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Failure to Attend School
As a Criminal Offense

An individual commits the offense of “failure to attend school,” if the individual
(i) is 12 years of age or older and younger than 18 years of age;
(ii) is required to attend school, and
(iii) fails to attend school:
On 10 or more days or parts of days within a 6-month period in the same school year; or
On 3 or more days or parts of days within a 4-week period.
Tex. Educ. Code §25.094

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for “failure to attend school” that one or more of the absences required to be proven:
(i)   Were excused by a school official or by the court; or
(ii)  Were involuntary, but only if there is an insufficient number of unexcused or voluntary absences remaining to constitute an offense

The burden is on the defendant to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the absence has been or should be excused or that the absence was involuntary.

A decision by the court to excuse an absence for purposes of the prosecution of the offense of “failure to attend school” does not affect the ability of the school district to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose. Tex. Educ. Code §25.094

 

More Information about Failure to Attend School Cases



General Information

This information is furnished to you to provide basic information relative to the law governing procedures for Failure to Attend School and Parent Contributing to Failure to Attend School cases in the Harris County Justice Courts.

The Harris County Justices of the Peace and the Clerks of the Harris County Justice Courts are not allowed to give legal advice. You are urged to review the applicable laws and to consult an attorney of your choice for further information or answers to specific legal questions.

You have the right to a trial by a jury and to be represented by an attorney of your choice, or to represent yourself.

Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may be times when the information on this web site will not be current. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.