Appeal from County Court at Law No. 2 Fort Bend County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 14-CJV-019259
consists of Chief Justice Frost, Justice Donovan, and Justice
was adjudicated as a juvenile for engaging in delinquent
conduct by committing the offense of theft of property.
Appellant challenges the adjudication of the offense, arguing
the "evidence adduced at trial is legally
insufficient." We affirm.
State filed an original petition asserting that on October 5,
2014, appellant engaged in delinquent conduct by unlawfully
appropriating make-up of the value of $50 or more, but less
than $500, from Vivian Hernandez, the loss prevention officer
at the J.C. Penney store in First Colony Mall, Sugar Land,
Texas. At the time the delinquent conduct was alleged to have
occurred, appellant was fifteen years old.
adjudication hearing was conducted. Appellant pleaded
"not true." On July 15, 2015, a jury returned a
verdict of "true." The trial court then conducted a
disposition hearing. On July 20, 2015, the trial court
entered its order of disposition for six months'
probation and conditions of probation. Appellant timely moved
for a new trial, alleging the verdict was contrary to the law
and the evidence. The trial court denied the motion, and this
Adjudication of a Juvenile and Standard of
the Texas Family Code, juvenile justice courts have
jurisdiction over all cases involving delinquent conduct by a
person who was a child at the time the person engaged in the
conduct. Tex. Fam. Code § 51.04(a). A "child"
is a person who is ten years of age or older and under
seventeen years of age. Id. § 51.02(2).
Delinquent conduct is defined, among other things, as
"conduct, other than a traffic offense, that violates a
penal law of this state or of the United States punishable by
imprisonment or by confinement in jail." Id.
juvenile proceeding, the trial court must conduct an
adjudication hearing for the fact-finder to determine whether
the juvenile engaged in delinquent conduct. Tex. Fam. Code
§ 54.03. If the fact-finder determines that the juvenile
engaged in delinquent conduct, the trial court must then
conduct a disposition hearing. Id. § 54.03(h).
"Disposition is akin to sentencing and 'is used to
honor the non-criminal character of the [juvenile]
proceedings.' " In re B.D.S.D., 289 S.W.3d
889, 893 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, pet.
ref'd) (quoting In re K.T., 107 S.W.3d 65, 67
(Tex. App.-San Antonio 2003, no pet.)), cert.
denied, 131 S.Ct. 1485 (2011). An order of adjudication
or disposition of a child generally does not constitute a
criminal conviction. See Tex. Fam. Code §
juvenile cases are classified as civil proceedings, they are
"quasi-criminal" in nature. In re M.A.F.,
966 S.W.2d 448, 450 (Tex. 1998); see In re L.D.C.,
400 S.W.3d 572, 574 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013). Civil and
criminal rules apply at different stages of the same
proceeding. See In re K.H., 169 S.W.3d 459, 462
(Tex. App.-Texarkana 2005, no pet.); see also Tex.
Fam. Code § 51.17. The burden of proof at the
adjudication hearing is the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt
standard applicable to criminal cases. Id. §
54.03(f). Therefore, we review the sufficiency of the
evidence to support a finding that a juvenile engaged in
delinquent conduct using the standard applicable to criminal
cases. See In re R.R., 373 S.W.3d 730, 734 (Tex.
App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, pet. denied); In re
G.A.T., 16 S.W.3d 818, 828 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th
Dist.] 2000, pet. denied).
when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we consider
all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the
verdict to determine whether, based on that evidence and the
reasonable inferences therefrom, a jury was rationally
justified in finding guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In
re R.R., 373 S.W.3d at 734- 35 (citing Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 318-19 (1979)); accord
Temple v. State, 390 S.W.3d 341, 360 (Tex. Crim. App.
2013); Isassi v. State, 330 S.W.3d 633, 638 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2010). This standard of review applies to cases
involving both direct and circumstantial evidence. In re
R.R., 373 S.W.3d at 735. Although we consider everything
presented at trial, we do not substitute our judgment
regarding the weight and credibility of the evidence for that
of the fact finder. Id. (citing Williams v.
State, 235 S.W.3d 742, 750 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007)). We
presume the factfinder resolved conflicting inferences in
favor of the verdict, and defer to that determination.
Id. (citing Clayton v. State, 235 S.W.3d
772, 778 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007)). We also determine whether
the necessary inferences are reasonable based upon the
combined and cumulative force of all the evidence when viewed
in the light most favorable to the verdict. Id.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
argues the "evidence adduced at trial is legally
insufficient." To prevail in a case of theft, the State
must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant
unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the
owner of the property. See Tex. Penal Code §
31.03(a). "Appropriate" means "to acquire or
otherwise exercise control over property other than real
property." See id. § 31.01(4)(b).
Appropriation of property is unlawful if it is without the
owner's effective consent, or the property is stolen and
the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by
another. See id. § 31.03(b)(1), (2). The
offense of a Class B misdemeanor of theft, which was charged
in this case, is punishable by confinement in jail. See
id. § 12.22; see also Tex. Penal Code
§ 31.03. Therefore, after an adjudication hearing, a
child who has committed the offense of theft may be found to
have engaged in delinquent conduct, because theft ...