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When Juveniles Receive Criminal Traffic Tickets in Arizona

As a parent, it can be both exciting and scary when your teenager first gets their driver license. You’re happy for them and glad that now you won’t have to be a chauffeur nearly as much as before. But at the same time, you worry about your son or daughter drinking and driving, texting while driving, driving while distracted or fatigued, speeding, and driving recklessly. After all, we can all remember how our friends drove in high school. Sometimes, we were the ones driving recklessly as teens.

So, what if something bad happens? For example, what if your high school student is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), or cited for another serious moving violation, such as reckless driving, passing a stopped school bus, running a red light, or speeding? If your child receives a criminal traffic ticket, do they need to appear in court even though they are technically a minor?

Does My Child Appear in Court?

In the majority of cases, if the minor decides to pay the traffic ticket, he or she may still need to appear in court, but it depends on the facts of the case. On the other hand, if the juvenile committed a serious traffic violation, or if he or she committed a Class 1 misdemeanor, he or she will be required to appear in court, but they also must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian.

According to Maricopa County Justice Courts, “If you are under age 18, you may be able to attend defensive driving school, but Arizona law requires that you appear in court with a parent or guardian on or before the date and time listed on your citation.”

Related: AZ License Suspensions for Juvenile Offenders

If your son or daughter has been accused of a Class 1 misdemeanor or a serious traffic violation, we encourage you to contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation with Attorney Davidson, a former prosecutor and skilled Phoenix traffic ticket lawyer.