How is Juvenile Court Different from Criminal Court?
When children between 10 and 17 years of age are accused of committing a felony offense or a Class A or B misdemeanor, their cases are handled in the Juvenile District Courts in Harris County (in other counties, it would be county courts or juvenile district). Rather than criminal law cases, these cases are considered civil law, although certain aspects and rules of criminal law are applicable to juvenile cases. Rather than being "found guilty", juveniles are instead "adjudicated to have engaged in delinquent conduct". Furthermore, rather than being released on "bond" like in criminal court, juveniles are either released or detained depending upon the circumstances and the ruling of the judge. Lastly, rather than being based on the offense itself, punishment for juveniles is based upon guidelines and levels.
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