Juvenile courts in the State of Arizona have jurisdiction over children between the ages of 8 and 18 years old. 'Delinquent' juveniles can be charged with a variety of crimes, including theft, underage drinking, arson,
shoplifting, gang related activity,
sex crimes, rape,
drug charges, criminal damage, kidnapping,
burglary, criminal trespass,
minor in consumption, minor in possession, and others, and in most cases, will be tried under the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts. In certain and rare circumstances a juvenile can be prosecuted as an adult if the allegations involve 1st and 2nd degree
sexual assault, armed robbery, or certain other violent felony offenses (such as
aggravated assault or drive by shooting), if the juvenile is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years old at the time of the alleged offense. A juvenile can also be tried as an adult at the age of fourteen if the allegations involve a class 1 or class 2 felony, certain class 3 felonies, or certain other felonies involving a 'dangerous' offense, or chronic felony offenders.
The penalties associated with juvenile crimes differ from adults in that juvenile penalties focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment. As opposed to the adult criminal court system, juvenile cases do not go before a jury. A judge will assess all the evidence in the case, hear any testimony, and decide what punishments, if any, should be imposed upon the juvenile. The court procedures are governed by a separate set of rules than adult court and will usually begin with a pre-adjudication hearing (similar to a pre-trial conference in adult court) and may then proceed to an
adjudication hearing (similar to a trial in adult court) where the judge may find the juvenile
delinquent (as opposed to being found guilty in adult court). If the juvenile is found delinquent, then the case will proceed to
disposition (similar to sentencing in adult court) where the judge will impose punishment which can include – juvenile probation (either summary, standard or intensive), juvenile detention (similar to adult jail for short term incarceration) or juvenile department of corrections (similar to adult prison for long term incarceration), diversion programs, community work service, fines, restitution, and treatment classes (such as alcohol, drugs or anger management).
A juvenile record, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can result in serious consequences and it is critical to seek the assistance of a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through the process of juvenile court proceedings, ensure your child's rights are protected and structure a resolution that may limit the impact on your child and his/her future goals and aspirations. Attorney Trent Buckallew has extensive experience in representing children and their families in the juvenile court system and defending against criminal allegations pending in juvenile court, and has a proven track record in successfully resolving countless juvenile criminal matters.
The Juvenile Court Centers in Maricopa County are located at:
Juvenile Court Center – Durango
3131 West Durango
Phoenix, Arizona 85009
Juvenile Court Center - Southeast
1810 South Lewis
Mesa, Arizona 85210
Contact the Firm today for a free consultation if you or your child are facing juvenile criminal charges.
**This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact the Firm to schedule a consultation regarding your case.