Juvenile defendants under the age of 17 years, minor defendants age 17 charged with a tobacco offense and minor defendants ages 17 through 20 years who have been charged with an alcohol offense can not appear at the court window to make disposition on his or her case.
Defendants 10 to 16 Years of Age
A juvenile defendant age 10 to 16 years who is charged with a Class C Misdemeanor is required to appear in open court to enter a plea before the judge. A parent or legal guardian is required to appear with the juvenile in open court. 45.0215 CCP
Definition of Parent/Guardian
Parent/Guardian includes a person standing in a parental relation, a managing conservator, or a custodian per Article 45.057(a) CCP.
Progression of a Case
- Once a case is filed in the Crowley Municipal Court on a defendant who is under the age of 17 years, the parent or guardian of that defendant will be summoned through the U.S. Mail by a Certified Peace Officer to appear in Court with the defendant on the date that is given on the summons.
- From this point, the parent or guardian is under obligation to provide the Court with the juvenile defendant's current address and inform the court of any address changes, even after the defendant turns 17.
- The obligation continues until his or her case is fully resolved and all fines and costs are paid or discharged.
Parent/Guardian Failure to Appear
If the parent or guardian fails to appear with the juvenile defendant, a Class C Misdemeanor charge can be filed against the parent or guardian (Art. 45.057(g) CCP), and the court will issue a notice to the Texas Department of Public Safety to have the juvenile defendant disqualified from obtaining a driver's license, or have the current driver's license suspended until the case is disposed.
Issuing of an Arrest WarrantOnce the juvenile defendant reaches the age of 17 years and he/she has not appeared in court, a charge of Violation of Obligation to Appear may be filed by the City Prosecutor under Article 45.060 CCP, and an arrest warrant may be issued on this charge.
Various Charges & Required Appearances
Minor defendants aged 17 years who are charged with a Tobacco Offense, and minor defendants aged 17 through 20 years who are charged with an Alcohol Offense are required to appear in open court to enter a plea before the judge. The parent or guardian appearance is not required in this instance.
Notice of Hearing Date
A letter will be mailed to the defendant at the address that is noted on the citation with the scheduled hearing date. If the defendant fails to appear at the hearing, a warrant will be issued for his or her arrest.
Failure to Attend School
A parent or guardian of a juvenile who is charged with Failure to Attend School will be summoned to appear in Court with the child, regardless of the age of the child. Article 45.054 CCP.
Writ Service Fee
There is a $35 Writ Service Fee added to the total amount of the fine upon conviction for the service of the summons.