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Teen Court
Teen Court is a voluntary judicial program which allows Class C misdemeanor offenders to “pay” for their citation through community service and jury duty. Defendants are sentenced to community service and jury duty by a jury of their peers.

Authority for Teen Court
The 71st Texas Legislature in 1989 passed amendments to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (Chapter 45, Art. 45.052) and the Texas Family Code (Chapter 54, Art. 54.032) relating to the dismissal of certain misdemeanor charges upon completion of a Teen Court program.

Benefits of Teen Court
Successful completion of Teen Court requirements within the specified time frame results in dismissal of the case. Also, the youth becomes acquainted with the judicial system and experiences the satisfaction of contributing to the community.

Why Teen Court Works
  • Youth learn to assume responsibility and be accountable for their actions
  • Teen Court can cut down on the crime rate of teenagers
  • Parents/Guardians must be involved
  • Promotes youth involvement within the community
  • Dismisses the offense from juvenile's record
  • Teen Court is totally voluntary
  • Gives teens an opportunity to learn about the judicial system

Youths (ages 11-18) who are currently enrolled in school may request Teen Court from the Municipal / Justice of the Peace Judge. The defendant must plead guilty or no contest for referral to Teen Court. A teen may enroll only if he/she has not successfully completed a Teen Court program in any city in the past two years. Consent of a parent or legal guardian is required.

Each defendant is assessed a $20 non-refundable administrative fee for each citation. This must be paid upon enrollment in Teen Court.

After referral from the Municipal Court / Justice of the Peace Judges, defendants must contact the Teen Court Coordinator within 5 days and schedule a 30-minute interview depending on the case. During this interview, a Teen Court date is set, questions answered, and paperwork completed. A parent / guardian is required to attend.

Location & Dress Code
Teen Court is usually held on the third 3rd and fourth 4th Monday evening at the Little Elm Town Hall Center 100 Eldorado Pkwy starting at 6:00 pm. The courtroom is a formal and serious place and respect is required in regard to proper dress. It is suggested that females wear dresses, skirts, or nice slacks, males in nice slacks and shirts with collars. No caps, T-shirts, shorts, tank tops, midriff tops, halter tops, or torn clothing is allowed. Teen Court reserves the right to deny admission into the courtroom to anyone inappropriately dressed. Further Additional details are available by viewing the dress code online.

Volunteer Participation

Volunteering for Teen Court is an educational and rewarding opportunity for both youth and adults. Teens volunteer as prosecution and defense attorneys, bailiffs, clerks, and jurors. Adults assist with sign-in and other help required during court sessions. Youth must be ages 13-18 and attending school full-time working towards a High School Diploma.

Community Service
Each defendant will be given a list of local non-profit agencies and it will be his/her responsibility to contact an agency and set up a work schedule. It is the defendants responsibility to schedule the community service hours.

Failure to complete your community service hours will result in your case being returned to the Municipal / Justice of the Peace Court.

Sentence Grid
Sentencing consists of a specific number of community service hours to be completed with a non-profit agency usually assigned by the Teen Court Coordinator, plus a required number of jury terms. A range of hours and jury terms for each offense is determined from the sentence grid, which establishes consistency and is based on the nature of each offense.

Class 1
Includes but not limited to:
  • Community Service: 6 to 18 hours
  • Jury Duty: 1 to 3 Terms
  • Speeding 1-10 (miles per hour)
  • Fail to control speed
  • Equipment violations
  • Seat belt
  • No turn signal
  • Improper turn
  • Parking violations
  • Possession of tobacco
Class 2
Includes but not limited to:
  • Community Service: 15 to 30 hours
  • Jury Duty: 1 to 3 Terms
  • Speeding 11-20 (miles per hour)
  • Driver's license violations
  • Fail to yield right-of-way
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Disobey traffic control device
  • Stop sign / Red light violations

Class 3
Includes but not limited to:
  • Community Service: 28 to 46 hours
  • Jury Duty: 2 to 4 Terms
  • Speeding 21-25 (miles per hour)
  • Speeding (school zone 1-10)
  • No insurance
  • Following too closely
  • Curfew violation
  • Criminal mischief under $50
  • City ordinance violations
  • Class disruption
Class 4
Includes but not limited to:
  • Community Service: 42 to 60 hours
  • Jury Duty: 2 to 4 Terms
  • Speeding over 26 (miles per hour)
  • Speeding (school zone 11 plus)
  • Theft under $50
  • Possess drug paraphernalia
  • Alcohol / Drug offenses
  • Assault / Disorderly conduct