Juvenile crimes are those that are committed by people under the age of 18. Juvenile courts operate differently than courts that deal with adult defendants, largely because the goal is to rehabilitate juveniles rather than to punish them. However, children, like adults, do have the right to a good legal defense and it is important to find an experienced criminal law defense firm if you or a loved one faces a juvenile criminal charge.
According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, 2.11 million juveniles were arrested in the United States in 2008. While children do commit violent crimes, such as murder, nonviolent crimes are much more common among juvenile offenders. Described below are four common nonviolent crimes committed by juvenile individuals in the United States.
- Arson: This crime is the intentional burning or blasting of a building, structure, or other piece of property. Depending on the type and value of the property burned, arson may be considered a class 1 misdemeanor, a class 5 felony, or a class 4 felony in Arizona.
- Burglary: Burglary is a crime that involves breaking and entering another individual or organization’s property for the purpose of committing a crime once inside. In Arizona, depending on the type of property entered, burglary may be considered a class 4, class 3, or class 2 felony.
- Disorderly conduct: This may include a number of disruptive actions, including being intoxicated in public, disturbing the peace, and recklessly handling a weapon. Disorderly conduct may be considered a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 6 felony.
- Robbery: If a person takes property that belongs to another individual directly from or in the immediate presence of that individual against his or her will, then it is considered robbery. This crime is a class 4 felony in Arizona.
While juvenile courts often strive for rehabilitation, a conviction for a juvenile crime can affect the rest of a child’s life. The criminal law attorneys at Blumberg & Associates are here to help. If you have questions about juvenile offenses or other criminal law issues in the Phoenix area, please contact us at (602) 277-6180.