The Martinez Law Firm Articles Teenager to Be Tried as Adult in Illegal Immigrant Deaths

Teenager to Be Tried as Adult in Illegal Immigrant Deaths

By The Martinez Law Firm  Apr. 26, 2013 7:25a

A Texas District Judge ruled that a teenager will be tried as an adult in the deaths of illegal immigrants who died in a traffic crash in Palmview, Texas. The teenager, J.B.R., was driving the van carrying 17 illegal immigrants that had been stopped by Border Patrol agents in April, 2012. Moments later, the van sped away and crashed, killing nine of the illegal passengers. At the time, J.B.R. was 15 years old. According to media reports, it took the judge less than one minute to decide that the teenager should be tried as an adult instead of in the juvenile judicial system. The teen was charged with nine counts of murder and a bond of $25,000 per count, amounting to $225,000.

Testimony presented at the time of the court hearing including that of a witness who said he saw the Border Patrol agent strike the van from the rear right side, which played a part in the van's rollover. In spite of this, the judge presented his ruling. He maintained that the prosecutors in the case had shown that the teen was mature enough to understand what he had done and that a message needed to be sent to other teens in the area who might think twice about smuggling undocumented immigrants into the country. According to prosecutors, smuggling operations in the state like to use teenagers because they generally face less serious legal consequences in the juvenile court system.

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

The above story illustrates how a serious juvenile crime can lead to the individual involved facing the consequences as an adult. A juvenile defendant in Texas may be transferred to the adult court system if he or she is at least 14 years old and has been accused of a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a first degree felony or must be at least 15 years old and accused of committing a second or third degree felony or a state jail felony.

Anyone facing an adult court system for any crime has the right to legal counsel and should exercise that right by seeking the services of an experienced defense attorney. The Martinez Law Firm provides the kind of highly-experienced and proven legal representation needed. Founding attorney Herman Martinez is a former chief prosecutor who understands how the other side thinks and operates. He has more than 15 years of experience in criminal law and has achieved a 10 out of 10 Superb rating by Avvo. Contact his firm for a free, initial consultation following your arrest and charges or gain valuable information about criminal defense matters at

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