The Juvenile Division is responsible for prosecuting all felony offenses and Class A and B misdemeanor offenses committed by children ten (10) years of age or older and under the age of seventeen (17). These include homicides, sexual offenses, burglaries, assaults, and drug offenses. All such prosecutions are brought in the Montgomery County Juvenile Court.
In contrast with adult prosecutions, in which a defendant is convicted of a crime upon a finding of guilt, the juvenile system adjudicates a child for an act of delinquency upon a finding of true. This difference in terminology is intended to reflect the difference in approach between the adult and juvenile justice systems. The Texas Legislature has designed our juvenile law to favor the rehabilitation of children whenever possible, and avoiding the stigma associated with adult criminal proceedings is part of that effort. In furtherance of that objective, the Juvenile Division approaches each case with the goal of seeking the child’s rehabilitation, while balancing the need to protect society. When it appears that rehabilitative efforts will be a waste of county resources and the public cannot be protected so long as the juvenile remains in the community, punishment with incarceration becomes the primary focus. The County Attorney’s Office works very closely with the Juvenile Probation Department in determining the best course of action in each case.
Once adjudicated for an act of delinquency, a juvenile can be subject to a disposition ranging from probation up to a 40-year determinate sentence to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD), depending on the nature of the offense. A determinate sentence allows the Juvenile Court to require that the juvenile fulfill the complete term of the sentence, with the incarceration or parole transferring to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) at any time between the ages of 16 and 19. In particularly egregious cases, or cases in which the juvenile has already reached the age of 18 since committing the offense, the County Attorney’s Office will petition the Juvenile Court to transfer the case to a District Court for prosecution as an adult from the outset.
The Juvenile Division also handles all post-adjudication proceedings that may arise, including appeals, sex offender registration hearings, and applications to seal records.
The County Attorney’s Office has two full-time juvenile prosecutors and a part-time prosecutor dedicated to handling the juvenile Drug Court. The Juvenile Division is further staffed by a legal assistant, an investigator, and the office’s Victim-Witness Coordinator. On average, the division handles over 1,200 cases per year.
Juvenile Division Staff
Marc Brumberger is the Chief of the Juvenile Division. He joined the County Attorney’s Office in February of 2011 after serving 13 years as an Assistant District Attorney for Montgomery County. In both the juvenile and adult justice systems, Marc has prosecuted cases ranging from Class B misdemeanors to capital murders. He graduated from Tulane University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Political Science and Environmental Studies, but his interest changed from environmental law to criminal law by the time he graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1997.
Stuart Hughes is an Assistant County Attorney with the Juvenile Division. He joined the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office in January of 2013 after nine years of practicing in the field of criminal law. Stuart previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in both Montgomery and Walker Counties for over five years, and was then in private practice with a focus on criminal defense for almost four years. Stuart has tried both misdemeanors and complex felony cases such as aggregate theft, organized crime, sexual assault, aggravated robbery, and aggravated assault. He graduated from Baylor University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and obtained his Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 2003.
Shay Rustam is an Assistant County Attorney with the Juvenile Division. Her primary responsibility is the Juvenile Drug Court (“Power Recovery Court”). In addition to PRC, Shay assists with the daily responsibilities of the entire juvenile caseload. Shay joined the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office in January 2008 as the first prosecutor for the Juvenile Drug Court, after previously having been with the office from 1998 through May 2000 in the Juvenile and CPS Divisions. During her tenure, Shay has also prosecuted CPS cases, Mental Health warrants and Family Violence Protective Orders. She is a proud Gator from the University of Florida and graduated from South Texas College of Law-Houston in 1995.
Audre is a legal assistant with the Juvenile Division. She joined the Montgomery County Attorney’s office in January 2014 after two years at the Montgomery County District Clerk’s office, which included serving as a clerk in the 359th Judicial District Court while it was serving as the Juvenile Court. Prior to that, Audre had been with the firm Park & Durham for four years, first as a file clerk and then as a legal secretary. She also worked for a family lawyer and mediator during high school.
Danielle Murray is the Victim Assistance Coordinator and a legal assistant with the Juvenile Division of the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office. Her background education is in Criminal Justice, but when not attending school or working, she spent time assisting our local domestic violence shelter. She has received recognition and awards for extensive volunteer work within the military community by assisting families of deployed soldiers and in the local community. Before joining the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, she worked several years at the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in Victim Assistance. There she was designated by The Texas District and County Attorney Association as a Professional Victim Assistance Coordinator. Her passion remains to assist, offering support and guidance, to those who have been, and continue to be victimized.
James Wiggins is an Investigator primarily assigned to the Juvenile Division. He started his career in law enforcement at the Conroe Police Department before joining the County Attorney’s Office in March of 1986. James has a Master Peace Officer License.