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(a) A child may be found to have engaged in truant conduct only after an adjudication hearing conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) At the beginning of the adjudication hearing, the judge of the truancy court shall explain to the child and the child's parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem:
(1) the allegations made against the child;
(2) the nature and possible consequences of the proceedings;
(3) the child's privilege against self-incrimination;
(4) the child's right to trial and to confrontation of witnesses;
(5) the child's right to representation by an attorney if the child is not already represented; and
(6) the child's right to a jury trial.
(c) Trial is by jury unless jury is waived in accordance with Section 65.008. Jury verdicts under this chapter must be unanimous.
(d) The Texas Rules of Evidence do not apply in a truancy proceeding under this chapter except:
(1) when the judge hearing the case determines that a particular rule of evidence applicable to criminal cases must be followed to ensure that the proceedings are fair to all parties; or
(2) as otherwise provided by this chapter.
(e) A child alleged to have engaged in truant conduct need not be a witness against nor otherwise incriminate himself or herself. An extrajudicial statement of the child that was obtained in violation of the constitution of this state or the United States may not be used in an adjudication hearing. A statement made by the child out of court is insufficient to support a finding of truant conduct unless it is corroborated wholly or partly by other evidence.
(f) At the conclusion of the adjudication hearing, the court or jury shall find whether the child has engaged in truant conduct. The finding must be based on competent evidence admitted at the hearing. The child shall be presumed to have not engaged in truant conduct and no finding that a child has engaged in truant conduct may be returned unless the state has proved the conduct beyond a reasonable doubt. In all jury cases the jury will be instructed that the burden is on the state to prove that a child has engaged in truant conduct beyond a reasonable doubt.
(g) If the court or jury finds that the child did not engage in truant conduct, the court shall dismiss the case with prejudice.
(h) If the court or jury finds that the child did engage in truant conduct, the court shall proceed to issue a judgment finding the child has engaged in truant conduct and order the remedies the court finds appropriate under Section 65.103. The jury is not involved in ordering remedies for a child who has been adjudicated as having engaged in truant conduct.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Family Code - FAM § 65.101. Adjudication Hearing; Judgment - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/family-code/fam-sect-65-101/
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