We are all guilty of making mistakes when we were younger. However, some mistakes come at a greater price. Just because you are a juvenile when you commit a crime, does not mean that you will only get a slap on the wrist. Often, those convicted of juvenile crimes face serious consequences that can have lifelong effects on them and their families. Here are the most common juvenile crimes in Arizona.
Most Common Juvenile Crimes in Arizona
The legal drinking age in the state of Arizona is 21 years of age. This means that anyone younger in age that is caught in possession of or in the act of drinking alcohol can be charged with a crime. Other related offenses include distributing to other minors and soliciting alcohol. Arizona crimes do not view DUI crimes lightly – especially those involving a minor. Those who are convicted of a first time DUI will likely be subjected to at least 24 hours in jail, a $1,600 fine, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 360 days.
In this age of keeping up with the Jones’, juvenile shoplifting is unfortunately not uncommon. Such a crime is usually considered to be a petty theft and is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the property that was stolen is worth a minimum of $1,000, the individual who committed the theft can be charged with a felony. Common penalties for juvenile theft include probation, court-ordered counseling, and restitution (payment for the stolen property).
Juveniles are often very curious and unfortunately, that may be the case when it comes to illegal drugs. Drugs such as prescription-strength painkillers and marijuana are easy to obtain. Since these drugs are illegal, possession of them is illegal no matter how old you are. Possession of illegal drugs is commonly charged as a felony, which means that juvenile offenders may face prison time.
Illegal drugs such as marijuana and prescription-strength painkillers are easily accessible these days, and it is not uncommon to see or hear of teenagers experimenting with these drugs. It is a crime to be caught in possession of any illegal drug no matter your age. In most cases, possession of illegal drugs will be charged as a felony, which means that it is possible that a juvenile offender could face time in prison. In order for a juvenile to be found in possession of illegal drugs, the drugs do not have to be found on their actual person, but rather in an area under which they have control, such as a backpack or locker.
Unfortunately, a common crime committed by juveniles includes the destruction or defacement of someone else’s property. This criminal damage is called vandalism. Examples of vandalism include many things that young people often consider to be nothing more than a simple joke, such as egging cars or houses, damaging road signs, breaking windows, and drawing graffiti. A charge of vandalism can range anywhere from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 4 felony, which can result in jail time and steep fines. The charge is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each case.
Arizona Lawyers Helps Juveniles in Arizona Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
While many of these crimes will not result in a life sentence, they can – and do – commonly disrupt lives. If your child has been charged with a juvenile crime, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney who understands the law.
At Arizona Lawyers, we work with our clients to help make a bad situation better. We will do our best to have your child’s charges decreased – or even dropped. We understand what is at stake and we will help to fight for your rights. Before you take any action, speak to someone on our team. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call us today!