Need a Lawyer To Defend a Juvenile Crime in Tempe?

Crimes that are committed by children who are under eighteen years old are dealt with by the juvenile court system. Children are dealt with in a very different way than adults are treated by the Arizona court system. In general, the focus is on rehabilitation, not on punishment. However, in some cases, when more serious crimes are committed by older juveniles they may charged as an adult and then tried in an adult criminal court.


What should you do when your children is arrested?

For a parent, there can be few things more intimidating or frightening than to get a telephone call saying that their child has been arrested. In this situation, what should parents do? First, avoid panicking, even though this is often most difficult to do. Just remember that your child needs you to help them right now, more than just about any other point in time of their life. What your child needs more than anything is your support. In order to help both you and your child during this very difficult time, get in touch with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. He has the experience, knowledge and expertise to assist your child throughout the juvenile court system. Robert is prepared to fight to protect the rights of your child.


The Arrest

Following the arrest of a juvenile, the charging officer will determine whether or not the juvenile should be released or charged and held in custody. The decision is based on the crime that has been charged, the information that is obtained from the crime victims, admissions or statements made by the juvenile or their parents, and any past records that are in the system on the juvenile – so basically, any information that is available. After the arrest of a juvenile, the State prosecutor must determine how the juvenile should be dealt with.


Informal disposition

Given that focus in on rehabilitation in the juvenile court system, the prosecutor for the State might determine to resolve the matter in an informal manner. In that case, the probation department will contact the juvenile and a meeting is set up. If the juvenile admits to being responsible for their conduct, the probation officer would require that the juvenile follow a certain set of conditions for a certain time period. A written agreement details what these conditions are. Certain conditions in the agreement might include requiring the juvenile to pay the victim for any property that was damaged (restitution), satisfactory school grades and attendance, community service, drug or other kinds of counseling, or a curfew. Frequently, a probation officer will monitor if the juvenile is complying with the agreement. the case is dismissed once the requirements have been met. The juvenile might be faced with a formal hearing, however, if he or she fails to follow the informal plan.

Although the hearing is referred to as being “informal,” it is actually a serious matter, with consequences that are potentially quite severe. There is still a possibility of formal charges. At this stage in the proceedings legal representation is very important.


Formal disposition

If the juvenile court is going to formally handle a case, the State prosecutor files one of two kinds of petitions.  The more common petition is a delinquency petition.  The delinquency petition allows for the holding of an adjudication hearing, a trial, in juvenile court. The allegations of the offenses are made against the juvenile in the delinquency petition and, if proven, the court will find the youth to be delinquent.  The other available petition is the transfer petition, where, if successful, the juvenile would be transferred to the adult criminal court system from adult prosecution.

When the matter deal with in juvenile court by the filing of a delinquency petition, the first court hearing is an Advisory Hearing. The juvenile is then advised of what criminal charges have been files and the potential outcomes. It is then that the judge will need to determine whether or not the juvenile should be detained until the the next court hearings. If the judge determines that a juvenile is a threat either to society or himself, the juvenile could be held.  If the judge does not detain the juvenile in the juvenile detention facility, the judge might release the juvenile home, with certain conditions.  These conditions could includes an electronic monitoring device, home detention or a curfew.

An adjudication hearing is scheduled by the court during the advisory hearing. The adjudication hearing is the term used by the juvenile court for a trail. Witnesses are called at this hearing, and the facts are presented. There is no right for the juvenile to have a jury trial. The judge is the one who determines whether or not the juvenile is responsible for the offenses that have been alleged within the petition. You should never take a delinquency hearing lightly. There is much at stake when a case proceeds to an adjudication hearing.

If the judge finds that the juvenile committed a criminal offense, the child is “adjudicated delinquent”.  The child is not “convicted” of a criminal offense. However, even the delinquency adjudication can harm the juvenile when he or she becomes an adult. Once a juvenile is found to be delinquent, a disposition hearing (sentencing) will be held. The judge will determine the consequences for the child’s delinquent actions.  This can result in an order to place the juvenile on probation, along with any rules the judge feels are necessary to assist the child, such as an order to make restitution to the victims of the crime for any damages, perform community service, and require treatment and/or counseling through a social service agency.  The judge may require the juvenile to be detained in the juvenile detention facility or a correctional facility or placed in a group home or residential treatment center.


Transfer hearing

There is a possibility of the juvenile being transferred to the adult criminal court for prosecution as an adult, instead of remaining in juvenile court system. For certain crimes under Arizona law, the State prosecutor can automatically transfer the juvenile to the adult court. In other cases, a hearing has to be requested by the State prosecutor where the judge must decide, in his or her discretion, to have the juvenile transferred to adult court. The judge will decide after an evidentiary hearing, based upon crime charges, the legal, psychological and social history of the juvenile, in addition to the person’s age and maturity.The judge has to determine whether or not the juvenile court system will be able to rehabilitate the juvenile and whether there is enough time for this to be done. The judge may decide that the juvenile should be kept in the juvenile court system. When a transfer does take place, the juvenile is then treated within the adult court system as an adult, no matter what their age is.


Parental liability

Laws have been adopted by Arizona that makes parents responsible for actions that their children take. Parents can be ordered to pay for the cost of some or all of the services imposed by the court, based on the ability that the parents’ financial abilities. Parents can even be charged by the juvenile court for the costs to detain their child. The juvenile court may also order restitution payments be made by the parents to the victim, irrespective of the parents’ ability to pay, although that amount can not exceed $10,000.


I Can Help You With Your Child’s Legal Case

Every parent wants the very best for their children. Also, all parents would like for their children to stay away from any trouble with the law. This isn’t always possible. Be proactive if your child gets into trouble with the law. Robert has the experience, the knowledge and expertise to assist your child through this very hard time. Whenever your child’s future and freedom are at stake, experience really matters. Robert is prepared to fight so that your child. Get in touch with an experienced juvenile defense attorney. Get in touch with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law by calling 480-860-4321 or by email to set up your free initial consultation.