A defense attorney argued that the law enforcement did not send paperwork to our juvenile officer until after 10 days and therefore all information has to be destroyed under 58.001(c). This was a DWI arrest of a 16-year-old. The DPS trooper contacted the juvenile officer immediately after he arrested the juvenile so our intepretation is that the juvenile officer was notified of the offense in a timely manner even though he received the actual offense report 16 days laters. Can I win this suppression argument?
Hard to say if you are going to be successful or not but I think you've got a start to a good argument. There is no case law on this issue that I am aware of. 51.001 IMHO is not written very clearly. I think it jumbles the word referral as we know it here in juvi land.
51.02 (12) gives you the definition of "referral" as merely bringing the child or the child's case to the designated office or official.
51.001 then says if the child is not "referred" within 10 days the info should be destroyed. Well then by definition if the child was brought into custody he was referred. I know that is probably not what the legislature intended the code to mean, but by the black letter of the statutes, that is what it says.
Further, I don't see suppression as a proper remedy to not having the paperwork in within 10 days. Lets just take this proposition to the logical end. If an agency has to destroy the paperwork because it was not in within 10 days, why can't the paperwork just be regenerated after that. The statute of limitations is not up on any crime after 10 days. Hopefully, the officer's memory would not be gone after 10 days. Witnesses statements can always be taken again.
I understand the leg's intended this 10 days thing to keep the juvi system moving quickly and I try to get my agencies to comply with the 10 day rule but thats not always practical.
In your situation if the child himself was referred and some paperwork was generated and referred(I would hope that if the child was taken into custody there was at least a PC statement done)I can't see how the code could preclude updating the case. Would that mean in a capital murder case the PD would have to have all its info into the office within 10 days or it would have to be destroyed ?? Surely not.
I've gone on too long...if you need anything more on this feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
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