1975 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 2208 (1975)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0005 and id is 1 raw text is: PIMTTK ATrTORNEY GENERAL
oF TEXAS
AUs-rTI, TEXAS 78711
JOHN L. HILL
ATTORNEY GENERAL
January 7, 1975
The Honorable Clayton T. Garrison      Opinion No. H- 487
Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department    Re:   Jurisdiction over
John H. Reagan Building                      juveniles, 14 to 17
Austin, Texas 78701                          years of age for
violation of game and
Dear Mr. Garrison:                           fish laws.
You have requested our opinion concerning jurisdiction over violations
of the game and fish laws and the Water Safety Act, V. T. C. S., article
9206 (formerly Penal Code, article 1722a) when the defendant is between
14 and 17 years of age.
The fish and game laws and the Water Safety Act provide for different
penalties and jurisdiction for various violations. However, section 8. 07(b)
of the Texas Penal Code provides that a person under 17 years of age may
not be prosecuted for or convicted of any offense other than aggravated
perjury, a violation of a traffic ordinance, and driving while intoxicated
unless the Juvenile Court waives jurisdiction and certifies him to a District
Court for criminal prosecution. Section 54. 02 of the Family Code restricts
such a waiver and certification to felony cases. Since violations of the
fish and game laws or the Water Safety Act are with few exceptions mis-
demeanors, this certification process will be unavailable as a means for
prosecuting persons under 17 years of age for most violations. Nevertheless,
this procedure may be utilized when the violation constitutes a felony, which
is defined as an offense punishable by confinement in the penitentiary.
Penal Code,  1. 07 (14).
Where the offense is a misdemeanor other than those listed above,
section 8. 07 of the Penal Code in effect requires the case to be brought as
a juvenile proceeding under Title III of the Family Code. Unless certified
to the District Court violations constituting a felony must also be brought
under Title III. Section 51. 04 of the Family Code gives the Juvenile Court
exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings under Title III. Section 51. 03(a)
defines delinquent conduct as that which violates a penal law punishable
by imprisonment or confinement in jail. Section 51. 03(b)(1) specifies conduct

p. 2208

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