Arizona’s Juvenile Defense Attorney
Hopefully, your child never crosses the law, but even the best parenting cannot control all decisions.
It is tragic to have children labeled as criminals. Most charges leveled against a child don’t involve malice or some kind of criminal intent. Usually, the charges originate out of stupidity or trying to impress peers.
If you are a parent with a child facing criminal consequences it is easy to get carried away in the emotion of the situation. It is natural for parents to feel shocked, sickened, angry and overcome with self-blame but don’t forget that your child needs immediate support and love.
When facing these issues with your child, balancing emotions is paramount. You must remain smart and level-headed to make thorough decision making regarding your child because your decisions may have life-lasting consequences.
After you extend love and support to your child the most important thing to do is contact a trusted, experienced attorney familiar with juvenile law and defense. As a parent, you need to spend time with your child and be a source of comfort and friendship. Allow your attorney to assess the situation and form the best possible legal strategy.
Below is the general court process for juveniles:
- The very first hearing in the Arizona juvenile court process.
- The Juvenile is advised of his rights.
- Juvenile enters an admission (guilty) or a denial (not guilty).
- Release conditions are set. Date of the next hearing is set.
- A status conference to update the court on the status of the case.
- Usually, juvenile enters into some type of plea agreement or case is set for trial.
- There can be multiple Pre-Adjudication Conferences before the case is set for trial or plea entered.
Detention Review Hearing
- Hearing to determine if the in-custody juvenile should remain in custody.
- If release to home is not appropriate, alternatives to detention are considered (e.g.. therapeutic group home, detention alternative program, etc.)
Oral Arguments and Evidentiary Hearings
- Hearing to provide testimony and legal arguments for legal motion.
- Witnesses may testify
- Attorneys will present their arguments to the court
- The court may rule (decide) on legal issues
- Juvenile court equivalent of a trial.
- The state has the burden of proof.
- The state must prove the juvenile committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
- No jury in juvenile court. Judge is the trier of fact.
- Juvenile court equivalent of sentencing.
- The judge decides the penalty for the offense.
- Oftentimes, this is the last hearing in the Arizona juvenile court process.
- Hearing to determine if a crime victim should receive reimbursement money from the juvenile.
- The victim only allowed the actual out-of-pocket loss.
- Juvenile’s parents can be ordered to pay up to $10,000.
The judge will keep the child in jail if the child is determined to be a danger to himself or others. The judge is going to want to hear a plan for the child to be supervised 24/7. The judge is also going to want to hear how the parents or guardians can assure that the juvenile does not have access to any weapons. The judge will want to know that there is a plan to make sure the juvenile is enrolled in school and progressing toward a degree. Sometimes these hearings are no problem, and sometimes they are contentious and messy.
When the judge releases the juvenile from jail until a future court date, he or she will often impose some conditions on the release. For example, it may be that the juvenile and the parent will have to call in to make accountability checks. A case manager may want a schedule of where the child will be and when. The judge may also order some kind of medical or mental health treatment to take place. If your child has been arrested you need to make protect their future as much as possible. Please contact one of our offices across Arizona to speak with one of our Juvenile Defense Lawyers.