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Juvenile Crimes

Phoenix Juvenile Crime Lawyer

Is Your Child Facing Criminal Charges?

When faced with the legal complexities surrounding a juvenile's involvement in a legal matter, securing effective legal representation becomes paramount. Whether your child encounters legal issues or is accused of a crime, seeking the guidance and support of our Phoenix juvenile defense attorneys is essential. Our team is equipped to navigate the intricacies of the Arizona juvenile justice system, advocating for your child's rights, and working to secure the best possible outcome. Through personalized and strategic defense, our Phoenix juvenile crime lawyers can endeavor to mitigate charges, prevent adult prosecution, and strive for favorable resolutions.

Contact our team for a free consultation, where we can discuss your child's situation and explore potential legal strategies that could safeguard their future. We are available 24/7.

What Age Can a Juvenile Be Charged With a Crime in Arizona?

In Arizona, a juvenile can be charged with a crime if they are at least 8 years old but under the age of 18. The Arizona Revised Statutes specify that the juvenile court has jurisdiction over individuals under the age of 18 who are accused of committing delinquent acts or offenses.

Delinquent Act vs. Juvenile Crime in AZ

In Arizona, terminology related to juvenile offenses has evolved over time. There has been a shift in language from "delinquent act" to "juvenile offense" or "juvenile crime" in some jurisdictions.

Previously, the term "delinquent act" was commonly used to refer to actions committed by juveniles that would be considered criminal if performed by adults. Arizona's juvenile justice system dealt with "delinquent acts" committed by individuals under the age of 18. However, the terminology used in legal contexts may vary and can change over time due to legal reforms or updates.

Juvenile crime refers to criminal acts committed by minors. These acts could range from offenses such as theft, vandalism, drug-related crimes, assault, or other illegal activities. The term "juvenile crime" is used to describe unlawful behavior carried out by individuals who have not yet reached the age of adulthood.

In recent years, some jurisdictions have transitioned from using the term "delinquent act" to more commonly using terms like "juvenile offense" or "juvenile crime" to align better with standard legal terminology and to avoid confusion.

How Arizona's Juvenile Court System Works

The Arizona juvenile court system is designed to handle cases involving individuals under the age of 18 who have committed offenses or are in need of intervention due to various circumstances.

Jurisdiction: Arizona's juvenile courts have jurisdiction over cases involving minors accused of committing delinquent acts (juvenile crimes), status offenses (such as truancy or curfew violations), and cases involving dependency or neglect.

Initial Contact: When a minor is involved in an offense, law enforcement may handle the situation in various ways, depending on the severity of the offense. They may issue a warning, make a referral to social services, or initiate the juvenile court process by filing a petition.

Petition Filing: If the case proceeds to the juvenile court, a petition is filed, outlining the alleged offense. The minor and their parents or guardians are notified, and a court date is set.

Court Proceedings: Juvenile court proceedings in Arizona often prioritize rehabilitation over punishment. The court aims to address the underlying issues contributing to the minor's behavior. The minor has the right to legal representation and may have the opportunity to participate in diversion programs, counseling, or community service instead of formal adjudication.

Adjudication: If the case proceeds to adjudication (similar to a trial in adult court), the court determines whether the minor committed the alleged offense. If the minor is found delinquent, the court then moves to the disposition phase.

Disposition: During the disposition phase, the court decides on an appropriate outcome. This could involve probation, community service, counseling, placement in a juvenile facility, or other rehabilitative measures. The court aims to tailor the disposition to the minor's needs and circumstances.

Post-Dispositional Review: Periodic reviews of the minor's progress may occur to assess their compliance with the court's orders and to make any necessary adjustments to the disposition.

Transition to Adulthood: In certain cases, minors may face the possibility of being tried as adults, particularly for severe offenses. Transfer hearings may be conducted to determine whether a case should be transferred to adult court.

Penalties for Juvenile Crimes in AZ

The handling and processing of juvenile offenses in Arizona involve specialized courts and procedures intended to address the specific needs and circumstances of minors (under 18 years of age) who have committed these acts.

Penalties are also far less severe and include:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Counseling
  • Community service

These repercussions are in place of jail or prison sentences. This is due to the belief that, with such rehabilitation, a child will be far less likely to commit another crime in the future.

Your Child Could Be Tried As an Adult

Certain circumstances, however, could justify the trial of a child as an adult.

The Maricopa County Superior Court website states that juvenile delinquents between the ages of 15 and 18 shall be tried as adults if they commit any of the following crimes:

Even if they did not commit such a crime, a child could still be tried as an adult if the prosecution motions for transfer due to probable cause and the protection of the community based on the circumstances of the offense. An adolescent may also be tried as an adult if they have had two previous trials in the Juvenile Court for felonies and are arrested for another felony. The County Attorney ultimately makes this decision.

As a parent, you want to protect your child, so call MayesTelles if your son or daughter is facing charges.

Possible Defenses for Juvenile Crimes in AZ

In Arizona, just like in any legal jurisdiction, several potential defenses can be utilized when defending against juvenile crime charges. The appropriateness of a defense strategy depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Some possible defenses that might be employed in defending against juvenile crime charges in Arizona include:

Lack of Evidence: Challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution is a fundamental defense strategy. This might involve demonstrating inconsistencies in witness testimonies, disputing the reliability of evidence, or highlighting the lack of substantial proof linking the juvenile to the alleged crime.

Alibi: Presenting evidence that the accused juvenile was elsewhere or with others at the time the crime was committed can form a strong defense.

Mistaken Identity: Arguing that the accuser or witnesses may have misidentified the juvenile as the perpetrator of the crime.

Self-Defense or Defense of Others: If the juvenile acted in self-defense or to protect others from harm, this could be used as a defense, especially in cases involving assault or similar charges.

Entrapment: Demonstrating that law enforcement induced or coerced the juvenile into committing the crime that they would not have otherwise committed on their own.

Mental Incapacity: Showing that the juvenile did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature of the alleged offense or couldn't distinguish right from wrong due to a mental disorder or disability.

Illegal Search and Seizure: Challenging the legality of how evidence was obtained, especially if it was collected without proper warrants or violated the juvenile's constitutional rights.

Juvenile Diversion Programs or Rehabilitation: Emphasizing the juvenile's willingness to undergo rehabilitation, counseling, or community service as an alternative to formal prosecution, highlighting efforts toward reform and positive change.

Parental Responsibility: In some cases, demonstrating that the actions of the juvenile were a result of inadequate supervision or guidance from parents or guardians.

Statute of Limitations: Asserting that the charges were filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations for the alleged offense.

Contact Our Juvenile Crime Attorneys in Phoenix

If your child has been arrested for any crime, a Phoenix juvenile crime defense attorney could support them through this difficult experience and relentlessly fight against their charges. With a proper defense, your child could avoid being tried as an adult and have their charges reduced or dismissed. Fill out our free online case evaluation today or call our offices. We may be able to provide the defense your child needs.

Contact our Phoenix juvenile defense lawyers from MayesTelles PLLC today at (602) 428-7104.


We've Won Thousands of Cases

  • Charges Reduced to Reckless Driving

    Client R.C. was stopped by Mesa Police for a civil traffic violation and later charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI in a justice court. During the course of their representation, MayesTelles attorneys discovered important inconsistencies in the police reports. When we presented these issues to the State, the prosecutor’s office agreed to drop all DUI charges.

  • Fatal Commercial Vehicle Accident

    MayesTelles Client A.F. and her husband tragically lost their unborn child as a result of the negligence of an individual operating a commercial vehicle in Yuma, Arizona. After substantial investigation including accident reconstruction and filing a lawsuit, the insurance company paid out the policy limits of $1,000,000.00.

  • 4 Counts of Aggravated DUI Dismissed

    Client M.W. was charged with 4 counts of Aggravated DUI in the Maricopa County Superior Court in July 2016 for allegedly riding a motorized bicycle under the influence. The attorneys at MayesTelles demanded that the State include certain materials in their presentation to the grand jury, resulting in the grand jury refusing to indict and the case being dismissed.

  • Client Charged with DUI

    Client, GS, charged with DUI - sentence was reduced to reckless driving.

  • Client Facing Assault Felony

    M.L. was charged with 1 count of Aggravated Assault, a class 3 dangerous felony. She plead guilty to Aggravated Assault, a class 6 undesignated felony, with a stipulation to 3 months of initial jail. She received credit for 32 days and the rest of the jail time was deferred. She was placed on 3 years of supervised probation. She has the opportunity to designate the offense a misdemeanor after successfully completing probation. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with DUI

    Our client, A.R, was charged with 1 count of DUI and 1 count of Failure to Control Speed to Avoid a Collision. During extensive pre-trial investigation, it was discovered that the police made many errors in how they handled the case. We were able to get the client's charges reduced to reckless driving. Location: Glendale City Court

  • Client Charged with Four Felony Counts

    Our client, Ms. D., was charged with two counts of forgery - a class 4 Felony as well as theft - a class 2 Felony and also fraudulent schemes and artifices - a class 2 Felony. We were able to get her conviction reduced to a class 6 undesignated felony with the opportunity to reduce further to a misdemeanor. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with Trespass & Assault

    Our client, T.C., was charged in Maricopa County Superior Court on July 8, 2015 with 1 count of Criminal Trespass, a class 6 felony, and 1 count Assault, a class 2 Misdemeanor. On September 9, 2015, after an 8-day jury trial, our client was found not guilty on both charges. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with Shoplifting

    Our client, Ms. H., was charged with shoplifting - a class 1 misdemeanor. We were able to get her conviction set aside. Location: Phoenix Municipal Court

  • Client Faced 5 Felony Sex Offenses

    Our client, Mr. C., was charged with five counts of felony sex offenses, including two counts of Sex Conduct with a Minor and three counts of Molestation of a Child. We were able to get the case dismissed upon a successful Motion to Dismiss. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

  • Client Charged with Disorderly Conduct

    Our client, K.F., was charged with Disorderly Conduct, a class 1 misdemeanor. We were able to get this client's case dismissed. Location: Tempe Municipal Court

  • Client Facing Multiple Criminal Charges

    Our client, L.S., was charged on October 20, 2014 in Mesa for an assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage. MayesTelles PLLC was able to get those charges dismissed.

  • Client Facing Multiple Domestic Violence Offenses

    Our client, Ms. C., was facing charges of assault / domestic violence (class 1 misdemeanor), disorderly conduct / domestic violence (class 1 misdemeanor), and criminal damage / domestic violence (class 1 misdemeanor). We were able to get our client's case dismissed. Location: Mesa Municipal Court

  • Charged with Assault & Failure to Appear

    Our client, L.S., was charged in Phoenix on December 27, 2014 for assault and failure to appear. After completing diversion, our client's case was dismissed.

  • Multiple Felony Theft Offenses

    Our client, Mr. C., was charged with Theft of Means of Transportation (Class 3 Felony) and Trafficking in Stolen Property (Class 3 Felony). Both class 3 felonies have a possible sentencing range of 2 - 8.75 years in prison. We were able to get our client's charge reduced to a Class 1 Misdemeanor with no jail time. Location: Maricopa County Superior Court

Why Choose MayesTelles PLLC?

  • Nearly 200 Years of Combined Experience
  • Thousands of Cases Successfully Handled
  • Voted Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Available to Our Clients 24/7
  • Former Prosecutors & Law Enforcement
  • AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys

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    Got myself in some trouble and David Lish pulled me right out. He was really good at making me feel comfortable and helping me understand exactly what was going on with my case. David made my Felony go down to a misdemeanor and allowed me to come home to N
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