Texas Family Code § 53.03. Deferred Prosecution
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(a) Subject to Subsections (e) and (g), if the preliminary investigation required by Section 53.01 of this code results in a determination that further proceedings in the case are authorized, the probation officer or other designated officer of the court, subject to the direction of the juvenile court, may advise the parties for a reasonable period of time not to exceed six months concerning deferred prosecution and rehabilitation of a child if:
(1) deferred prosecution would be in the interest of the public and the child;
(2) the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian consent with knowledge that consent is not obligatory; and
(3) the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian are informed that they may terminate the deferred prosecution at any point and petition the court for a court hearing in the case.
(b) Except as otherwise permitted by this title, the child may not be detained during or as a result of the deferred prosecution process.
(c) An incriminating statement made by a participant to the person giving advice and in the discussions or conferences incident thereto may not be used against the declarant in any court hearing.
(d) The juvenile board may adopt a fee schedule for deferred prosecution services and rules for the waiver of a fee for financial hardship in accordance with guidelines that the Texas Juvenile Justice DepartmentProbation Commission shall provide. The maximum fee is $15 a month. If the board adopts a schedule and rules for waiver, the probation officer or other designated officer of the court shall collect the fee authorized by the schedule from the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child for whom a deferred prosecution is authorized under this section or waive the fee in accordance with the rules adopted by the board. The officer shall deposit the fees received under this section in the county treasury to the credit of a special fund that may be used only for juvenile probation or community-based juvenile corrections services or facilities in which a juvenile may be required to live while under court supervision. If the board does not adopt a schedule and rules for waiver, a fee for deferred prosecution services may not be imposed.
(e) A prosecuting attorney may defer prosecution for any child. A probation officer or other designated officer of the court:
(1) may not defer prosecution for a child for a case that is required to be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney under Section 53.01(d); and
(2) may defer prosecution for a child who has previously been adjudicated for conduct that constitutes a felony only if the prosecuting attorney consents in writing.
(f) The probation officer or other officer designated by the court supervising a program of deferred prosecution for a child under this section shall report to the juvenile court any violation by the child of the program.
(g) Prosecution may not be deferred for a child alleged to have engaged in conduct that:
(1) is an offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code; or
(2) is a third or subsequent offense under Section 106.04 or 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code.
(h) If the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates Section 28.08, Penal Code, deferred prosecution under this section may include:
(1) voluntary attendance in a class with instruction in self-responsibility and empathy for a victim of an offense conducted by a local juvenile probation department, if the class is available; and
(2) voluntary restoration of the property damaged by the child by removing or painting over any markings made by the child, if the owner of the property consents to the restoration.
(h-1) If the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates Section 481.115, 481.1151, 481.116, 481.1161, 481.117, 481.118, or 481.121, Health and Safety Code, deferred prosecution under this section may include a condition that the child attend a drug education program that is designed to educate persons on the dangers of drug abuse and is approved by the Department of State Health Services in accordance with Section 521.374, Transportation Code.
(h-2) If the child is alleged to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision that violates Section 106.02, 106.025, 106.04, 106.041, 106.05, or 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, or Section 49.02, Penal Code, deferred prosecution under this section may include a condition that the child attend an alcohol awareness program described by Section 106.115, Alcoholic Beverage Code.
(i) The court may defer prosecution for a child at any time:
(1) for an adjudication that is to be decided by a jury trial, before the jury is sworn;
(2) for an adjudication before the court, before the first witness is sworn; or
(3) for an uncontested adjudication, before the child pleads to the petition or agrees to a stipulation of evidence.
(j) The court may add the period of deferred prosecution under Subsection (i) to a previous order of deferred prosecution, except that the court may not place the child on deferred prosecution for a combined period longer than one year.
(k) In deciding whether to grant deferred prosecution under Subsection (i), the court may consider professional representations by the parties concerning the nature of the case and the background of the respondent. The representations made under this subsection by the child or counsel for the child are not admissible against the child at trial should the court reject the application for deferred prosecution.
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