What is Teen Court?
Teen Court is a specially designed court that hears certain Class C misdemeanor cases filed in the Wylie Municipal Court. This program is an option for juvenile offenders to keep these violations from appearing on his/her driving or criminal record. Juvenile offenders will appear in Teen Court with his/her parent or guardian. Teen Court Defense and Prosecuting Attorneys will explain the facts of the case to a panel of six Teen Court Jurors. The Teen Court Jurors will hear both attorneys ask the juvenile offender questions regarding his/her case. After hearing all of the evidence presented, the panel of Teen Court Jurors will deliberate and then determine the appropriate sentencing. There are guidelines set by the Municipal Court Judge to follow for sentencing that will always consist of community service and Teen Court Jury Service. Sentencing may also include participation in educational programs or other state-mandated programs. Teen Court programs have proven to be effective in reducing the number of teen repeat offenders by making youth accountable for their actions and by providing them with a positive peer group. Teen Court also teaches teens about the judicial process through firsthand experiences.
Who is eligible for Teen Court?
In August of 2016, the Wylie Municipal Court began to offer this option for offenders who are between the ages of 13 and 17 (some 18-year-olds may be eligible). Any person who meets the following criteria may be eligible:
*is between the ages of 13 and 17 (some 18-year-olds may be eligible)
*has received a certain Class C misdemeanor citation
*pleads guilty or nolo contendre (no contest)
*attend public school, private school, or home school
*has not been a defendant in Teen Court the year preceding alleged offense date
*must remain a student in an accredited secondary school while completing the Teen Court sentence
*anyone who is on probation or whose case involves personal injury must obtain approval from the Judge having original jurisdiction
How do I request my case be heard in Teen Court?
If your citation was filed with the Wylie Municipal Court, you may apply at the Wylie Municipal Court office at 2000 N Highway 78. If eligible, you will be given an application and related forms. This paperwork along with a $20 non-refundable fee, plus any applicable court costs, must be completed and returned prior to your case being scheduled for a Teen Court docket. If you are a juvenile (age 16 or younger), the option of Teen Court will be made available to you at your required court appearance.
Is there a dress code for Teen Court?
Absolutely! Teen Court is a legal court held in a regular courtroom. All participants must observe the following:
*no cell phone use in courtroom
*no torn or dirty jeans and no shorts
*no hats or caps
*no T-shirts, or sheer see-through clothing
*no tank tops, spaghetti straps, or low-cut tops
*no visible skin mid-thigh to the stomach
*no gum chewing
*no sandals, shower shoes or flip flops
*shirts must be tucked in
Teen Court reserves the right to refuse participation for anyone who does not meet these guidelines. Defendants' cases may be referred back to a regular court.
When are Teen Court Sessions?
The following are Teen Court's 2020-2021 dates. All sessions are held on Wednesday nights at 6 pm, at 2000 N Highway 78, in the Municipal Court. Teen Attorneys should be in the courtroom by 5:30 pm, and Defendants and Jurors by 5:45 pm.
DUE TO COVID19, TEEN COURT DOCKETS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Teen Court Jurors
If you are interested in participating in the Teen Court program as a volunteer, you may apply to become a Teen Court Juror.
What is my role as a Teen Court Juror?
Teen Court Defense and Prosecuting Attorneys will explain the facts of the case to a panel of six Teen Court Jurors. The Teen Court Jurors will hear both attorneys ask the juvenile offender questions regarding his/her case. After hearing all of the evidence presented, the panel of Teen Court Jurors will deliberate and then determine the appropriate sentencing. There is a set of guidelines to follow for sentencing that will always consist of community service and may include participating in educational programs or other state-mandated programs.
How do I apply to become a Teen Court Juror?
The Teen Court Program is currently seeking teens ages 14 to 18, who attend high school in Wylie, Texas, to serve as Teen Court Jurors. Volunteers must maintain a C average in all classes, have parent consent, and remain drug and alcohol free. If you are interested please fill out the application listed below and return it to Juvenile Case Manager, in person, by mail, or by email. Please click on the docket signup deadline below for the scheduled Teen Court Dockets and corresponding juror signup deadlines. If approved, you will be notified by phone or email. The application is only required for the first docket you attend; any further requests to volunteer can be made by an email to the Juvenile Case Manager. Volunteers will be given volunteer credit for participation.
Courtroom Rules of Etiquette
In order to promote professional and proper decorum, the Court advises all who enter to:
- Dress appropriately, i.e. no shorts of any kind, halter tops, or lewd clothing.
- Avoid wearing T-shirts with offensive language or pictures.
- Avoid wearing a hat.
- Avoid bringing cellular phones or pagers (audible mode).
- Avoid bringing food and/or drinks or chewing gum.
- Avoid bringing weapons of any kind; if weapons are brought to the courthouse, you will be asked to remove them from the building.
- Stand a few feet back from the bench when addressing the Judge. Do not lean on the bench.
- Avoid bringing small children to court. If you must, please monitor their behavior so that they remain quiet at all times. Parents may be asked to leave the courtroom if their child becomes noisy or unruly.