L to R: Judge Cheryl Pounds, Scholarship Recipient Rebekah Garnett and Bill Price at the 2018 Teen Court Banquet.
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 in cooperation with Marble Falls ISD, Faith Academy and the Marble Falls Police Department 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
- Speeding 25+ over posted speed limit
- Offenses in a work zone with workers present
- Fail to stop/pass school bus
- Assault offenses
- Drug paraphernalia
- Alcohol related charges
- Tobacco related charges
- Fail to Attend School cases
How do I request my case be heard in Teen Court?
If your citation was issued by a Marble Falls officer, you may apply at the Marble Falls Municipal Court office at City Hall at 800 Third Stret, Marble Falls, Texas.
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?
- 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 either the first or third Monday evenings of each month at the Marble Falls City Hall Council Chambers. 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.
All Teen Court sessions are held in the Council Chambers at Marble Falls City Hall, 800 Third Street, Marble Falls, Texas.
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: 5-15 hours CS + 1-2 jury terms
- Individual seat belt
- Vehicle equipment
- Driver's license restrictions
Class 2: 10-20 hours CS + 1-3 jury terms
- Traffic light
- Stop sign
- Fail to yield/signal
- Following too closely
- Speeding 1-9 mph over the limit
- Noise violation
- Curfew violation
- Jumping from bridge
- Cell phone in school zone
Class 3: 15-30 hours CS + 2-3 jury terms
- Speeding 10-24 mph over limit
- Third party seat belt violations
- Speeding 1-24 over in a school zone
- Driving without a license
- Accident-non-injury / <$1,000 damages
Class 4: 15-40 hours CS + 2-4 jury terms
- Disorderly conduct
- Hand icap parking
- Criminal mischief
- Exhibition of acceleration
- Accidents-non-injury and / or > $1,000 with injuries and / or < $1,000 damages
Class 5: 25-50 hours CS + 3-4 jury terms
- Violation involving a collision
- Theft under $50.00
- Criminal mischief (damage)
- Accidents-with injuries and /or > $1,000 damages