The Hurst - Euless - Bedford Teen Court is a diversion program which allows juveniles (Class C misdemeanor offenders) an alternative to the criminal justice system. Upon successful completion of the program, offenders’ cases are dismissed and do not appear on their record. HEB Teen Court is provided by the Cities of Hurst, Euless, Bedford.
13-18 year olds
Teen defendants' cases are presented to a jury of their peers by teen volunteer attorneys. Jury members assign a community service sentence according to the Discipline Grid. Defendants are allowed 90 days to complete the assigned community service hours, serve three jury terms and complete any required educational classes.
10-13 year olds
The program for this age group consists of the youth and their parent/guardian observing a Teen Court session and completion of the First Offender educational/counseling program. The program includes five sessions which address decision-making, juvenile law, anger management and communication skills.
The following is a list of events that defendants may sign up for to meet their community service requirements. Select the event for more information.
Teens may also attend extra work sessions at 5:30 p.m. on Teen Court nights when they serve jury duty. Teen will receive 1 hour of community service credit. Teens must check in with Teen Court staff by 5:30 p.m. for the work session and then check in at 6:15p.m. for jury duty.
For information on other community service options please contact the Teen Court office at 817-952-2468.
The HEB Teen Court program for 10-13 year old teens requires the youth and their parent/guardian to observe a Teen Court session and completion of the First Offender Educational Program in lieu of community service hours and jury duties. The program helps teens make better choices and avoid future illegal activity by increasing their knowledge of the law and developing anger management and life skills.
Participants will complete paperwork with the Teen Court Staff at the time of enrollment and will then be provided program and contact information following their Teen Court session. Various classes are offered at no cost to the teen/parent and consist of five or six classes held at several different community locations throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area.
The First Offender Program is one of several Skill Builders Classes offered as part of the ACH continuum of care and is funded by The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. For more information contact the Teen Court Office at 817-952-2468 or you may visit www.achservices.org
How Teen Court Works
Each Teen Court session will be held at the Bedford Municipal Court, 2000 Forest Ridge Drive. Court will convene on a Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. Dates vary and are posted on the website and on a message board located downstairs near Bedford Municipal Court.
Defendants check in between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. Defendants who are 16 years old or younger must be accompanied by a parent. The courtroom is a formal setting. It is required that all defendants and their parent dress accordingly. The Dress Code is strictly enforced. It is posted on the website and the paperwork received at enrollment.
Defendants and parents will attend a work session from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. which will earn the defendant two hours of community service.
Defendants and their teen defense attorneys meet between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. to discuss the case(s).
Defendants who are serving jury duty must appear no later than 6:15 p.m. to sign in and be assigned to a jury or master jury. Late arrivals will not be allowed to serve. Jurors must be in dress code.
Cases are docketed on a first-come/first-serve basis. Cases will be assigned to a jury trial or master jury hearing by the Teen Court staff. Teen attorneys present the cases and defendants will testify in jury trials. Master jury hearings involve the jurors questioning the defendant directly before deliberation.
After a defendants' case is heard, the jury deliberates and assigns a community service sentence according to the Discipline Grid. Defendants must also serve three jury terms and attend a Springwood Class, if their case(s) is a Class IV non-traffic offense.
The defendant is responsible for finishing his/her community service hours, jury terms and any required classes by the completion date (90 days from Teen Court hearing date). Documentation must be turned into the Teen Court staff prior to or on the completion date in order to be valid. If all requirements are not met by the completion date, the case is terminated and returned to the municipal court of jurisdiction. This may result in having a warrant issued for their arrest, a conviction on their record, fines due, and their license can be blocked. The original $20 program fee is not refundable.
Any questions may be directed to the Teen Court staff by contacting (817) 952-2468
To be eligible for Teen Court the following conditions must be met:
Offender must enter a plea of guilty or no contest
Participants must be 10-17 years old or 18 years old if currently enrolled in an accredited high school.
Must not have not successfully completed a Teen Court program during the past two years or currently enrolled in a Teen Court program.
A parent or guardian must be present at time of enrollment and during their Teen Court session if the defendant is under 17 years old.
Must pay a $20 administrative fee to the Municipal Court Clerk’s office for each offense.
Ranges of Punishment
Class I (6 - 18 Service Hours and 3 Jury Terms)
Speeding 1 - 10 mph over limit
Unlawful riding on a vehicle
Pedestrian in roadway
Following to closely
Class II (15 - 30 Service Hours and 3 Jury Terms)
Speeding 11 - 20 mph over speed limit
Drivers license violations/restrictions
Failure to yield right of way
Wrong side of road
Disobey traffic control device
One way street
Exhibition of acceleration
Unsafe lane change
Illegal exit from roadway
Class III (28 - 46 Service Hours and 3 Jury Terms)
Speeding 21 - 25 mph over speed limit
Speeding 1 - 9mph over speed limit in a School Zone
Failure to maintain financial responsibility
Failure to identify
Using cellular phone in school zone
Class IV (42 - 60 Service Hours and 3 Jury Terms)
Speeding 26+ mph over speed limit
Speeding 10+mph over speed limit in a School Zone
Racing contest for speed
Passing a school bus
Leaving scene of an accident
Disregarding school crossing guard
Presenting an altered or false I.D.
Theft under $50
Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Paraphernalia
Miscellaneous- Other offenses as assigned
**OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE NOW**
TEENS: Teens, ages 13-18, serve as the Attorneys, Bailiffs, Clerks. Teens, 15 years of age and older, are trained to defend and prosecute cases in Teen Court.
ADULTS: Assist during court sessions as Jury Monitors, Master Jury Monitors, and Judges.
JUDGES: Licensed attorneys serve as judges. The Judge’s responsibility is to ensure a fair and impartial trial through proper court procedure. The Judge will hear from the defendant and arguments from both the prosecuting and defending attorneys. The Judge listens to the “sentence” given to the defendant by a panel of peer jurors. The Judge also assists in critiquing the attorneys to further better their knowledge of the entire court procedure along with public speaking.
Volunteering for Teen Court is a fun and great way to serve your community. Teens and adults work together to provide defendants the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions, while learning about the justice system. Teen volunteers learn public speaking skills, interviewing techniques and administrative skills.
Teen attorneys arrive by 5:45 to sign in and review the cases. Defendants and their teen defense attorneys meet between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to discuss the case(s). All other volunteers must arrive by 6:45 p.m. Court sessions generally end by 9:00 p.m. and are held at least two Monday evenings per month. Participation in at least one session per quarter is required to remain on active status. Volunteers’ service hours are recorded by the Teen Court staff and can be used to fulfill requirements for programs such as National Honor Society or International Baccalaureate.
Training is a crucial element to the success of the HEB Teen Court Program. Local attorneys and the Teen Court Coordinator combine their time and talents to provide all teen volunteers with thorough training. Training sessions are scheduled throughout the year to enable all volunteer teens to attend at least one session per year. Volunteers receive an orientation, which includes volunteer standards, Teen Court procedures and overall expectations. The volunteer then attends two Teen Court sessions to observe the various volunteer roles. This is followed by a formal training session which covers court proceedings, legal terminology and proper courtroom protocol. Teen volunteers then have the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned during mock trials. Volunteers are provided instructional materials and an official HEB Teen Court shirt.
You are welcome to visit any Teen Court session to observe and find out more about our program! If interested, please download a volunteer application and mail it to the Teen Court Office, 2000 Forest Ridge Drive, Bedford, TX 76021 or call the Teen Court office at 817-952-2468.