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Juvenile Rights & Responsibilities in Arizona

Technically, someone is considered a minor or a juvenile until they reach the age of majority, which is 18. In other words, a person is considered a juvenile until they turn 18. Once someone turns 18, they are an adult and they will be prosecuted in the adult court system if they break a state or federal law.

In Arizona, juvenile offenders have basic rights, such as:

  • If a juvenile is a suspect in a crime and they are detained by law enforcement, the juvenile may not be questioned by the police without first being told they have a right to have a lawyer present.
  • The police may question the juvenile; however, the juvenile has the right to remain silent.
  • When a juvenile is charged with a crime, he or she has a right to a defense attorney in all of their court proceedings, but their parents may be responsible for all attorney fees.

Arizona Youth Have Basic Responsibilities

Juveniles are citizens of our communities. So, like everyone else, they must behave responsibly. This means they cannot endanger others, endanger themselves, or violate any city, county, state or federal laws.

What’s more, our youth can be held responsible for not following the reasonable requests or directions of their parents, their teachers, and other adults who are in a position of authority over the child. Even though it’s common for teens to think certain actions are “practical jokes,” like egging someone’s house or putting toilet paper all over their trees and bushes, the victim can file a complaint with law enforcement and criminal charges can be filed against the juvenile.

Common juvenile offenses in Arizona:

  • Alcohol offenses
  • DUI
  • Curfew violations
  • Cigarette violations
  • Hitchhiking
  • Incorrigibility (being disobedient beyond parents’ control)
  • Using offensive language (yes, this is an actual offense)
  • Truancy
  • Weapons violations
  • Assault
  • Theft
  • Threatening and intimidating

If your son or daughter is facing criminal charges in Phoenix or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Joseph S. Davidson, PLC for a free case evaluation.