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When Juveniles are Tried as Adults in Criminal Court


Traditionally, when a person in Arizona younger than 18 is accused of a criminal act, he/she will be tried in the juvenile court system. However, sometimes courts are required to treat juveniles as adults and hold their trial in an adult criminal court. Such cases typically occur when a child already has a major history of criminal activity or a child is involved in a very serious charge. If your child or a minor you know is facing charges in an adult criminal court, Mesa Juvenile Defense AttorneyCharlie Naegle will give them the exceptional defense they need to reduce their charges and help them get their life back on track for a brighter future.

Laws regarding the transfer of a case from juvenile court to the adult legal system generally vary from state to state, but in Arizona these transfers fall into three basic categories:

Judicial Waiver: Juvenile court justices have the authority to transfer a case to adult criminal court in order to deny the minor the protection that the juvenile court system offers.

Concurrent Jurisdiction: The prosecutor has the discretion to file certain cases in both the adult criminal court and juvenile court. The original jurisdiction for certain cases is shared by both criminal and juvenile courts.

Statutory exclusion: State statute excludes certain juvenile cases from juvenile court jurisdiction. Under this law, cases originate in criminal rather than juvenile court.

These factors may also influence the judge’s decision or a prosecutor’s request to transfer a juvenile case to adult court:

  1. The seriousness of the crime
  2. The age of the child
  3. Record of the child’s criminal activity
  4. If the child has already received counseling but with no positive outcome and s/he continues to commit crime
  5. Whether the child is responsive to medical treatment and therapy or not

Once a juvenile case is transferred to an adult court, the minor may face the same consequences and fines as an adult. Additionally, the criminal charge will stay on the juvenile’s permanent record which may significantly harm his/her education and employment opportunities in the future. Because of these serious consequences, it is critical that a child being tried as an adult seek the help of an experienced and knowledgeable Mesa Juvenile Defense Attorney. Charlie Naegle is well-versed in both the AZ juvenile system as well as the Arizona criminal justice system.

Hiring Mesa Juvenile Defense Attorney Charlie Naegle

Being tried in criminal court may also present various challenges for juveniles during their trial period. Minors often lack the reasoning skills to understand the proceedings and what is expected of them. A juvenile may also not fully make use of his rights due to lack of experience. This could cause the case to take an ugly turn and it could greatly affect the outcome. Once convicted, a juvenile is subject to more serious sentences including life in prison.

If your child or a child you know is charged with a serious crime, it is critical that the child be represented byMesa Juvenile Defense Attorney Charlie Naegle, who is familiar with juveniles and adult criminal court proceedings. Since a transfer case has a very serious nature and can produce serious consequences, consulting with Mesa juvenile defense attorney Charlie Naegle even before charges have been filed is crucial, as an attorney can assist you in dealing with the many complications of a transfer.

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