Juvenile Felony Charges for Those Under Age 18: A.R.S. 13-501

Juvenile Felony Offense.

Juvenile Felony Charges for Those Under Age 18: A.R.S. 13-501

While many juvenile felony charges are tried in juvenile court, where the offender is more likely to be sent to diversion programs or given other rehabilitative penalties, the state of Arizona allows, and in some cases requires, juveniles of a certain age to be charged as adults for certain crimes. Such laws are laid out in A.R.S. 13-501.

Charges in Which a Juvenile Will be Tried as an Adult

The county attorney shall bring a criminal prosecution against a juvenile in the same manner as an adult if the juvenile is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age at the time the alleged offense is committed and the juvenile is accused of any of the following offenses:

  • First-degree murder.
  • Second-degree murder.
  • Forcible sexual assault.
  • Armed robbery.
  • Any other violent felony offense:
  • Any felony offense committed by a chronic felony offender – a juvenile who has had two prior and separate adjudications and dispositions for conduct that would constitute a historical prior felony conviction if the juvenile had been tried as an adult.
  • Any offense that is properly joined to an offense listed in this section.

Charges in Which a Juvenile May Be Tried as an Adult

Except as listed above, the county attorney may bring a criminal prosecution against a juvenile in the same manner as an adult if the juvenile is at least fourteen years of age at the time the alleged offense is committed and the juvenile is accused of any of the following offenses:

  • A class 1 felony.
  • A class 2 felony.
  • A class 3 felony in violation of any offense in chapters 10 through 17 or chapter 19 or 23 of this title. Examples include assault, sexual offenses, kidnapping, criminal trespass, criminal damage, arson, robbery/burglary, forgery, and fraud.
  • A class 3, 4, 5 or 6 felony involving a dangerous offense.
  • Any felony offense committed by a chronic felony offender – a juvenile who has had two prior and separate adjudications and dispositions for conduct that would constitute a historical prior felony conviction if the juvenile had been tried as an adult.
  • Any offense that is properly joined to an offense listed in this subsection.

In these cases, the presiding judge decides if the juvenile will stay in adult court or be remanded to be processed in juvenile court.

Chronic Juvenile Felony Offenders

Juveniles who are chronic felony offenders can be charged more severely than first-time juvenile offenders. Per statute, “chronic felony offender” means a juvenile who has had two prior and separate adjudications and dispositions for conduct that would constitute a historical prior felony conviction if the juvenile had been tried as an adult.

A criminal prosecution shall be brought against a juvenile in the same manner as an adult if the juvenile has been accused of a criminal offense and has a historical prior felony conviction.

At the time the county attorney files a complaint or indictment the county attorney will file a notice stating that the juvenile is a chronic felony offender.  The notice will establish and confer jurisdiction over the juvenile as a chronic felony offender.

On motion of the juvenile, the court will hold a hearing after arraignment and before trial to determine if a juvenile is a chronic felony offender.  At the hearing, the state will prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the juvenile is a chronic felony offender. If the court does not find that the juvenile is a chronic felony offender, the court will transfer the juvenile to the juvenile court. If the court finds that the juvenile is a chronic felony offender, or if the juvenile does not file a motion to determine if the juvenile is a chronic felony, offender, the criminal prosecution shall continue.

 

With so much future ahead of them, juveniles being charged as adults require a particularly aggressive defense. Call Rideout Law Group today to retain an attorney experienced with handling juvenile felony cases.

 

RIDEOUT LAW GROUP

With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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