Juvenile crime charges can be devastating for the child as well as their parents or guardians. It can also be an extremely confusing process for everyone involved because the process is different from “regular” criminal charges. Even the terminology is different – juvenile crime is referred to as an “act of delinquency” and is handled by a separate, juvenile court.
In other words, juvenile charges are not simply mini-criminal cases. The consequences of criminal acts are usually geared more toward rehabilitation when committed by a minor. However, the possible repercussions of delinquency can still be quite significant and long-lasting. And certain charges, such as violent felonies or sex crimes, are automatically tried at the adult level even if committed by someone under 18.
One thing does remain the same: your child is entitled to a vigorous and thorough defense. We take juvenile charges just as seriously as the prosecution does. We understand that every case is different and will work toward the best possible outcome on behalf of our clients.
Learning about the consequences of your actions is part of growing up. Sometimes that learning process only takes place by making mistakes. However, we believe that the consequences of an error in judgment should not be so severe that ruin you or your child’s life. Our first step in that process is to ensure that charges remain in the Arizona juvenile system. Many times minors that are tried as adults are never able to truly put the experience behind them and may continue to remain in the system.
In 2007, Arizona passed a law that made keeping charges in juvenile court more challenging. Not only does being convicted in an adult court make it more likely that a minor will have a criminal record as an adult, but the records of charges tried at the adult level are not sealed like offenses at the juvenile level are. Regardless of the outcome of a case, having records sealed is important because children deserve a second chance.
They also deserve to be treated with empathy and respect. They need to feel as if they can trust the person that is representing them. We will not pass judgment on your son or daughter. We will represent him or her as vigorously as possible and do our best to make sure that all of you understand what is happening throughout your case. Learning is not only about making mistakes, but also about asking questions.
If you or your minor child has been charged with trespassing, drug possession/trafficking, shoplifting, underage drinking or DUI, sex crimes, gang-related activities, or any other crime, do not put their future at risk through delay. Contact us for a free consultation so we can answer your questions and make you aware of the options that may be available. We represent clients in Phoenix and throughout Maricopa county.