State law defines a juvenile defendant as anyone who is under the age of 17 years of age.
- Juvenile defendants are required to appear in person before the judge and enter their plea in open court.
- Both juvenile and parent/legal guardian must be present at all court proceedings.
- The juvenile will have an opportunity to have the charges explained and to receive the options provided them by law.
- Juveniles who fail to appear or who fail to pay their fine will be reported to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), who will suspend or deny issuance of a driver’s license.
- Juveniles who fail to appear in court may have an additional charge of failure to appear filed against them.