Highland Lakes Teen Court
What is Teen Court?
The purpose and intent of the Teen Court program is to involve young people in taking responsibility for their actions, provide service to the community, and to attempt to reduce repeat offenses with our teens through their education of the criminal justice system. It is a specially designed court that hears only certain Class C misdemeanor cases. It was established in the hopes that it will disrupt patterns of criminal behavior by promoting positive self-esteem, motivating self-improvement and helping individuals develop a healthy attitude toward authority. This program challenges both offenders and non-offenders to perform at their best ability to become integral members in the community and places a high priority on educating young people to the responsibilities of an individual, a family member and a citizen.
The City of Marble Falls and the CIty of Granite Shoals in cooperation with Marble Falls ISD, Faith Academy, the Marble Falls Police Department and the Granite Shoals Police Departmen6t administers the Teen Court Program. All Teen Court sessions are open to the public. A parent or guardian MUST always accompany the defendant to Teen Court.
Who is eligible for Teen Court?
Any person who meets the following criteria may be eligible:
- Between the ages of 13 & 17 (some 18 year olds may be eligible
- Pleads guilty or no contest
- Has not been a defendant in Teen Court in the past two years
- Must remain a student in an accredited secondary school while completing the Teen Court sentence
- Has received a certain class C misdemeanor citation with the Marble Falls Municipal Court and the Granite Shoals Municipal Court
- Truant Conduct
- Other cases as deemed not eligible by the prosecutors
How do I request my case be heard in Teen Court?
If your citation was issued by a Marble Falls officer or a Granite Shoals officer, you may apply at the designated Municipal Court office. The Marble Falls Municipal Court is located at 606 Avenue N, Marble Falls and the Granite Shoals Municipal Court is located at 2221 N Phillips Ranch Road, Granite Shoals.. If eligible, you will be given an application packet. This packet along with $20 non-refundable court fee must be completed and returned to the court prior to your case being scheduled for Teen Court. Defendants will be notified of their court date by mail so make sure your mailing address is correct and notify the court of any changes immediately.
Is there a dress code for Teen Court?
Teen Court is a legal court held in a regular courtroom. ALL participants, including public attendees in the courtroom must observe the following:
- No Shorts, dresses or skirts
- No torn or dirty jeans
- No hats or caps
- No tank tops
- No spaghetti straps
- No chewing gum
- No flip-flops
- No facial piercings
- No midriff showing (even with arms raised)
- No clothing containing messages that are vulgar, offensive, obscene, or displaying alcohol, tobacco or sex
- Shirts must be tucked in
How Teen Court Works
Teen Court is scheduled on select Monday evenings of each month at the Marble Falls Municipal Courtroom and the Granite Shoals Municipal Courtroom. After defendants meet with their defense attorneys, court begins, the defendant is introduced to the six teen jury panel, and the jury is informed of the charge against the defendant. After hearing the evidence presented by the teen prosecutors and teen defense attorneys, the jury decides what sentence the defendant must complete within the guidelines given by the court. (See penalty range below). Defendants are given 90 days in which to complete community service and jury terms that have been assigned by the jury. Successful completion of the terms will result in a dismissal of the citation.
Time to Arrive
Defendants: 5:00 p.m.
Teen Attorneys: 5:00 p.m.
Volunteer Jurors 5:45 p.m.
Defendant Jurors 5:45 p.m.
Teen Court Session starts at 6:00 p.m.
CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF
Note: Teen Court reserves the right to refuse participation for anyone who does not meet these guidelines and breach of dress code may jeopardize your privilege to participate. Teen Court Penalties:
Penalties consist of Community Service (CS) and Required Jury Terms (JT)
Class 1: 6 - 16 hours CS plus 1 to 2 jury terms
- Curfew violations
- Vehicle Equipment
- Parking violations
- Expired Registration
Class 2: 12-24 hours CS plus 1 to 3 jury terms
- Disorderly Conduct Offenses
- Expired Driver's License
- Fail to Update Driver's License
- Fail to Signal Intent
- Violate DL Restrictions
- Window Tint Violation
- Seat Belt Violations
- Speeding 1 - 9 over speed limit
Class 3: 16 to 32 hours CS plus 2 to 3 jury terms
- Fail to Yield Right of Way
- Fail to Stop at Designated Point
- Following too closely
- Ran Stop Light
- Ran Stop Sign
- Drove in Center Lane
- Cut Across Drive to Avoid Intersection
- Unsafe Speed / Fail to Control Speed
- Speeding 10-19 miles over speed limit
- Speeding 1-9 miles over speed limit in school zone
Class 4: 24-40 hours CS plus 2 to 4 jury terms
- No Driver's License
- No Insurance
- Handicap Parking
- Cell phone use / Texting
- Possession of Tobacco / E-Cig / Vape
- Speeding 20-25 miles over speed limit
- Speeding 10-19 over speed limit in a school zone
Class 5: 20 to 50 hours CS plus 3 to 4 jury terms
- Criminal mischief
- Theft under $100.00
- Alcohol violations
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Reckless Driving
- Fake ID
- Fail to Yield to Emergency Vehicle
- Leave Scene of Accident
- Assault Family Violence
- Speeding 25 or more over speed limit
- Speeding 20 or more over speed limit in school zone
Some of these offenses may require more than Community Service and Jury Terms due to state sanctions or severity of violations. These offenses include but are not limited to: Alcohol violations, Possession of Tobacco/E-cig/Vape, Drug Paraphernalia, Reckless driving and Speeding 25 or more over speed limit. These extra conditions will be discussed with you and your parent prior to Teen Court.