Juvenile Offenses


Juvenile Criminal Defense Throughout Texas

While a juvenile offense may resemble an adult offense (because the crime’s elements are the same), the juvenile justice system is extremely different. The terminology, procedure, and available outcomes are completely unlike the adult criminal system. To navigate the juvenile justice system successfully, it is important to hire a lawyer with extensive juvenile law experience to represent your child. The partners at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP are former Harris County Assistant District Attorneys with decades of experience prosecuting and defending juveniles charged with serious crimes. Few lawyers have the skill, experience, and relationships necessary to represent your child in juvenile crime matters like we do.

Every year nearly 130,000 children enter into the Texas juvenile justice system. They may be simply picked up and given a warning, or they may face serious charges initiated by local law enforcement and juvenile officials. Common juvenile charges include:

  • Marijuana possession and other drug charges
  • Weapons charges
  • School related possession and weapons charges
  • Assault
  • Criminal trespass and burglary
  • Robbery and Aggravated Robbery
  • And many others…

Most sentences (called “dispositions” in juvenile cases) are based on a progressive sanctions approach. This approach balances public protection, offender accountability, and rehabilitation. The courts have many different options when dealing with juvenile crimes, ranging from informal adjudications to the most serious of offenses requiring a hearing on whether to certify the child to be tried and punished as an adult.

A juvenile has their entire life in front of them. As a result, it is extremely important to avoid any permanent record involving a juvenile offense. Obviously, every parent would like to see the charges against their child dismissed and erased. That is the ultimate goal of any representation.  But the juvenile system offers other options, such as “deferred prosecution,” where a child’s case is dismissed if he or she meets all the conditions of the program. Only an experienced juvenile criminal lawyer knows how to navigate the system and its many options to ensure the best outcome for each case.

A juvenile cannot represent himself or herself. Hire a top defense lawyer to represent them. Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP is not a high volume practice like some other retained (and most appointed) attorneys. Their team approach utilizes the skills of former juvenile prosecutors to represent individual clients. This ensures that they can provide the attention and dedication needed to accomplish an exceptional result.

Contact Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP today to schedule a free consultation regarding any juvenile defense matter.