The Case Of The Texas Family Code ?ß 54.02 ( A ) ( West 2014 )
1305 WordsNov 9, 20156 Pages
) Analysis under Tex. Fam. Code § 54.02(a)
The court must initially examine Sophia Edwards’ case under the Texas Family Code § 54.02(a) (West 2014). It sets forth three objective factors the court must find before considering whether to certify a minor for adult prosecution. In order to meet the first prong of this three-part test, Sophia must be facing felony charges. The drunken driving offense, if standing alone, could be classified as a misdemeanor. Tex. Penal Code § 49.04 (West 2011). Sophia, however, faces aggravated charges due to her passenger 's death. Under Texas law, this intoxication manslaughter charge is a second-degree felony offense that satisfies the first prong in this test. Tex. Penal Code § 49.08 (West 2011).
Under the second prong test of this section, the Court must examine the child 's age and the type of felony. This subparagraph allows for adult prosecution of a 14 year old who commits more severe felonies but prohibits adult prosecution for 14 year olds facing second-degree felony charges. Sophia, however, was 16 years old at the time of the offense and thus falls under subparagraph 2b which allows for adult certification of older children facing less severe, second-degree felony charges. Tex. Fam. Code § 54.02(a)(2)(B) (West 2014).
Finally, the juvenile court must determine after a full investigation whether there is probable cause that Sophia committed the offense alleged, the seriousness of the alleged offense, Sophia’s background, and