and photographed. If charges prove to be unfounded, these records are destroyed.
A Juvenile Intake Officer is on duty 24-hours-a-day, and seven-days-a-week to screen juveniles who have been taken into custody and referred to Tarrant County Juvenile Services by a law enforcement agency or court. The Intake Officer is responsible for determining whether the juvenile should be detained or released as mandated by the Texas Family Code. A parent or guardian is informed of the juvenile's referral to Tarrant County Juvenile Services and what to expect if he/she is released or detained. If a juvenile is detained, a detention hearing will be held on the next business day following their admission. A parent or guardian must be present for the hearing.
Detention hearings are held every:
Monday through Thursday from 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Friday's from 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
In Deferred Prosecution Probation (DPP), a youth referred for
prosecutable charges may consent to a period of voluntary supervision
in lieu of formal probation. The youth must agree to abide by certain
behavioral conditions up to a six-month supervision period. DPP is
typically considered when a youth has been charged with a Class A or B
misdemeanor or for a singular, first time felony property offense. The
department provides services to minimize the liklihood of future
contact with police or juvenile authorities. A consent to supervision
is executed outlining expectations per the agreement. At any time
during the period of supervision, the probation department, youth or
parent may terminate the agreement in order to proceed with for
prosecution before the court.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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