If you’re charged with a crime as a juvenile, it’s important that you seek out a Mesa juvenile defense lawyer with experience in defending individuals that have been in your situation. Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. has extensive knowledge of Arizona criminal law and has represented many individuals facing juvenile crime charges. Give us a call at (480)833-2341 or contact us online today for help understanding your charges and minimizing the consequences.
What is Considered a “Juvenile Crime”?
Any crime committed by a minor may be considered a juvenile crime. However, there are instances when a juvenile charged with a crime may be dealt with as an adult in a court of law. Certain violent crimes, including rape or attempted rape, collusion with various types of criminal activity, and gang-related crime or crimes of violence, often result in a minor being charged as an adult. This means that the legal process treats the juvenile exactly as an adult would be treated if he or she committed the same crime, including hefty fines and potentially lengthy prison sentences.
In instances where a minor is charged as a juvenile, consequences may be less severe than an adult charged with the same crime. The State of Arizona seeks to rehabilitate juveniles and integrate them back into society in a healthy and functional way. Nevertheless, juvenile crimes can result in damaging an individual’s reputation and can harm their opportunities in the future, including applying for jobs, internships, or post secondary education. This makes dealing with juvenile charges responsibly, and with the help of a qualified attorney, the best legal option.
Juveniles and Crime in Arizona
According to state statistics, in 2011 juveniles accounted for more than 10,000 arrests – about one fifth of all arrests made in the State of Arizona. More than 1,000 juveniles were arrested for violent crimes over the course of the year. These included rapes, robberies, aggravated assault, and even instances of criminal homicide. Some 9,000 juveniles were also arrested for property crimes, accounting for about 23 percent of the 40,655 property crime arrests in the state over the course of the year.
The statistics suggest that not only is juvenile crime an ongoing issue in Arizona, but such arrests amount to more than a fair percentage of all crimes committed across the state. For this reason among others, Arizona’s legal system takes juvenile charges very seriously and too often attempts to prosecute these cases as though an adult offender is accused of a crime.
What If I Am Charged With a Juvenile Offense?
If your child is facing criminal charges, it’s important that you treat the charges appropriately. Being charged with a juvenile offense is nothing to ignore– it can result in repercussions that affect nearly every aspect of your life. Committing a crime as a juvenile, however, is not the end of the world. Navigating the legal system and ensuring the best outcome should be your goal. A Mesa juvenile defense attorney can make sure your teen’s legal rights are protected throughout the process.
If you’re charged with a crime as a juvenile, it’s imperative to contact a Mesa criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. can help you.
We are available 24/7. Please call us at (480) 833-2341 to schedule your FREE consultation or use our contact form below to send us an email to make an appointment today.