Hopefully, your child is never in need of legal counsel, but even the best parenting cannot control all decisions. If you are a parent with a child or loved one facing criminal consequences, it can be a very stressful and often emotional time. It is natural for parents to feel shocked, angry, or overcome with self-blame. But your child needs immediate support and love from you, and protection from possible legal consequences from an experienced juvenile defense attorney.
Examples of juvenile crimes include curfew violation, vandalism, drug possession, theft, robbery, “sexting”, assault, and more. Often these cases can be complicated and require special consideration by an experienced juvenile defense lawyer; otherwise, a brief lapse in judgment or a simple misunderstanding can have dire consequences on minors.
When facing these issues with your child, thorough and thoughtful decision-making is paramount because your decisions may have life-lasting consequences for your child.
It is extremely important to contact a trusted, experienced attorney familiar with juvenile law. As a parent, you need to spend time with your child and be a source of comfort and stability and allow your juvenile defense attorney to assess the situation and form the best possible legal strategy.
Below is the general court process for the juvenile court system and will give you a good idea of what to expect in the coming months. Please be aware that if the juvenile defendant is older in age it is possible the prosecution will try to have the minor charged as an adult. This is why it is especially crucial to seek representation from an experienced juvenile defense firm like R&R Law Group if your child or someone you care for has been charged with a juvenile crime.
- The very first hearing in the Arizona juvenile court process.
- The Juvenile is advised of their rights.
- Juveniles enter an admission (guilty) or a denial (not guilty).
- Release conditions are set. The date of the next hearing is set.
- A status conference to update the court on the status of the case.
- Usually, juveniles enter into some type of plea agreement or the case is set for trial.
- There can be multiple Pre-Adjudication Conferences before the case is set for trial or a 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 on legal issues
- The juvenile equivalent of an adult court trial.
- The state has the burden of proof.
- The state must prove the juvenile committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
- There are no juries in juvenile court. The judge is the trier of fact.
- Juvenile court equivalent to an adult court 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 is 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 juvenile detained if the juvenile is determined to be a danger to themselves or others. The judge is going to want to hear a plan for the juvenile 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 or GED. Sometimes these hearings are amiable, and sometimes they are contentious.
When the judge releases the juvenile from detention 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.
Free Consultation with Juvenile Crime Lawyer
If your child has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, their future must be protected as much as possible. As an experienced juvenile defense firm, R&R Law Group has represented clients charged with a variety of misdemeanor and felony juvenile crimes. With their future at stake, it’s essential to find an aggressive and experienced attorney who will make your child or loved one’s defense a priority.
R&R Law Group understands that a conviction of a juvenile crime can have immense consequences on a child’s life and future, such as limited employment and education opportunities. These disadvantages will affect the child’s future well into adulthood, therefore it is imperative that your child or loved one has a qualified and dedicated legal team. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment today!