Posts Tagged ‘Juvenile Defense Lawyer’


Waller County Juvenile Lawyer | Hempstead Texas Juvenile Defense

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Waller County Juvenile Lawyer

Hempstead, Texas Juvenile Defense Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is a recognized expert in juvenile law and fights to defend children accused of delinquency offenses.  Since 1994, James Sullivan has fought to defend thousands of children accused of delinquency.  He has defended children in juvenile court on virtually every kind of delinquency case, ranging from misdemeanor cases such as possession of marihuana, theft and assault to felony cases such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, robbery and murder.  He provides a strong legal defense and is appreciative of the many reviews that parents of juvenile clients have written.

TBLS-Logo-tag-RAttorney James Sullivan has been Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2004.  Sullivan is a recognized expert in the highly specialized area of juvenile law.  In Texas, there are only 38 lawyers such certified lawyers in private practice.  Sullivan also graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization.

Juvenile Law Is Not Criminal Law

Juvenile Law is different than criminal law.  Many criminal defense lawyers advertise that they are also juvenile defense lawyers, yet they may never have tried a juvenile case to a jury.  In order to hold oneself out as a true expert in Juvenile Law, a lawyer has to be Board Certified in juvenile law. To become Board Certified, an attorney must:

  • have been licensed to practice law for at least five years,
  • devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years,
  • handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement (including at least 3 jury trials, 5 non-jury trials and 3 certification hearings),
  • attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date,
  • been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges, and
  • passed a 6-hour written examination.

The parents of children caught up in the juvenile justice system are very concerned about how their child’s misdemeanor or felony delinquency case could impact their future.  This is a very valid concern.  Colleges and universities have access to juvenile records.  Clearly, a juvenile delinquent is less likely to receive a highly coveted admission to a top school.  Also, law enforcement has access to juvenile records.  When juveniles are stopped by the police, they may be treated differently when the police know that they have a record.  There are several other ways that a juvenile record could impact your child.

If your child needs a juvenile defense lawyer, contact Houston Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your child’s juvenile charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas. You may also see answers to FAQs.

Serving Juveniles in Southeast Texas Since 1994

Serving juvenile clients throughout southeast Texas, including Alvin, Anahuac, Angleton, Atascocita, Baytown, Bellaire, Brookshire, Bunker Hill Village, Clear Lake, Channelview, Conroe, Cypress, Deer Park, El Lago, Friendswood, Galena Park, Galveston, Hedwig Village, Hempstead, Hilshire Village, Houston, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Huntsville, Jacinto City, Jersey Village, Katy, La Porte, League City, Liberty, Missouri City, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Pearland, Piney Point Village, Richmond, Rosenberg, Seabrook, Shoreacres, South Houston, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Valley, Sugar Land, Taylor Lake Village, Texas City, Tomball, Waller, Webster, West University Place and The Woodlands, and other communities in Brazoria County, Chambers County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Liberty County, Montgomery County and Waller County.

Houston Juvenile Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer James Sullivan Gets Proven Results

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Harris County Juvenile Sex Offense Attorney James Sullivan

IMG_2934BIf your child was arrested, contact Houston Juvenile Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation.  Houston Juvenile Sex Offense Lawyer James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law. Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law and in private practice in the state of Texas.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

CASE RESULTS – JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

The case histories below represent a few of the many juveniles charged with sex offenses that Jim Sullivan has represented. All cases were in Harris County (Houston), except where noted. Past results are not a guarantee of a similar result in any future case.

CaseFactsResults
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildJames Sullivan persuaded a jury in the 314th District Court of Harris County to find his 15 year old male client not guilty of molesting his niece. The client was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and his 4 year old nephew was an alleged eyewitness. The niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement.Not Guilty
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child15 year old boy was accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room.Dismissed on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County16 year old boy with autism was accused of raping his 14 year old male cousin during a sleepover. Law enforcement failed to interview the accused's parents, failed to visit the alleged crime scene and failed to investigate the complainant's father, a registered sex offender with a lengthy history of abusing children, as a possible perpetrator. Before Sullivan could set the case on the trial docket, the State did the right thing and dismissed the case.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child13 year old boy accused of touching his younger step-brothers. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case upon completion of juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was accused of fondling a 2 year old girl at his home.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Brazoria County13 year old boy was accused of fondling his 6 year old stepsister. When the boy was 7, he was sexually abused by an older brother but never received any counseling. Unfortunately, six years later, he impulsively acted out on the behaviors he learned at a young age.Reduced to enticing a child
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy was accused of fondling with digital penetration his 14 year old sister against her will when he was 14 and she was 12 years old.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of having sex with and impregnating his 11 year old sister. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to reduce the case if client completed juvenile sex offender counseling.Reduced to public lewdness
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child16 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing his 6 year old half-sister.Reduced to misdemeanor assault on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Liberty County16 year old special needs boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. During a lengthy interview by Sullivan with the child at the detention center, the boy divulged that he had been molested at age six by a 14 year old cousin. Sullivan persuaded the State and the court to allow his client to live with an older sister in Harris county.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Orange County15 year old boy was accused of performing oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Sullivan persuaded the state to reduce the case to indecency with a child.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Jackson County15 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing a younger brother over a one year period of time. Like so many juvenile sex offenders, the accused was exposed to explicit sex videos online via unsupervised Internet access at a young age and began acting out with a sibling. The probation department originally recommended placement at TJJD, however Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to place him with his grandparents following a 9 to 12 months of sex offender counseling at a private placement at Pegasus School in Lockhart)Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. Sullivan initially persuaded the court to allow his client to stay at home with his parents and younger siblings, however his client later admitted to probation to fondling a younger half-brother in his home. Sullivan then persuaded the court to place his client with his grandmother in Chicago and to receive out-patient counseling even though the probation department sought placement at a residential treatment center.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child12 year old boy was caught in the act of sexually abusing his 6 year old cousin. During a series of interviews with Sullivan, the boy divulged that he had been raped by an 18 year old acquaintance that had lived in the neighborhood. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to allow his client to receive probation and to live at home with his father.Probation
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED AFTER FIRST COURT SETTING (11 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against his older sister over a lengthy period of time. Investigation by Sullivan and the children's parents determined that the boy was actually the victim. The sister herself was a victim at a young age and was acting out with her younger brother)CCL 1
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of touching his 5 year old niece in his bedroom. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired was enough to persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing without client even having to go through juvenile processing, an exceptionally rare result.Dismissed prior to first court setting
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County16 year old boy accused of touching a female student at his high school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County15 year old boy was accused of holding a 15 year old girl down on the floor during class and fondling her through her clothing against her will.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County11 year old boy was accused of fondling two other students against their will while on the school bus.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child13 year old boy was accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused along with two other boys of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor indecent exposure
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy was accused of fondling a 6 year old girl who was visiting him at home. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor public lewdness
Indecency with a Child in Galveston County13 year old boy allegedly touched a girl inappropriately while riding home on the school bus. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to grant a deferred prosecution with counseling.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy accused of touching a 10 year old girl.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy accused of touching a 12 year old girl.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 17, the client wanted to de-register before he applied to attend college)314th
Motion to Revoke Probation (Indecency with a Child) in Fort Bend CountyMotion to revoke dismissed and juvenile client was re-instated on probation.Dismissed
Possession of Child Pornography15 year old boy accused of downloading child pornography images and videos from the internet to his school-issued tablet. James Sullivan persuaded the judge to grant deferred prosecution after he first arranged for his client to take and complete juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed after deferred prosecution
Possession of Child PornographyCase was first filed in Criminal District Court as an adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court one week before client's 18th birthday, an exceptionally rare event. Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Client does not have to register as a sex offender)5 years determinate probation
Promotion of Child Pornography in Montgomery County15 year old boy accused of forwarding a pic of himself engaging in a lewd sex act with another child. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor not to file charges if client completed a counseling program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault16 year old boy accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home.Dismissed on day of trial
Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy allegedly forced his girlfriend to have sex with him against her will. Sullivan persuaded prosecutor to not file case and for client to participate in first offenders program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault in Brazoria County16 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against an 18 year old girl during a teen drinking party.Case closed without charges filed

WARNING TO PARENTS ABOUT SMART PHONES

Attorney Sullivan regularly warns parents of the dangers of unsupervised internet access for children, especially via a smart phone (e.g., I-Phone), but can also be by other mobile devices (e.g., I-Pad), computers or gaming systems (e.g., Play Station or Xbox).  The danger is that children and young adults can easily access websites that offer free high speed, hard core pornography.  These websites offer videos displaying every sexual deviancy imaginable and can easily warp the minds of children and young adults.

Since 1994, Sullivan has defended hundreds of juveniles and adults accused of felony sex offenses, including juveniles as young as 10. Over the last few years, about 80 percent of his juvenile cases stemmed from juveniles acting out with other children after having viewed hard core pornography on their own or a friend’s smart phone, computer or gaming station.  Obviously, cell phone service, gaming system and other internet related providers need to better warn parents of the dangers of these devices.  By researching online or reading over the owner’s manual, you can learn how to block access to porn on your child’s smart phones although these filters are not 100% effective.

CASE EXAMPLES

The stories of Sullivan’s juvenile clients that stemmed from exposure to online pornography are heart wrenching, yet almost completely avoidable. Case examples include: a 13 year old boy impregnating his 11 year old sister, a 10 year old boy paying a 6 year old girl who lived next door for oral sex, a 14 year old boy engaging in sex acts with his 12 year old brother over a one year period, a 15 year old boy frequently having sex with his 12 year old adopted sister over a one year period and many more.

It is important for juveniles to receive professional counseling. In one memorable case, the children did not receive the counseling they needed and were later charged with serious felony sex offenses.  In that case, Sullivan was hired to represent a 14 year old boy who had fondled his 7 year old stepsister. The boy had two older brothers who were 15 and 16 years of age. The 15 year old was also accused of fondling the stepsister, and the 16 year old was accused of molesting children in a neighboring county.  Sullivan’s associate Nancy Botts was hired to represent the 15 year old. The 14 and 15 year old brothers received probation. The 16 year old was certified to stand trial as an adult. He was represented by a different law firm.

Seven years earlier when the older brother was 9 years old he began acting out sexually with his younger brothers, then ages 7 and 8. At that time, the older brother had received a smartphone as a Christmas present, used it to look at pornography online, shown the videos to his younger brothers and then began acting out with them in their bedroom. When they were caught in the act, the three brothers were separated and placed with different relatives. Unfortunately, none of the three children received any counseling.  Fast forward seven years and the three brothers are arrested and charged separately with serious felony sex offenses.

Fort Bend County Juvenile Lawyer | Richmond Texas Juvenile Law Attorney James Sullivan

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Fort Bend County Juvenile Lawyer

NTL-top-100-memberRichmond, Texas Juvenile Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is a recognized expert in juvenile law and fights to defend children accused of delinquency offenses.  Since 1994, James Sullivan has fought to defend thousands of children accused of delinquency.  He has defended children in juvenile court on virtually every kind of delinquency case, ranging from misdemeanor possession of marihuana to felony murder.  He provides a strong legal defense.

James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He is a recognized expert in the highly specialized area of juvenile law.  In Texas, there are only 38 lawyers such certified lawyers in private practice.  Sullivan also attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization.

Juvenile Law Is Not Criminal Law

Juvenile Law is different than criminal law.  Many criminal defense lawyers advertise that they are also juvenile defense lawyers, yet they may never have tried a juvenile case to a jury.  In order to hold oneself out as a true expert in Juvenile Law, a lawyer has to be Board Certified in juvenile law.  To become Board Certified, an attorney must:

  • have been licensed to practice law for at least five years,
  • devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years,
  • handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement (including at least 3 jury trials, 5 non-jury trials and 3 certification hearings),
  • attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date,
  • been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges, and
  • passed a 6-hour written examination.

The parents of children caught up in the juvenile justice system are very concerned about how their child’s misdemeanor or felony delinquency case could impact their future.  This is a very valid concern.  Colleges and universities have access to juvenile records.  Clearly, a juvenile delinquent is less likely to receive a highly coveted admission to a top school.  Also, law enforcement has access to juvenile records.  When juveniles are stopped by the police, they may be treated differently when the police know that they have a record.  There are several other ways that a juvenile record could impact your child.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at 281-546-6428 about your child’s juvenile charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas.

 

Fort Bend County Juvenile Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer James Sullivan

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Richmond, Texas Board Certified Juvenile Defense Attorney

As parents, we know that children are naturally curious about their sexuality. In these modern times, children are reaching the onset of puberty at a younger and younger age (girls as young as nine and boys as young as ten). Their curiosity leads to natural experimentation. Unfortunately, such experimentation sometimes conflicts with state laws, and children as young as ten can be arrested and charged with serious felony offenses such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault or indecency with a child.

Juvenile sex offenses, of course, can stem from other reasons. Children can be influenced to act out when they have been exposed to pornography or live sex. They will mimic the sexual behavior they have seen. And, of course, children who have been sexually abused will act out on those behaviors–sometimes years later. In such cases, it is very common that the child was abused at a young age by an older cousin, a babysitter, a coach or other such person close to the child. This prior abuse does not excuse the child’s actions, but it is definitely mitigating. Without counseling and intervention, the child is likely to re-offend. If the child later re-offends as an adult, he could be facing a life sentence.

If your child was arrested, contact Fort Bend County Juvenile Sex Crimes Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation.

DIGNITY, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION

Fort Bend County Juvenile Sex Offense Lawyer James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law. Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law and in private practice in the state of Texas.

James Sullivan can help you and your child get through this difficult ordeal with dignity, empathy and compassion. He is sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of children. He has represented a number of juvenile boys and girls who themselves had been victimized at a young age and had not reported it to their parents or to the authorities. In fact, it was only through his sensitive, patient and thought-provoking conversation with the child that he was able to draw out the prior abuse.

James Sullivan will work hard to persuade the State to non-suit (dismiss) your child’s case, to obtain an acquittal (not guilty) at trial or as a last result to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain.  From the outset, he will work hard to keep your child out of the detention center or to have your child released from the detention center and then work toward keeping him or her at home and from having to register as a sex offender.  In fact, not one of his juvenile clients has had to register as a sex offender. Such registration can be devastating to a child’s development and to his or her future.

James Sullivan is an expert in the field of juvenile law and has successfully represented juveniles charged with sex offenses and other felony and misdemeanor offenses in Houston and throughout southeast Texas. He has a proven track record in juvenile sex offense representation and is truly concerned about the many juveniles who do not have competent legal representation.

CASE RESULTS – JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

The case histories below represent a few of the many juveniles charged with sex offenses that Jim Sullivan has represented. All cases were in Harris County (Houston), except where noted. Past results are not a guarantee of a similar result in any future case.

CaseFactsResults
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildJames Sullivan persuaded a jury in the 314th District Court of Harris County to find his 15 year old male client not guilty of molesting his niece. The client was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and his 4 year old nephew was an alleged eyewitness. The niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement.Not Guilty
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child15 year old boy was accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room.Dismissed on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County16 year old boy with autism was accused of raping his 14 year old male cousin during a sleepover. Law enforcement failed to interview the accused's parents, failed to visit the alleged crime scene and failed to investigate the complainant's father, a registered sex offender with a lengthy history of abusing children, as a possible perpetrator. Before Sullivan could set the case on the trial docket, the State did the right thing and dismissed the case.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child13 year old boy accused of touching his younger step-brothers. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case upon completion of juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was accused of fondling a 2 year old girl at his home.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Brazoria County13 year old boy was accused of fondling his 6 year old stepsister. When the boy was 7, he was sexually abused by an older brother but never received any counseling. Unfortunately, six years later, he impulsively acted out on the behaviors he learned at a young age.Reduced to enticing a child
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy was accused of fondling with digital penetration his 14 year old sister against her will when he was 14 and she was 12 years old.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of having sex with and impregnating his 11 year old sister. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to reduce the case if client completed juvenile sex offender counseling.Reduced to public lewdness
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child16 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing his 6 year old half-sister.Reduced to misdemeanor assault on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Liberty County16 year old special needs boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. During a lengthy interview by Sullivan with the child at the detention center, the boy divulged that he had been molested at age six by a 14 year old cousin. Sullivan persuaded the State and the court to allow his client to live with an older sister in Harris county.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Orange County15 year old boy was accused of performing oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Sullivan persuaded the state to reduce the case to indecency with a child.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Jackson County15 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing a younger brother over a one year period of time. Like so many juvenile sex offenders, the accused was exposed to explicit sex videos online via unsupervised Internet access at a young age and began acting out with a sibling. The probation department originally recommended placement at TJJD, however Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to place him with his grandparents following a 9 to 12 months of sex offender counseling at a private placement at Pegasus School in Lockhart)Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. Sullivan initially persuaded the court to allow his client to stay at home with his parents and younger siblings, however his client later admitted to probation to fondling a younger half-brother in his home. Sullivan then persuaded the court to place his client with his grandmother in Chicago and to receive out-patient counseling even though the probation department sought placement at a residential treatment center.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child12 year old boy was caught in the act of sexually abusing his 6 year old cousin. During a series of interviews with Sullivan, the boy divulged that he had been raped by an 18 year old acquaintance that had lived in the neighborhood. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to allow his client to receive probation and to live at home with his father.Probation
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED AFTER FIRST COURT SETTING (11 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against his older sister over a lengthy period of time. Investigation by Sullivan and the children's parents determined that the boy was actually the victim. The sister herself was a victim at a young age and was acting out with her younger brother)CCL 1
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of touching his 5 year old niece in his bedroom. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired was enough to persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing without client even having to go through juvenile processing, an exceptionally rare result.Dismissed prior to first court setting
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County16 year old boy accused of touching a female student at his high school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County15 year old boy was accused of holding a 15 year old girl down on the floor during class and fondling her through her clothing against her will.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County11 year old boy was accused of fondling two other students against their will while on the school bus.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child13 year old boy was accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused along with two other boys of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor indecent exposure
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy was accused of fondling a 6 year old girl who was visiting him at home. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor public lewdness
Indecency with a Child in Galveston County13 year old boy allegedly touched a girl inappropriately while riding home on the school bus. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to grant a deferred prosecution with counseling.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy accused of touching a 10 year old girl.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy accused of touching a 12 year old girl.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 17, the client wanted to de-register before he applied to attend college)314th
Motion to Revoke Probation (Indecency with a Child) in Fort Bend CountyMotion to revoke dismissed and juvenile client was re-instated on probation.Dismissed
Possession of Child Pornography15 year old boy accused of downloading child pornography images and videos from the internet to his school-issued tablet. James Sullivan persuaded the judge to grant deferred prosecution after he first arranged for his client to take and complete juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed after deferred prosecution
Possession of Child PornographyCase was first filed in Criminal District Court as an adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court one week before client's 18th birthday, an exceptionally rare event. Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Client does not have to register as a sex offender)5 years determinate probation
Promotion of Child Pornography in Montgomery County15 year old boy accused of forwarding a pic of himself engaging in a lewd sex act with another child. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor not to file charges if client completed a counseling program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault16 year old boy accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home.Dismissed on day of trial
Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy allegedly forced his girlfriend to have sex with him against her will. Sullivan persuaded prosecutor to not file case and for client to participate in first offenders program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault in Brazoria County16 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against an 18 year old girl during a teen drinking party.Case closed without charges filed

 

POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES:

DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER TO CRIMINAL COURT

An Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child offense is a first degree felony. If the juvenile is 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from five years to life in prison.

Indecency with a Child can be either a second or third degree felony. If the juvenile is 15 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from 2 years to 10 or 20 years in prison.

DETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of a transfer to criminal court, the State can also seek a Determinate Sentence for a juvenile aged 10 years or older for a juvenile felony sex offense. If this were to happen, a juvenile could never seal his juvenile record. He could be placed on probation for up to 10 years with automatic transfer to adult probation at age 18. He could also be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (former known as Texas Youth Commission) for up to 40 years for a first degree felony, up to 20 years for a second degree felony and up to 10 years for a third degree felony. If sent to TJJD and to be eligible for parole, he first has to stay a minimum of 3 calendar years for a first degree felony, 2 calendar years for a second degree felony and 1 calendar year for a third degree felony. If the juvenile does not parole out by age 19, then he is automatically transferred to adult prison, although depending on his behavior he could be transferred as early as age 16.

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of the severe consequences of a transfer to adult court or determinate sentence, the State can proceed with an Indeterminate Sentence. In such a case, the juvenile could petition the court to seal his record at age 19 as long as he is not required to register as a sex offender. Also, the juvenile could receive probation until age 18. As a condition of probation, he could be placed outside his home for sex offender counseling and treatment. He could also be sent to TJJD where he could be held until age 19. In most of his negotiated cases, James Sullivan has been able to reach an agreement with the State for his client to receive Indeterminate Sentence probation at home for two years, the minimum statutory required length of probation for a felony sex offense.

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

The Judge can also order the juvenile to register as a sex offender until age 28. The defense attorney may be able to persuade the State to agree to defer registration, i.e. the Judge will make the decision regarding sex offender registration after the juvenile completes his or her sex offender counseling. James Sullivan has been successful in his cases to either defer the registration decision or to not require the juvenile to register at all.

DE-REGISTRATION – EXCUSING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

James Sullivan has also been successful in persuading juvenile courts to allow juveniles to be excused from further sex offender registration that would otherwise be required by Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. A juvenile ordered to register as a sex offender only has two chances to request de-registration as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in the process. Ideally, it is better to request de-registration prior to the juvenile’s 18th birthday when he would otherwise have to begin registering as an adult until age 28. However, the juvenile can still request de-registration even after having reached age 18 or older.  If you or your child were ordered to register as a sex offender by a juvenile court and want to be excused from further registration or if your child is charged with a sex offense, then contact James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428.

NTL-top-100-memberJames Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your child’s juvenile sex crime charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas.

WARNING TO PARENTS ABOUT SMART PHONES

Attorney Sullivan regularly warns parents of the dangers of unsupervised internet access for children, especially via a smart phone (e.g., I-Phone), but can also be by other mobile devices (e.g., I-Pad), computers or gaming systems (e.g., Play Station or Xbox). The danger is that children and young adults can easily access websites that offer free high speed, hard core pornography. These websites offer videos displaying every sexual deviancy imaginable and can easily warp the minds of children and young adults.

Since 1994, Sullivan has defended hundreds of juveniles and adults accused of felony sex offenses, including juveniles as young as 10. Over the last few years, about 80 percent of his juvenile cases stemmed from juveniles acting out with other children after having viewed hard core pornography on their or a friend’s smart phone, computer or gaming station. Obviously, cell phone service, gaming system and other internet related providers need to better warn parents of the dangers of these devices. By researching online or reading over the owner’s manual, you can learn how to block access to porn on your child’s smart phones although these filters are not 100% effective.

CASE EXAMPLES

The stories of Sullivan’s juvenile clients that stemmed from exposure to online pornography are heart wrenching, yet almost completely avoidable. Case examples include: a 13 year old boy impregnating his 11 year old sister, a 10 year old boy paying a 6 year old girl who lived next door for oral sex, a 14 year old boy engaging in sex acts with his 12 year old brother over a one year period, a 15 year old boy frequently having sex with his 12 year old adopted sister over a one year period and many more.

It is important for juveniles to receive professional counseling. In one memorable case, the children did not receive the counseling they needed and were later charged with serious felony sex offenses.  In that case, Sullivan was hired to represent a 14 year old boy who had fondled his 7 year old stepsister. The boy had two older brothers who were 15 and 16 years of age. The 15 year old was also accused of fondling the stepsister, and the 16 year old was accused of molesting children in a neighboring county.  Sullivan’s associate Nancy Botts was hired to represent the 15 year old. The 14 and 15 year old brothers received probation. The 16 year old was certified to stand trial as an adult. He was represented by a different law firm.

Seven years earlier when the older brother was 9 years old he began acting out sexually with his younger brothers, then ages 7 and 8. At that time, the older brother had received a smartphone as a Christmas present, used it to look at pornography online, shown the videos to his younger brothers and then began acting out with them in their bedroom. When they were caught in the act, the three brothers were separated and placed with different relatives. Unfortunately, none of the three children received any counseling.  Fast forward seven years and the three brothers are arrested and charged separately with serious felony sex offenses.

 

Conroe Texas Juvenile Sex Crimes Lawyer | Montgomery County Defense Attorney James Sullivan

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Montgomery Texas Juvenile Sex Crimes Defense

Conroe Board Certified Juvenile Defense Attorney

As parents, we know that children are naturally curious about their sexuality. In these modern times, children are reaching the onset of puberty at a younger and younger age (girls as young as nine and boys as young as ten). Their curiosity leads to natural experimentation. Unfortunately, such experimentation sometimes conflicts with state laws, and children as young as ten can be arrested and charged with serious felony offenses such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault or indecency with a child.

Juvenile sex offenses, of course, can stem from other reasons. Children can be influenced to act out when they have been exposed to pornography or live sex. They will mimic the sexual behavior they have seen. And, of course, children who have been sexually abused will act out on those behaviors–sometimes years later. In such cases, it is very common that the child was abused at a young age by an older cousin, a babysitter, a coach or other such person close to the child. This prior abuse does not excuse the child’s actions, but it is definitely mitigating. Without counseling and intervention, the child is likely to re-offend. If the child later re-offends as an adult, he could be facing a life sentence.

NTL-top-100-memberIf your child was arrested, contact Conroe Juvenile Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation. Sullivan is recognized statewide as an expert in juvenile law and is an experienced trial lawyer. Sullivan has obtained good results for juveniles accused of sex offenses in the Greater Houston area (see below).  

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

 

DIGNITY, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION

Conroe Juvenile Sex Offense Lawyer James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law. Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law and in private practice in the state of Texas.

James Sullivan can help you and your child get through this difficult ordeal with dignity, empathy and compassion. He is sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of children. He has represented a number of juvenile boys and girls who themselves had been victimized at a young age and had not reported it to their parents or to the authorities. In fact, it was only through his sensitive, patient and thought-provoking conversation with the child that he was able to draw out the prior abuse.

James Sullivan will work hard to persuade the State to non-suit (dismiss) your child’s case, to obtain an acquittal (not guilty) at trial or as a last result to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain.  From the outset, he will work hard to keep your child out of the detention center or to have your child released from the detention center and then work toward keeping him or her at home and from having to register as a sex offender.  In fact, not one of his juvenile clients has had to register as a sex offender. Such registration can be devastating to a child’s development and to his or her future.

James Sullivan is an expert in the field of juvenile law and has successfully represented juveniles charged with sex offenses and other felony and misdemeanor offenses in Montgomery County and throughout southeast Texas. He has a proven track record in juvenile sex offense representation and is truly concerned about the many juveniles who do not have competent legal representation.

CASE RESULTS – JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

The case histories below represent a few of the many juveniles charged with sex offenses that Jim Sullivan has represented. All cases were in Harris County (Houston), except where noted. Past results are not a guarantee of a similar result in any future case.

CaseFactsResults
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildJames Sullivan persuaded a jury in the 314th District Court of Harris County to find his 15 year old male client not guilty of molesting his niece. The client was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and his 4 year old nephew was an alleged eyewitness. The niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement.Not Guilty
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child15 year old boy was accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room.Dismissed on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County16 year old boy with autism was accused of raping his 14 year old male cousin during a sleepover. Law enforcement failed to interview the accused's parents, failed to visit the alleged crime scene and failed to investigate the complainant's father, a registered sex offender with a lengthy history of abusing children, as a possible perpetrator. Before Sullivan could set the case on the trial docket, the State did the right thing and dismissed the case.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child13 year old boy accused of touching his younger step-brothers. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case upon completion of juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was accused of fondling a 2 year old girl at his home.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Brazoria County13 year old boy was accused of fondling his 6 year old stepsister. When the boy was 7, he was sexually abused by an older brother but never received any counseling. Unfortunately, six years later, he impulsively acted out on the behaviors he learned at a young age.Reduced to enticing a child
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy was accused of fondling with digital penetration his 14 year old sister against her will when he was 14 and she was 12 years old.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of having sex with and impregnating his 11 year old sister. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to reduce the case if client completed juvenile sex offender counseling.Reduced to public lewdness
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child16 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing his 6 year old half-sister.Reduced to misdemeanor assault on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Liberty County16 year old special needs boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. During a lengthy interview by Sullivan with the child at the detention center, the boy divulged that he had been molested at age six by a 14 year old cousin. Sullivan persuaded the State and the court to allow his client to live with an older sister in Harris county.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Orange County15 year old boy was accused of performing oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Sullivan persuaded the state to reduce the case to indecency with a child.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Jackson County15 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing a younger brother over a one year period of time. Like so many juvenile sex offenders, the accused was exposed to explicit sex videos online via unsupervised Internet access at a young age and began acting out with a sibling. The probation department originally recommended placement at TJJD, however Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to place him with his grandparents following a 9 to 12 months of sex offender counseling at a private placement at Pegasus School in Lockhart)Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. Sullivan initially persuaded the court to allow his client to stay at home with his parents and younger siblings, however his client later admitted to probation to fondling a younger half-brother in his home. Sullivan then persuaded the court to place his client with his grandmother in Chicago and to receive out-patient counseling even though the probation department sought placement at a residential treatment center.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child12 year old boy was caught in the act of sexually abusing his 6 year old cousin. During a series of interviews with Sullivan, the boy divulged that he had been raped by an 18 year old acquaintance that had lived in the neighborhood. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to allow his client to receive probation and to live at home with his father.Probation
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED AFTER FIRST COURT SETTING (11 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against his older sister over a lengthy period of time. Investigation by Sullivan and the children's parents determined that the boy was actually the victim. The sister herself was a victim at a young age and was acting out with her younger brother)CCL 1
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of touching his 5 year old niece in his bedroom. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired was enough to persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing without client even having to go through juvenile processing, an exceptionally rare result.Dismissed prior to first court setting
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County16 year old boy accused of touching a female student at his high school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County15 year old boy was accused of holding a 15 year old girl down on the floor during class and fondling her through her clothing against her will.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County11 year old boy was accused of fondling two other students against their will while on the school bus.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child13 year old boy was accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused along with two other boys of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor indecent exposure
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy was accused of fondling a 6 year old girl who was visiting him at home. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor public lewdness
Indecency with a Child in Galveston County13 year old boy allegedly touched a girl inappropriately while riding home on the school bus. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to grant a deferred prosecution with counseling.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy accused of touching a 10 year old girl.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy accused of touching a 12 year old girl.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 17, the client wanted to de-register before he applied to attend college)314th
Motion to Revoke Probation (Indecency with a Child) in Fort Bend CountyMotion to revoke dismissed and juvenile client was re-instated on probation.Dismissed
Possession of Child Pornography15 year old boy accused of downloading child pornography images and videos from the internet to his school-issued tablet. James Sullivan persuaded the judge to grant deferred prosecution after he first arranged for his client to take and complete juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed after deferred prosecution
Possession of Child PornographyCase was first filed in Criminal District Court as an adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court one week before client's 18th birthday, an exceptionally rare event. Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Client does not have to register as a sex offender)5 years determinate probation
Promotion of Child Pornography in Montgomery County15 year old boy accused of forwarding a pic of himself engaging in a lewd sex act with another child. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor not to file charges if client completed a counseling program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault16 year old boy accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home.Dismissed on day of trial
Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy allegedly forced his girlfriend to have sex with him against her will. Sullivan persuaded prosecutor to not file case and for client to participate in first offenders program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault in Brazoria County16 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against an 18 year old girl during a teen drinking party.Case closed without charges filed

 

POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES:

DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER TO CRIMINAL COURT

An Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child offense is a first degree felony. If the juvenile is 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from five years to life in prison.

Indecency with a Child can be either a second or third degree felony. If the juvenile is 15 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from 2 years to 10 or 20 years in prison.

DETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of a transfer to criminal court, the State can also seek a Determinate Sentence for a juvenile aged 10 years or older for a juvenile felony sex offense. If this were to happen, a juvenile could never seal his juvenile record. He could be placed on probation for up to 10 years with automatic transfer to adult probation at age 18. He could also be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (former known as Texas Youth Commission) for up to 40 years for a first degree felony, up to 20 years for a second degree felony and up to 10 years for a third degree felony. If sent to TJJD and to be eligible for parole, he first has to stay a minimum of 3 calendar years for a first degree felony, 2 calendar years for a second degree felony and 1 calendar year for a third degree felony. If the juvenile does not parole out by age 19, then he is automatically transferred to adult prison, although depending on his behavior he could be transferred as early as age 16.

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of the severe consequences of a transfer to adult court or determinate sentence, the State can proceed with an Indeterminate Sentence. In such a case, the juvenile could petition the court to seal his record at age 19 as long as he is not required to register as a sex offender. Also, the juvenile could receive probation until age 18. As a condition of probation, he could be placed outside his home for sex offender counseling and treatment. He could also be sent to TJJD where he could be held until age 19. In most of his negotiated cases, James Sullivan has been able to reach an agreement with the State for his client to receive Indeterminate Sentence probation at home for two years, the minimum statutory required length of probation for a felony sex offense.

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

The Judge can also order the juvenile to register as a sex offender until age 28. The defense attorney may be able to persuade the State to agree to defer registration, i.e. the Judge will make the decision regarding sex offender registration after the juvenile completes his or her sex offender counseling. James Sullivan has been successful in his cases to either defer the registration decision or to not require the juvenile to register at all.

DE-REGISTRATION – EXCUSING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

James Sullivan has also been successful in persuading juvenile courts to allow juveniles to be excused from further sex offender registration that would otherwise be required by Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. A juvenile ordered to register as a sex offender only has two chances to request de-registration as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in the process. Ideally, it is better to request de-registration prior to the juvenile’s 18th birthday when he would otherwise have to begin registering as an adult until age 28. However, the juvenile can still request de-registration even after having reached age 18 or older.

Need an experienced Montgomery County Juvenile Lawyer? Call James Sullivan and Associates at (281) 546-6428 for a free confidential consultation.

WARNING TO PARENTS ABOUT SMART PHONES

Attorney Sullivan regularly warns parents of the dangers of unsupervised internet access for children, especially via a smart phone (e.g., I-Phone), but can also be by other mobile devices (e.g., I-Pad), computers or gaming systems (e.g., Play Station or Xbox). The danger is that children and young adults can easily access websites that offer free high speed, hard core pornography. These websites offer videos displaying every sexual deviancy imaginable and can easily warp the minds of children and young adults.

Since 1994, Sullivan has defended hundreds of juveniles and adults accused of felony sex offenses, including juveniles as young as 10. Over the last few years, about 80 percent of his juvenile cases stemmed from juveniles acting out with other children after having viewed hard core pornography on theirs or a friend’s smart phone, computer or gaming station. Obviously, cell phone service, gaming system and other internet related providers need to better warn parents of the dangers of these devices. By researching online or reading over the owner’s manual, you can learn how to block access to porn on your child’s smart phones although these filters are not 100% effective.

CASE EXAMPLES

The stories of Sullivan’s juvenile clients that stemmed from exposure to online pornography are heart wrenching, yet almost completely avoidable. Case examples include: a 13 year old boy impregnating his 11 year old sister, a 10 year old boy paying a 6 year old girl who lived next door for oral sex, a 14 year old boy engaging in sex acts with his 12 year old brother over a one year period, a 15 year old boy frequently having sex with his 12 year old adopted sister over a one year period and many more.

It is important for juveniles to receive professional counseling. In one memorable case, the children did not receive the counseling they needed and were later charged with serious felony sex offenses.  In that case, Sullivan was hired to represent a 14 year old boy who had fondled his 7 year old stepsister. The boy had two older brothers who were 15 and 16 years of age. The 15 year old was also accused of fondling the stepsister, and the 16 year old was accused of molesting children in a neighboring county.  Sullivan’s associate Nancy Botts was hired to represent the 15 year old. The 14 and 15 year old brothers received probation. The 16 year old was certified to stand trial as an adult. He was represented by a different law firm.

Seven years earlier when the older brother was 9 years old he began acting out sexually with his younger brothers, then ages 7 and 8. At that time, the older brother had received a smartphone as a Christmas present, used it to look at pornography online, shown the videos to his younger brothers and then began acting out with them in their bedroom. When they were caught in the act, the three brothers were separated and placed with different relatives. Unfortunately, none of the three children received any counseling.  Fast forward seven years and the three brothers are arrested and charged separately with serious felony sex offenses.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Arson, Aggravated Assault, Assault, Assault Family Violence, Auto Theft, Burglary of a Habitation, Child Abuse, Computer Crime, Cruelty to Animals, DUI/DWI, Drug Defense, Drug Possession, Drug Delivery, Evading, Felony, Fraud, Grand Jury, Indecency with a Child, Insurance Fraud, Harassment, Homicide, Manslaughter, Misdemeanor, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Prostitution, Robbery, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault of a Child, Shoplifting, Theft, White Collar Crime, and all Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Certification and Juvenile Sex Crimes.

 

Montgomery County Texas Juvenile Lawyer | Conroe Criminal Attorney James Sullivan

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Montgomery County Texas Juvenile Lawyer

Conroe, Texas Juvenile Defense Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is a recognized expert in juvenile law and fights to defend children accused of delinquency offenses.  Since 1994, James Sullivan has fought to defend thousands of children accused of delinquency.  He has defended children in juvenile court on virtually every kind of delinquency case, ranging from misdemeanor possession of marihuana to felony murder.  He provides a strong legal defense.

Attorney James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He is a recognized expert in the highly specialized area of juvenile law.  In Texas, there are only 38 lawyers such certified lawyers in private practice.  Sullivan also graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization.

Juvenile Law Is Not Criminal Law

Juvenile Law is different than criminal law.  Many criminal defense lawyers advertise that they are also juvenile defense lawyers, yet they may never have tried a juvenile case to a jury.  In order to hold oneself out as a true expert in Juvenile Law, a lawyer has to be Board Certified in juvenile law. To become Board Certified, an attorney must:

  • have been licensed to practice law for at least five years,
  • devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years,
  • handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement (including at least 3 jury trials, 5 non-jury trials and 3 certification hearings),
  • attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date,
  • been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges, and
  • passed a 6-hour written examination.

NTL-top-100-memberThe parents of children caught up in the juvenile justice system are very concerned about how their child’s misdemeanor or felony delinquency case could impact their future.  This is a very valid concern.  Colleges and universities have access to juvenile records.  Clearly, a juvenile delinquent is less likely to receive a highly coveted admission to a top school.  Licensing agencies of government have access and a juvenile record could impact their career path.  Also, law enforcement has access to juvenile records.  When juveniles are stopped by the police, they may be treated differently when the police know that they have a record.  There are several other ways that a juvenile record could impact your child.

If your child needs a juvenile defense lawyer, contact Conroe Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Arson, Aggravated Assault, Assault, Assault Family Violence, Auto Theft, Burglary of a Habitation, Child Abuse, Computer Crime, Cruelty to Animals, DUI/DWI, Drug Defense, Drug Possession, Drug Delivery, Evading, Felony, Fraud, Grand Jury, Indecency with a Child, Insurance Fraud, Harassment, Homicide, Manslaughter, Misdemeanor, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Prostitution, Robbery, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault of a Child, Shoplifting, Theft, White Collar Crime, and all Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Certification and Juvenile Sex Crimes.

Harris County Juvenile Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer James Sullivan Fights for his Clients

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Houston Juvenile and Criminal Sex Crimes Defense

As parents, we know that children are naturally curious about their sexuality. In these modern times, children are reaching the onset of puberty at a younger and younger age (girls as young as nine and boys as young as ten). Their curiosity leads to natural experimentation. Unfortunately, such experimentation sometimes conflicts with state laws, and children as young as ten can be arrested and charged with serious felony offenses such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault or indecency with a child.

Juvenile sex offenses, of course, can stem from other reasons. Children can be influenced to act out when they have been exposed to pornography or live sex. They will mimic the sexual behavior they have seen. And, of course, children who have been sexually abused will act out on those behaviors–sometimes years later. In such cases, it is very common that the child was abused at a young age by an older cousin, a babysitter, a coach or other such person close to the child. This prior abuse does not excuse the child’s actions, but it is definitely mitigating. Without counseling and intervention, the child is likely to re-offend. If the child later re-offends as an adult, he could be facing a life sentence.

If your child was arrested, contact Houston Juvenile Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a free phone consultation.  Sullivan is recognized statewide as an expert in juvenile law and is an experienced trial lawyer. Sullivan has obtained good results for both juveniles and adults accused of sex offenses in the Greater Houston area.

James Sullivan graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

DIGNITY, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION

Houston Juvenile Sex Offense Lawyer James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law. Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law and in private practice in the state of Texas.

James Sullivan can help you and your child get through this difficult ordeal with dignity, empathy and compassion. He is sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of children. He has represented a number of juvenile boys and girls who themselves had been victimized at a young age and had not reported it to their parents or to the authorities. In fact, it was only through his sensitive, patient and thought-provoking conversation with the child that he was able to draw out the prior abuse.

James Sullivan will work hard to persuade the State to non-suit (dismiss) your child’s case, to obtain an acquittal (not guilty) at trial or as a last result to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain.  From the outset, he will work hard to keep your child out of the detention center or to have your child released from the detention center and then work toward keeping him or her at home and from having to register as a sex offender.  In fact, not one of his juvenile clients has had to register as a sex offender. Such registration can be devastating to a child’s development and to his or her future.

James Sullivan is an expert in the field of juvenile law and has successfully represented juveniles charged with sex offenses and other felony and misdemeanor offenses in Houston and throughout southeast Texas. He has a proven track record in juvenile sex offense representation and is truly concerned about the many juveniles who do not have competent legal representation.  Certainly, each case is different.  Similar results may not be obtained in your child’s case and past performance is no guarantee of future results.

RECENT CASE RESULTS – JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

CaseFactsResults
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildJames Sullivan persuaded a jury in the 314th District Court of Harris County to find his 15 year old male client not guilty of molesting his niece. The client was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and his 4 year old nephew was an alleged eyewitness. The niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement.Not Guilty
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child15 year old boy was accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room.Dismissed on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County16 year old boy with autism was accused of raping his 14 year old male cousin during a sleepover. Law enforcement failed to interview the accused's parents, failed to visit the alleged crime scene and failed to investigate the complainant's father, a registered sex offender with a lengthy history of abusing children, as a possible perpetrator. Before Sullivan could set the case on the trial docket, the State did the right thing and dismissed the case.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child13 year old boy accused of touching his younger step-brothers. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case upon completion of juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was accused of fondling a 2 year old girl at his home.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Brazoria County13 year old boy was accused of fondling his 6 year old stepsister. When the boy was 7, he was sexually abused by an older brother but never received any counseling. Unfortunately, six years later, he impulsively acted out on the behaviors he learned at a young age.Reduced to enticing a child
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy was accused of fondling with digital penetration his 14 year old sister against her will when he was 14 and she was 12 years old.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of having sex with and impregnating his 11 year old sister. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to reduce the case if client completed juvenile sex offender counseling.Reduced to public lewdness
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child16 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing his 6 year old half-sister.Reduced to misdemeanor assault on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Liberty County16 year old special needs boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. During a lengthy interview by Sullivan with the child at the detention center, the boy divulged that he had been molested at age six by a 14 year old cousin. Sullivan persuaded the State and the court to allow his client to live with an older sister in Harris county.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Orange County15 year old boy was accused of performing oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Sullivan persuaded the state to reduce the case to indecency with a child.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Jackson County15 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing a younger brother over a one year period of time. Like so many juvenile sex offenders, the accused was exposed to explicit sex videos online via unsupervised Internet access at a young age and began acting out with a sibling. The probation department originally recommended placement at TJJD, however Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to place him with his grandparents following a 9 to 12 months of sex offender counseling at a private placement at Pegasus School in Lockhart)Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. Sullivan initially persuaded the court to allow his client to stay at home with his parents and younger siblings, however his client later admitted to probation to fondling a younger half-brother in his home. Sullivan then persuaded the court to place his client with his grandmother in Chicago and to receive out-patient counseling even though the probation department sought placement at a residential treatment center.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child12 year old boy was caught in the act of sexually abusing his 6 year old cousin. During a series of interviews with Sullivan, the boy divulged that he had been raped by an 18 year old acquaintance that had lived in the neighborhood. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to allow his client to receive probation and to live at home with his father.Probation
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED AFTER FIRST COURT SETTING (11 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against his older sister over a lengthy period of time. Investigation by Sullivan and the children's parents determined that the boy was actually the victim. The sister herself was a victim at a young age and was acting out with her younger brother)CCL 1
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of touching his 5 year old niece in his bedroom. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired was enough to persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing without client even having to go through juvenile processing, an exceptionally rare result.Dismissed prior to first court setting
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County16 year old boy accused of touching a female student at his high school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County15 year old boy was accused of holding a 15 year old girl down on the floor during class and fondling her through her clothing against her will.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County11 year old boy was accused of fondling two other students against their will while on the school bus.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child13 year old boy was accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused along with two other boys of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor indecent exposure
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy was accused of fondling a 6 year old girl who was visiting him at home. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor public lewdness
Indecency with a Child in Galveston County13 year old boy allegedly touched a girl inappropriately while riding home on the school bus. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to grant a deferred prosecution with counseling.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy accused of touching a 10 year old girl.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy accused of touching a 12 year old girl.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 17, the client wanted to de-register before he applied to attend college)314th
Motion to Revoke Probation (Indecency with a Child) in Fort Bend CountyMotion to revoke dismissed and juvenile client was re-instated on probation.Dismissed
Possession of Child Pornography15 year old boy accused of downloading child pornography images and videos from the internet to his school-issued tablet. James Sullivan persuaded the judge to grant deferred prosecution after he first arranged for his client to take and complete juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed after deferred prosecution
Possession of Child PornographyCase was first filed in Criminal District Court as an adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court one week before client's 18th birthday, an exceptionally rare event. Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Client does not have to register as a sex offender)5 years determinate probation
Promotion of Child Pornography in Montgomery County15 year old boy accused of forwarding a pic of himself engaging in a lewd sex act with another child. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor not to file charges if client completed a counseling program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault16 year old boy accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home.Dismissed on day of trial
Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy allegedly forced his girlfriend to have sex with him against her will. Sullivan persuaded prosecutor to not file case and for client to participate in first offenders program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault in Brazoria County16 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against an 18 year old girl during a teen drinking party.Case closed without charges filed

POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES:

DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER TO CRIMINAL COURT

An Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child offense is a first degree felony. If the juvenile is 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from five years to life in prison.

Indecency with a Child can be either a second or third degree felony. If the juvenile is 15 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from 2 years to 10 or 20 years in prison.

DETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of a transfer to criminal court, the State can also seek a Determinate Sentence for a juvenile aged 10 years or older for a juvenile felony sex offense. If this were to happen, a juvenile could never seal his juvenile record. He could be placed on probation for up to 10 years with automatic transfer to adult probation at age 18. He could also be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (former known as Texas Youth Commission) for up to 40 years for a first degree felony, up to 20 years for a second degree felony and up to 10 years for a third degree felony. If sent to TJJD and to be eligible for parole, he first has to stay a minimum of 3 calendar years for a first degree felony, 2 calendar years for a second degree felony and 1 calendar year for a third degree felony. If the juvenile does not parole out by age 19, then he is automatically transferred to adult prison, although depending on his behavior he could be transferred as early as age 16.

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of the severe consequences of a transfer to adult court or determinate sentence, the State can proceed with an Indeterminate Sentence. In such a case, the juvenile could petition the court to seal his record at age 19 as long as he is not required to register as a sex offender. Also, the juvenile could receive probation until age 18. As a condition of probation, he could be placed outside his home for sex offender counseling and treatment. He could also be sent to TJJD where he could be held until age 19. In most of his negotiated cases, James Sullivan has been able to reach an agreement with the State for his client to receive Indeterminate Sentence probation at home for two years, the minimum statutory required length of probation for a felony sex offense.

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

The Judge can also order the juvenile to register as a sex offender until age 28. The defense attorney may be able to persuade the State to agree to defer registration, i.e. the Judge will make the decision regarding sex offender registration after the juvenile completes his or her sex offender counseling.  James Sullivan has defended over 100 juvenile sex offenders and not even one of his clients has had to register.

DE-REGISTRATION – EXCUSING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

James Sullivan has also been successful in persuading juvenile courts to allow juveniles to be excused from further sex offender registration that would otherwise be required by Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. A juvenile ordered to register as a sex offender only has two chances to request de-registration as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in the process. Ideally, it is better to request de-registration prior to the juvenile’s 18th birthday when he would otherwise have to begin registering as an adult until age 28. However, the juvenile can still request de-registration even after having reached age 18 or older.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free phone consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your child’s juvenile charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas.

This is one of Sullivan’s many client reviews on AVVO:

Mr. Sullivan Got My Son’s Felony Sex Case Dismissed Before His First Court Setting! Simply Amazing!

I am truly blessed to have found Attorney James Sullivan. In March of 2014 our world was turned upside down and our experience with the juvenile justice system in Montgomery County would be one that would change our lives forever. Our 13 year old son was accused of Indecency with a Child by his 5 yr old niece, a case we were certain he was innocent of. Sullivan answered my phone call when I initially called and talked with me on the phone calming my nerves, ensuring me that everything would be okay. After meeting with Sullivan later that day, we were assured we were in good hands. Sullivan is professional, proficient, and an expert in juvenile law. Sullivan treated our son like the good person we know he is and not as a sex offender that the juvenile justice system had “already” labeled him. Sullivan responded to our e-mails and phone calls in a timely fashion, even calling us after business hours to answer questions we had to ease our anxiety. Sullivan took the time to review the evidence in our son’s case seeking out the true facts and found many weaknesses in state’s case.
Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the case before our very first court setting! Our son did not even have to meet with the juvenile probation department. The fact that our son never had to be fingerprinted nor have his mug shot taken was a blessing to us as we did not want him to experience a situation like that for a crime he did not commit.
Sullivan is very educated in the area of juvenile defense and sought justice for our son to have his name cleared of an erroneous crime. Sullivan cares for his clients and seeking just and fair representation for each person he represents. He is committed to seeing that children receive the support and counsel they need to ensure they have a voice speaking on their behalf during difficult times. I can never thank Sullivan for all that he has done for our son and family. Sullivan even educated us on things we could do to protect our son from being accused of a crime of this nature in the future. I would recommend Sullivan to anyone who is going through an ordeal in juvenile court so you can have peace of mind knowing that you and your family are being taken care of by someone who is committed to seeking justice on your behalf. Sullivan is a true blessing to everyone he comes in contact with and we are forever grateful for everything he has done for our family.

–Posted by T.R & M.R on May 30, 2014

WARNING TO PARENTS ABOUT SMART PHONES

Attorney Sullivan regularly warns parents of the dangers of unsupervised internet access for children, especially via a smart phone (e.g., I-Phone), but can also be by other mobile devices (e.g., I-Pad), computers or gaming systems (e.g., Play Station or Xbox).  The danger is that children and young adults can easily access websites that offer free high speed, hard core pornography.  These websites offer videos displaying every sexual deviancy imaginable and can easily warp the minds of children and young adults.  To learn more about the devastating harm that pornography addiction causes, visit www.fightthenewdrug.org.

Since 1994, Sullivan has defended hundreds of juveniles and adults accused of felony sex offenses, including juveniles as young as 10. Over the last few years, about 80 percent of his juvenile cases stemmed from juveniles acting out with other children after having viewed hard core pornography on their own or a friend’s smart phone, computer or gaming station.  Obviously, cell phone service, gaming system and other internet related providers need to better warn parents of the dangers of these devices.  By researching online or reading over the owner’s manual, you can learn how to block access to porn on your child’s smart phones although these filters are not 100% effective.

CASE EXAMPLES

The stories of Sullivan’s juvenile clients that stemmed from exposure to online pornography are heart wrenching, yet almost completely avoidable. Case examples include: a 13 year old boy impregnating his 11 year old sister, a 10 year old boy paying a 6 year old girl who lived next door for oral sex, a 14 year old boy engaging in sex acts with his 12 year old brother over a one year period, a 15 year old boy frequently having sex with his 12 year old adopted sister over a one year period and many more.

It is important for juveniles to receive professional counseling. In one memorable case, the children did not receive the counseling they needed and were later charged with serious felony sex offenses.  In that case, Sullivan was hired to represent a 14 year old boy who had fondled his 7 year old stepsister. The boy had two older brothers who were 15 and 16 years of age. The 15 year old was also accused of fondling the stepsister, and the 16 year old was accused of molesting children in a neighboring county.  Sullivan’s associate Nancy Botts was hired to represent the 15 year old. The 14 and 15 year old brothers received probation. The 16 year old was certified to stand trial as an adult. He was represented by a different law firm.

Seven years earlier when the older brother was 9 years old he began acting out sexually with his younger brothers, then ages 7 and 8. At that time, the older brother had received a smartphone as a Christmas present, used it to look at pornography online, shown the videos to his younger brothers and then began acting out with them in their bedroom. When they were caught in the act, the three brothers were separated and placed with different relatives. Unfortunately, none of the three children received any counseling.  Fast forward seven years and the three brothers are arrested and charged separately with serious felony sex offenses.

 

Houston Juvenile Sex Crime Lawyer James Sullivan Gets Proven Results in Texas

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

As parents, we know that children are naturally curious about their sexuality. In these modern times, children are reaching the onset of puberty at a younger and younger age (girls as young as nine and boys as young as ten). Their curiosity leads to natural experimentation. Unfortunately, such experimentation sometimes conflicts with state laws, and children as young as ten can be arrested and charged with serious felony offenses such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault or indecency with a child.

Juvenile sex offenses, of course, can stem from other reasons. Children can be influenced to act out when they have been exposed to pornography or live sex. They will mimic the sexual behavior they have seen. And, of course, children who have been sexually abused will act out on those behaviors–sometimes years later. In such cases, it is very common that the child was abused at a young age by an older cousin, a babysitter, a coach or other such person close to the child. This prior abuse does not excuse the child’s actions, but it is definitely mitigating. Without counseling and intervention, the child is likely to re-offend. If the child later re-offends as an adult, he could be facing a life sentence.

DIGNITY, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION

IMG_2923bTBLS-Logo-tag-RHouston Juvenile Sex Offense Lawyer James (Jim) Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law. Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law and in private practice in the state of Texas.

James Sullivan can help you and your child get through this difficult ordeal with dignity, empathy and compassion. He is sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of children. He has represented a number of juvenile boys and girls who themselves had been victimized at a young age and had not reported it to their parents or to the authorities. In fact, it was only through his sensitive, patient and thought-provoking conversation with the child that he was able to draw out the prior abuse.

James Sullivan will work hard to persuade the State to non-suit (dismiss) your child’s case, to obtain an acquittal (not guilty) at trial or as a last result to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain. From the outset, he will work to have your child released from the detention center and then work toward keeping him or her at home and from having to register as a sex offender. In fact, not one of his juvenile clients has had to register as a sex offender. Such registration can be devastating to a child’s development and to his or her future.

James Sullivan is an expert in the field of juvenile law and has successfully represented juveniles charged with sex offenses and other felony and misdemeanor offenses in Houston and throughout southeast Texas. He has a proven track record in juvenile sex offense representation and is truly concerned about the many juveniles who do not have competent legal representation.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact James Sullivan at 281-546-6428 for a confidential consultation.

CASE RESULTS – JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

The case histories below represent a few of the many juveniles charged with sex offenses that Jim Sullivan has represented. All cases were in Harris County (Houston), except where noted. Past results are not a guarantee of a similar result in any future case.

CaseFactsResults
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildJames Sullivan persuaded a jury in the 314th District Court of Harris County to find his 15 year old male client not guilty of molesting his niece. The client was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and his 4 year old nephew was an alleged eyewitness. The niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement.Not Guilty
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child15 year old boy was accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room.Dismissed on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County16 year old boy with autism was accused of raping his 14 year old male cousin during a sleepover. Law enforcement failed to interview the accused's parents, failed to visit the alleged crime scene and failed to investigate the complainant's father, a registered sex offender with a lengthy history of abusing children, as a possible perpetrator. Before Sullivan could set the case on the trial docket, the State did the right thing and dismissed the case.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child13 year old boy accused of touching his younger step-brothers. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case upon completion of juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was accused of fondling a 2 year old girl at his home.Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Brazoria County13 year old boy was accused of fondling his 6 year old stepsister. When the boy was 7, he was sexually abused by an older brother but never received any counseling. Unfortunately, six years later, he impulsively acted out on the behaviors he learned at a young age.Reduced to enticing a child
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy was accused of fondling with digital penetration his 14 year old sister against her will when he was 14 and she was 12 years old.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of having sex with and impregnating his 11 year old sister. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to reduce the case if client completed juvenile sex offender counseling.Reduced to public lewdness
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child16 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing his 6 year old half-sister.Reduced to misdemeanor assault on day of trial
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Liberty County16 year old special needs boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. During a lengthy interview by Sullivan with the child at the detention center, the boy divulged that he had been molested at age six by a 14 year old cousin. Sullivan persuaded the State and the court to allow his client to live with an older sister in Harris county.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Orange County15 year old boy was accused of performing oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Sullivan persuaded the state to reduce the case to indecency with a child.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Jackson County15 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing a younger brother over a one year period of time. Like so many juvenile sex offenders, the accused was exposed to explicit sex videos online via unsupervised Internet access at a young age and began acting out with a sibling. The probation department originally recommended placement at TJJD, however Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to place him with his grandparents following a 9 to 12 months of sex offender counseling at a private placement at Pegasus School in Lockhart)Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Montgomery County12 year old boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. Sullivan initially persuaded the court to allow his client to stay at home with his parents and younger siblings, however his client later admitted to probation to fondling a younger half-brother in his home. Sullivan then persuaded the court to place his client with his grandmother in Chicago and to receive out-patient counseling even though the probation department sought placement at a residential treatment center.Probation
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child12 year old boy was caught in the act of sexually abusing his 6 year old cousin. During a series of interviews with Sullivan, the boy divulged that he had been raped by an 18 year old acquaintance that had lived in the neighborhood. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to allow his client to receive probation and to live at home with his father.Probation
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED AFTER FIRST COURT SETTING (11 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against his older sister over a lengthy period of time. Investigation by Sullivan and the children's parents determined that the boy was actually the victim. The sister herself was a victim at a young age and was acting out with her younger brother)CCL 1
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County13 year old boy accused of touching his 5 year old niece in his bedroom. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired was enough to persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing without client even having to go through juvenile processing, an exceptionally rare result.Dismissed prior to first court setting
Indecency with a Child by Contact in Montgomery County16 year old boy accused of touching a female student at his high school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County15 year old boy was accused of holding a 15 year old girl down on the floor during class and fondling her through her clothing against her will.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child in Montgomery County11 year old boy was accused of fondling two other students against their will while on the school bus.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child13 year old boy was accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused along with two other boys of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor indecent exposure
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy was accused of fondling a 6 year old girl who was visiting him at home. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy was accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex. Case was reduced on day of trial.Reduced to misdemeanor public lewdness
Indecency with a Child in Galveston County13 year old boy allegedly touched a girl inappropriately while riding home on the school bus. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to grant a deferred prosecution with counseling.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child14 year old boy accused of touching a 10 year old girl.Dismissed
Indecency with a Child15 year old boy accused of touching a 12 year old girl.Reduced to misdemeanor assault
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 17, the client wanted to de-register before he applied to attend college)314th
Motion to Revoke Probation (Indecency with a Child) in Fort Bend CountyMotion to revoke dismissed and juvenile client was re-instated on probation.Dismissed
Possession of Child Pornography15 year old boy accused of downloading child pornography images and videos from the internet to his school-issued tablet. James Sullivan persuaded the judge to grant deferred prosecution after he first arranged for his client to take and complete juvenile sex offender counseling.Dismissed after deferred prosecution
Possession of Child PornographyCase was first filed in Criminal District Court as an adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court one week before client's 18th birthday, an exceptionally rare event. Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Client does not have to register as a sex offender)5 years determinate probation
Promotion of Child Pornography in Montgomery County15 year old boy accused of forwarding a pic of himself engaging in a lewd sex act with another child. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor not to file charges if client completed a counseling program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault16 year old boy accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home.Dismissed on day of trial
Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Bend County16 year old boy allegedly forced his girlfriend to have sex with him against her will. Sullivan persuaded prosecutor to not file case and for client to participate in first offenders program.Case closed without charges filed
Sexual Assault in Brazoria County16 year old boy was accused of sexual assault against an 18 year old girl during a teen drinking party.Case closed without charges filed

POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES:

DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER TO CRIMINAL COURT

An Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child offense is a first degree felony. If the juvenile is 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from five years to life in prison.

Indecency with a Child can be either a second or third degree felony. If the juvenile is 15 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from 2 years to 10 or 20 years in prison.

DETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of a transfer to criminal court, the State can also seek a Determinate Sentence for a juvenile aged 10 years or older for a juvenile felony sex offense. If this were to happen, a juvenile could never seal his juvenile record. He could be placed on probation for up to 10 years with automatic transfer to adult probation at age 18. He could also be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (former known as Texas Youth Commission) for up to 40 years for a first degree felony, up to 20 years for a second degree felony and up to 10 years for a third degree felony. If sent to TJJD and to be eligible for parole, he first has to stay a minimum of 3 calendar years for a first degree felony, 2 calendar years for a second degree felony and 1 calendar year for a third degree felony. If the juvenile does not parole out by age 19, then he is automatically transferred to adult prison, although depending on his behavior he could be transferred as early as age 16.

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE

Instead of the severe consequences of a transfer to adult court or determinate sentence, the State can proceed with an Indeterminate Sentence. In such a case, the juvenile could petition the court to seal his record at age 19 as long as he is not required to register as a sex offender. Also, the juvenile could receive probation until age 18. As a condition of probation, he could be placed outside his home for sex offender counseling and treatment. He could also be sent to TJJD where he could be held until age 19. In most of his negotiated cases, Jim Sullivan has been able to reach an agreement with the State for his client to receive Indeterminate Sentence probation at home for two years, the minimum statutory required length of probation for a felony sex offense.

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

The Judge can also order the juvenile to register as a sex offender until age 28. The defense attorney may be able to persuade the State to agree to defer registration, i.e. the Judge will make the decision regarding sex offender registration after the juvenile completes his or her sex offender counseling. Jim Sullivan has been successful in his cases to either defer the registration decision or to not require the juvenile to register at all.

DE-REGISTRATION – EXCUSING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

James Sullivan has also been successful in persuading juvenile courts to allow juveniles to be excused from further sex offender registration that would otherwise be required by Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. A juvenile ordered to register as a sex offender only has two chances to request de-registration as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in the process. Ideally, it is better to request de-registration prior to the juvenile’s 18th birthday when he would otherwise have to begin registering as an adult until age 28. However, the juvenile can still request de-registration even after having reached age 18 or older. If you or your child were ordered to register as a sex offender by a juvenile court and want to be excused from further registration or if your child is charged with a sex offense, then call Sullivan at 281-546-6428. He can help you and he wants to hear from you.

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Houston / Harris County Juvenile Lawyer James Sullivan Provides a Strong Legal Defense

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Harris County Juvenile Lawyer

Houston Juvenile Defense Trial Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is a recognized expert in juvenile law and fights to defend children accused of delinquency offenses.  Since 1994, James Sullivan has fought to defend thousands of children accused of delinquency.  He has defended children in juvenile court on virtually every kind of delinquency case, ranging from misdemeanor possession of marihuana to felony murder.  He provides a strong legal defense.

Attorney James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He is a recognized expert in the highly specialized area of juvenile law.  Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law in private practice.  The other 27 board certified lawyers work for the government.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Juvenile Law Is Not Criminal Law

Juvenile Law is different than criminal law.  Many criminal defense lawyers advertise that they are also juvenile defense lawyers, yet they may never have tried a juvenile case to a jury.  In order to hold oneself out as a true expert in Juvenile Law, a lawyer has to be Board Certified in juvenile law. To become Board Certified, an attorney must:

  • have been licensed to practice law for at least five years,
  • devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years,
  • handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement (including at least 3 jury trials, 5 non-jury trials and 3 certification hearings),
  • attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date,
  • been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges, and
  • passed a 6-hour written examination.

The parents of children caught up in the juvenile justice system are very concerned about how their child’s misdemeanor or felony delinquency case could impact their future.  This is a very valid concern.  Colleges and universities have access to juvenile records.  Clearly, a juvenile delinquent is less likely to receive a highly coveted admission to a top school.  Also, law enforcement has access to juvenile records.  When juveniles are stopped by the police, they may be treated differently when the police know that they have a record.  There are several other ways that a juvenile record could impact your child.

If your child needs a juvenile defense lawyer, contact Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a confidential consultation.

A recent case in Illinois illustrates the importance of attorneys providing strong legal defenses to their juvenile clients.  Many juvenile lawyers have the mistaken belief that they should be seeking what is in the child’s best interest first.  Instead, they should be providing a zealous defense.  If the child is later found to be delinquent, then it is at the disposition (punishment) stage that their client’s best interest are considered.  A lawyer’s first duty is to fight for their client.

This article entitled “Court: Even juveniles deserve strong defense” by Christopher Wills appeared in the Houston Chronicle on August 30, 2012.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lawyers are supposed to win cases for their clients. Lawyers in the juvenile justice system want what’s best for troubled children.

And when the two impulses are in conflict, the attorney should focus on presenting the best possible defense, a deeply divided Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court ordered a new trial for a teenager known as Austin M., who was found guilty — or “adjudicated delinquent” in legal terminology — of sexually abusing two foster children living in his home in 2005.

The justices ruled that Austin was denied a proper trial in 2007 because his lawyer mixed his duty as a defense attorney with concerns about what the parents wanted and what would be best for the teen in the long run.

Juveniles, like adults in criminal cases, deserve “an attorney whose singular loyalty is to the defense of the juvenile,” Justice Anne Burke wrote for the majority.

Children’s advocates applauded the ruling. It promises to improve the legal counsel minors receive, they said, and reduce confusion created by the current system where lawyers often wear two hats.

“I anticipate this decision will be read widely around the country,” said Bruce Boyer, director of Loyola University’s Civitas ChildLaw Center in Chicago. Many states balk at the cost of appointing both a defense attorney to fight the charges and a guardian to consider the child’s best interests, he said.

In Austin’s case, attorney Anthony Novak said at the trial that he and Austin’s parents wanted to establish the truth of the situation and get the defendants treatment if necessary. He acknowledged that he wasn’t handling the case the same way he would if an adult were accused of the crime.

Novak did not cross-examine the foster children who accused Austin and co-defendant and brother Ricky in confusing and sometimes contradictory statements. He also didn’t challenge testimony about a one-sentence confession Austin supposedly made to police.

Because of that confession, which Austin and his father later denied he made, Austin was found guilty and sentenced to probation, while his brother was acquitted.

Novak was not formally appointed guardian ad litem, the person responsible for protecting a minor’s interests in court, but the Supreme Court found he essentially took on that role instead of aggressively fighting the charges.

“The minor is entitled to an attorney who is dedicated to providing the minor with a zealous defense, an attorney who will hold the prosecution to its burden of proof. The time for ‘best interests’ considerations is at the disposition phase,” said Burke, who was joined by three other justices Thursday.

Two others agreed Austin’s conviction should be overturned but objected to a new trial, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence to support the charges.

The seventh member of the court, Justice Robert Thomas, disagreed entirely. He said the majority decision “is completely unfounded and finds no support in the record.” He scolded the majority for demeaning “a fine performance” by Austin’s defense attorney.

Novak was on vacation and couldn’t be contacted immediately, his office said.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, which fought Austin’s appeal, would not comment. The Ford County state’s attorney did not immediately return a call asking whether Austin would be retried.

Jacqueline Bullard, an assistant state appellate defender who handled the case, said Austin served his sentence of two years’ probation and 50 hours of community service, but would not disclose anything else about him or his life.

But she said Austin would have a strong incentive to fight the charges if tried again. Unless the charges are dropped, Austin must register as a sex offender.

“Getting this black mark off his name is certainly important,” Bullard said.

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Choose Your Houston Juvenile Lawyer Carefully

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Ethical, Honest, Reliable, Reputable, Competent

In an ideal world, these qualities would describe all Houston juvenile attorneys, but as so many dissatisfied, disheartened and disrespected former clients of some other lawyers have learned to their peril, it simply does not.

There is absolutely no substitute for substantial jury trial experience.  A Houston juvenile lawyer who has a reputation for fighting and winning juvenile and criminal jury trials will always have an advantage in–

  1. forcing the State to dismiss cases,
  2. to reduce felony cases to a misdemeanor, and
  3. obtaining an acquittal at a jury trial.

In recent years, with the explosion of on-line advertising, any attorney with access to the Internet can claim to be the best or most experienced Houston juvenile attorney with zero proof.  Unlike criminal records, juvenile records are not public records, so there is no way to verify–

  1. how many juvenile cases, if any, the attorney has gotten dismissed,
  2. how many felony cases, if any, the attorney has forced the State to reduce to a misdemeanor, and
  3. how many jury trials, if any, the attorney has tried and has won.

Houston juvenile defense attorneys may claim

  1. having 20 or more years of experience,
  2. having handled 1000s of cases, and
  3. having had 100s of cases dismissed;

but, there is simply no way to confirm it, however, there are several independent and objective ways to evaluate a potential attorney–

1)  Is the Houston juvenile attorney board certified in juvenile law?  If not, why not?

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) is the only governing board to certify lawyers in legal specialty areas. The Board was was established in 1974 by the Supreme Court of Texas at the request of State Bar of Texas.

There are over 70,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in Texas, and only 7,000 have earned the right to be publicly recognized as Board Certified specialists in one of 21 select areas of law.

Board Certified lawyers earn the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in a select area of the law. In fact, they are the only attorneys allowed by the State Bar of Texas to do so. This designation sets them apart as being an attorney with the highest, public commitment to excellence in their area of law.

In Texas, there are only 65 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law, and only 38 of those are in private practice.

To become Board Certified in a specialty area, an attorney must have been licensed to practice law for at least five years, devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years, handled a wide variety of matters in the area (including jury trials and certification hearings) to demonstrate experience and involvement, attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date, been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges, and passed a 6-hour written examination.

2)  What is the Houston juvenile attorney’s reputation in the legal community?

One well known company AVVO maintains a list of lawyers, doctors and dentists.  Fellow professionals in their respective community can endorse them and actual clients can submit reviews.  Their website gives some insight into the reputation of local professionals.  Houston juvenile lawyers can be checked here and attorneys can be searched by name here.

3)  Does the Houston juvenile lawyer have any disciplinary history by the Texas Bar?

This can be checked at the Texas State Bar website.  The lawyer can be checked by name here.

IMG_2923bThe Defense Attorneys at James Sullivan and Associates are not interested in publicity, public accolades or recognition.  Even in high profile cases, they seek to shield their clients from publicity.  They are only interested in getting the best possible result for their clients.  Their fees are affordable and they are approachable.

James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law.  Sullivan has also received reviews by fellow attorneys and clients on AVVO.

James Sullivan attended Baylor University and South Texas College of Law.  He has been married over 20 years, is a Christian and worships at a local Catholic Church.  Sullivan earned his Eagle Scout award at age 14.  If you need a Houston criminal or juvenile defense attorney, contact Sullivan at 281-546-6428 for a confidential consultation.