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How are Juvenile Crimes Handled in Arizona?

Juvenile Crime Attorney Tucson Janet Altschuler

December 16, 2022

Juvenile crimes are taken very seriously in Arizona. If your child is charged with a crime, it is important to seek legal assistance immediately. The repercussions of a juvenile conviction could follow your child for the rest of their life. An experienced attorney like Janet Altschuler can help you navigate the juvenile justice system and ensure that your child’s rights are protected. Read on to learn more about juvenile crimes and how they are handled in the state of Arizona.

What is a juvenile crime?

A juvenile crime is any criminal act committed by a minor. In Arizona, minors are considered to be anyone under the age of 18. Juvenile crimes can range from minor offenses, such as shoplifting or truancy, to more serious crimes, such as assault or burglary. When the accused person is a minor, these acts are not referred to as crimes—rather, they are called “delinquent acts.” A.R.S. § 8-201(12).

Examples of delinquent acts may include:

  • Vandalism (e.g., graffiti, property destruction, egging)
  • Shoplifting
  • Underage drinking
  • Simple assault
  • Drug use or possession

How does the juvenile justice system differ from the adult justice system?

The juvenile justice system is designed to rehabilitate minors who have committed delinquent acts, rather than punish them. The focus of the juvenile justice system is on rehabilitation and reform, rather than retribution. In contrast, the adult criminal justice system is heavily punitive. This means that if your child is charged with a crime, they will not be tried in the same court as an adult would be. Instead, their case will be heard in juvenile court.

How is juvenile crime handled in Arizona?

While a jury decides the fate of an adult defendant, a judge will make that decision for a minor. Their case will be heard in juvenile court, where they will be tried as a delinquent. The judge will consider the severity of the crime, the child’s prior record (if any), and any aggravating or mitigating factors before issuing a ruling.

What are the consequences of a juvenile crime?

The consequences of a juvenile crime can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the child’s prior criminal history. Some of the possible consequences may include:

  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Diversion programs
  • Fines
  • Counseling
  • Rehabilitation programs

In some cases, a minor may be ordered to serve time in a juvenile detention center. However, this is typically reserved for more serious offenses.

Can a juvenile be tried as an adult?

There are cases where a juvenile can be tried as an adult. This occurs when the prosecutor requests that the case be transferred to adult criminal court. In order for a waiver to be granted, the judge must find that there is probable cause to believe that the child committed the crime and that they would not be adequately rehabilitated in the juvenile system. If the judge grants the waiver, the case will be transferred to adult criminal court and the child will be tried as an adult.

A juvenile over the age of 14 may also be tried as an adult if they are accused of a felony and have two prior felony convictions. If your child has prior felony convictions, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help secure the best possible outcome.

Why do I need a professional attorney to handle my child’s case?

Criminal charges or convictions of any kind could have disastrous consequences for your child’s future. That is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney on your side, fighting for their rights. Janet Altschuler understands how difficult this time may be for you and your family and will work tirelessly to ensure that your child’s rights are protected throughout the legal process. The benefits of working with an experienced attorney include:

  • A thorough understanding of the law
  • The ability to effectively negotiate with prosecutors
  • The ability to spot constitutional violations
  • The ability to challenge evidence against your child
  • The ability to secure a more favorable outcome for your child

Contact Janet Altschuler Today

The law office of Janet Altschuler understands how scary it can be when your child is facing criminal charges. With her extensive criminal defense experience and thorough knowledge of the law, Janet Altschuler can provide a sophisticated defense that will give your child the opportunity for a better future. Contact her today to schedule your free consultation. She can be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers in-jail or in-custody appointments to best represent her clients.

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