One of the most common mistakes parents can make is the belief that since their child is a minor, any conviction, whether it is a misdemeanor or felonious offense, will be relatively minor and uneventful. Nothing can be further from the truth. Although juveniles often do receive reduced sentences, if they are convicted of a violent offense, a conviction will go on their record and they can still serve time, depending on the offense.
Do not sit idly by if your child has been accused of a criminal offense their future is at stake. Regardless of your child’s age, a criminal conviction can hinder their ability to pursue higher education, obtain a job and carry on a regular life. By bringing on Villanueva Skura Attorneys at Law and our Chandler juvenile crimes attorney, you are enlisting the help of a knowledgeable legal professional who is committed to providing high-quality representation.
Call today to learn about your options. We are proud to provide free initial consultations.
Understanding Juvenile Crimes
One of the first questions our clients have is whether their child will be charged as a juvenile or as an adult. Recent legislation makes it easier for children to be charged as adults.
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:
- First-degree murder ( A.R.S. §13-1105)
- Second-degree murder ( A.R.S. §13-1104)
- Forcible sexual assault ( A.R.S. §13-1406)
- Armed robbery ( A.R.S. §13-1904)
- Aggravated driving (A.R.S. §§28-1383 and 28-1384)
- Any other violent offense
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. Your child may also be tried as an adult if they have two previous trials in the Juvenile Court for felony and are arrested for another felony. The County Attorney will initially decide if the youth should be tried as an adult. Juveniles convicted in adult courts tend to serve longer sentences than those adjudicated in the juvenile system, particularly those labeled as violent offenders. In some cases, judges may grant a “waiver” of the juvenile justice system and charge a minor directly in adult court.
Juvenile cases subject to waiver are more serious or involve minors who are repeat offenders. In Arizona, a juvenile must be at least 16 to be eligible for a waiver to conventional court. In some cases, children as young as 13 years of age have been tried and convicted as adults.
Don’t Put Your Child at Risk
If your child has been arrested, it can be a humbling and terrifying experience. While the purpose of juvenile charges is to rehabilitate, rather than punish, that does not make the experience any easier or less stressful.
If your son or daughter is in trouble, call Villanueva Skura Attorneys at Law today at 480-923-9001 to schedule your free consultation. We are available 24/7.