Juveniles are treated differently as compared to adults in every part of the world. International law calls for a proper juvenile system set in every nation of the world. However, some countries have failed to protect the rights of juveniles. In one instance, we read the case study of a 16-year-old boy who was brutally treated by his jailmates in Florida.

The case study shows how some states, even in developed nations like the USA, have failed to maintain a juvenile system. If you are a parent or a guardian of a juvenile who has committed a crime, you must know what it takes to be in Arizona’s Juvenile System. Here, we will tell you about Arizona’s juvenile criminal process. So, stay with us!

The Juvenile Criminal Process In Arizona

If you are not a law expert, the first thing you need to do is to get help from a professional criminal defense lawyer who has experience in juvenile cases. But you should know the nitty-gritty of the process to carry it out. Here is a basic process that you should expect to follow in Arizona’s juvenile criminal process:

Step 1. The Incident

Having in-depth research on Arizona’s Juvenile system, we can say that if your child has committed a crime, then you should stay on foot from the day of the incident. If a youth (between 8 and 18 years old) commits a delinquent or incorrigible act, their journey through the Arizona juvenile justice system begins. Depending on the severity of the offense, they may receive a ticket or citation or be arrested for investigation.

Step 2. Investigating The Crime

The law enforcement officers gathered evidence and prepared a report for the County Attorney’s office. This report helps determine if charges should be filed. If the County Attorney believes a crime occurred, they’ll file a petition with the juvenile court.

Step 3. Preparing For Court

Once the petition is filed, an advisory hearing is scheduled. This hearing will decide how the case proceeds and whether the youth needs to be detained. Before the hearing, the youth can choose to hire an attorney or rely on a state-appointed lawyer.

Step 4. Advisory Hearing

The youth, their parents, and the attorneys attend the advisory hearing. Here, the youth can admit to the offense or request an adjudication (trial). The judge also decides if the youth can stay home or needs to be detained until the next step.

Step 5. Adjudication Hearing (Trial)

If an adjudication is needed, the case resembles a mix of adult criminal and civil court. No jury is present, but the State must prove that the youth committed the act. Witness testimonies and arguments from both sides are presented before the judge.

Step 6. Judgment & Disposition

After hearing all the evidence, the judge makes a final decision. If the State couldn’t prove their case, the charges are dismissed. If the youth is found delinquent, a disposition hearing determines the consequences, which could include detention, probation, fines, community service, or even a residential placement.

Summing Up

Hence, this is just a concise roadmap of Arizona’s juvenile criminal process. When you enter the system, you will understand how time-consuming and exhausting the process is. So, it is better to keep a close eye on the actions of your child to prevent such an unfortunate event.