Most parents in Texas and elsewhere across the country occasionally worry about their kids.
And for this good reason: They were once children themselves and can easily remember back to youthful days when their actions weren’t always preceded by good judgment.
Kids are precious. They are full of hope and promises and, to their loving parents, shining ever brighter as time goes on.
Not every day is grounded in sound thinking, though. Adolescents are works in progress, progressively garnering wisdom and maturity in an ongoing, evolving manner.
Many of them – candidly, virtually all of them – make occasional mistakes working through the process. When they do, they often underestimate the consequences.
That can understandably bring more problems than they ever envisioned, especially when their behavior is viewed as a criminal act.
Juvenile behavior can lead to legal hot water
Many parents might likely respond “yes” when asked if they ever took an item from a store without paying for it when they were a kid. They might have been punished for that, but they certainly weren’t treated as if they were a knowing adult offender. The emphasis in such cases is typically on education and getting a second chance, not on punitive reprisals.
Soft treatment from law enforcers is far from a given, though, where juvenile wrongdoing is concerned. Some conduct engaged in by adolescents – especially teens – is viewed in a flatly serious and even unforgiving vein by criminal justice authorities.
Like burglary and robbery, for instance. An in-depth Texas legal source on juvenile crime and sanctions duly notes that young people are often “unaware that burglary and robbery are very serious charges with harsh penalties.”
Burglary and robbery: What are the elements?
It is often perceived that an actual theft must occur to warrant a burglary charge, but this is untrue. These are the elements of burglary:
- Unauthorized entry into a home, car or other owned/occupied structure
- Intent to commit some crime once inside (e.g, theft, vandalism or some other unlawful act)
Robbery might reasonably be deemed a cousin of burglary, although it has these distinct elements:
- A threat to an actual person that is construed as reasonably indicating the likelihood of physical harm (or the actual application of force that results in harm)
- Taking of that person’s property without consent
- Caveat: robbery can be deemed as aggravated and bring heightened exactions when it involves a weapon
Any young person facing a burglary or robbery charge squarely confronts the possibility of serious criminal penalties being levied. A proven defense legal team with a deep well of experience representing young offenders can work diligently to keep a minor’s case in the juvenile justice system and to promote an optimal outcome.