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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Can a 17 year old be charged as an adult in Texas for PCS CS PG2?

Can a 17 year old be charged as an adult in Texas?



Yes, a 17 year old can be charged as an adult in Texas. PCS CS PG2 is a criminal offense for possession of certain drugs found in penalty group 2. The most common type of substance that a 17 year old is arrested for is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Since 2021 the most common form of possession of THC is through a vape pen or electronic cigarette.


The Punishment range for a 17 year old facing a criminal charge is the same as any adult. 8.07 of the Texas Penal code provides "... a person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of any offense committed before reaching 17 years of age. . ." Consequently a person who has reached the age of 17 can be prosecuted as an adult under the Texas Penal Code the same as any other individual.



Can a High School Student be arrested and charged as an Adult?


Yes, as long as the person has reached the age of 17 any person regardless of their status as a high school student. There may be good news however, if the charge can be dismissed then when you are charged as an adult you have the right to an expunction for any dismissed case. If you are charged as a juvenile your record may be sealed but you are never entitled to an expunction of juvenile charges. This means that police will always be able to see them on your record.


This Texas law, Section 8.07 of the Penal Code, outlines the age-related considerations for criminal responsibility. Here are the key points:

  1. Age of Criminal Responsibility: Individuals younger than 15 years old cannot be prosecuted or convicted for most offenses, except for specific cases outlined in subsections (a)(1)-(5).

  2. Exceptions for Ages 10-15: Individuals aged 10 to 15 are presumed incapable of committing certain offenses (subsection (a)(4) or (5)), but this presumption can be refuted if the prosecution proves the individual had sufficient capacity to understand that the conduct was wrong.

  3. Prosecution for Offenses After Age 17: Once a person reaches 17 years of age, they can be prosecuted for and convicted of any offense committed after that age, with some exceptions.

  4. Limitation on Death Penalty: Regardless of the offense committed, no person may be punished by death for an offense committed while they were younger than 18 years old.

  5. Specific Exceptions: The law lists specific exceptions, such as perjury, violations of traffic ordinances, misdemeanors punishable by fine only, and certain offenses transferred to adult court for prosecution.

  6. Waiver of Juvenile Jurisdiction: The law specifies that a person cannot be prosecuted for offenses committed before reaching 17 years of age unless the juvenile court waives jurisdiction and certifies the individual for criminal prosecution.

  7. Presumption for Ages 10-15: Individuals between the ages of 10 and 15 are presumed incapable of committing certain offenses, and this presumption can only be refuted if the prosecution proves the individual had sufficient capacity to understand that the conduct was wrong.

It's important to note that this information is based on the text of the law as of October 2, 2021, and legal provisions may change. For the most up-to-date information, it is recommended to check the latest version of the Texas Penal Code or consult legal professionals.


Sec. 8.07. AGE AFFECTING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. (a) A person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of any offense that the person committed when younger than 15 years of age except: (1) perjury and aggravated perjury when it appears by proof that the person had sufficient discretion to understand the nature and obligation of an oath; (2) a violation of a penal statute cognizable under Chapter 729, Transportation Code, except for conduct for which the person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment or confinement in jail; (3) a violation of a motor vehicle traffic ordinance of an incorporated city or town in this state; (4) a misdemeanor punishable by fine only; (5) a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision; (6) a violation of a penal statute that is, or is a lesser included offense of, a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a felony of the first degree for which the person is transferred to the court under Section 54.02, Family Code, for prosecution if the person committed the offense when 14 years of age or older; or (7) a capital felony or an offense under Section 19.02 for which the person is transferred to the court under Section 54.02(j)(2)(A), Family Code. (b) Unless the juvenile court waives jurisdiction under Section 54.02, Family Code, and certifies the individual for criminal prosecution or the juvenile court has previously waived jurisdiction under that section and certified the individual for criminal prosecution, a person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of any offense committed before reaching 17 years of age except an offense described by Subsections (a)(1)-(5). (c) No person may, in any case, be punished by death for an offense committed while the person was younger than 18 years. (d) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of an offense described by Subsection (a)(4) or (5) that the person committed when younger than 10 years of age. (e) A person who is at least 10 years of age but younger than 15 years of age is presumed incapable of committing an offense described by Subsection (a)(4) or (5), other than an offense under a juvenile curfew ordinance or order. This presumption may be refuted if the prosecution proves to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that the actor had sufficient capacity to understand that the conduct engaged in was wrong at the time the conduct was engaged in. The prosecution is not required to prove that the actor at the time of engaging in the conduct knew that the act was a criminal offense or knew the legal consequences of the offense. Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2158, ch. 693, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1245, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 77, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.236, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 42, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 68, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 787 (S.B. 60), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005. Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2005. Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 311 (H.B. 558), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009. Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2013.


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