Juvenile Disposition Hearings in Arizona

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Once a Juvenile has either entered into a “Plea Agreement” or was adjudicated “Delinquent” at the “Adjudication Hearing”, then a “Disposition Hearing” will be held (i.e. a “Sentencing”). Before the actual Juvenile Disposition Hearing, but after a plea of guilty or an Adjudication of Delinquency, the Judge will request that a “Predisposition Report” (i.e. a “Presentence Report”) be conducted regarding the Juvenile .

Watch this short video where David explains about Juvenile Disposition Hearings in Arizona:

The Juvenile will meet with the Juvenile Probation Department and talk with a Predisposition Report Writer (P.R.W.) who will obtain basic background information regarding the Juvenile . In addition, they will allow the Juvenile to tell his side of the story and also make a recommendation as to what he feels the Sentencing should be.

Once this has all concluded, the P.R.W. will contact the Prosecutor for their input. When all of this is concluded, he will finalize his information in the form of a “Predisposition Report” which will be forwarded to the Judge within two to four (2-4) weeks.

The Juvenile Disposition Hearing must be held within thirty (30) days if the Juvenile is in custody, and it must be held within forty-five (45) days if the Juvenile is not in custody. At the time of the Juvenile Disposition Hearing, the Prosecutor can present “aggravating” evidence if he so chooses. The Defense Attorney can present “mitigating” evidence. A good Defense Attorney should always present mitigating evidence at the Sentencing phase.

If the Judge decides to sentence the Juvenile to incarceration, he can either send the Juvenile to the Juvenile Jail facility (for no more than one year or until the Juvenile’s eighteenth birthday- whichever is less), or to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (i.e. prison) until the Juvenile’s eighteenth (18th) birthday. If the Judge is inclined to sentence the Juvenile to incarceration, normally it is for a specified period. The Judge can also sentence the Juvenile to Probation (with or without incarceration) and access fines. Once the Juvenile is released from Juvenile Jail, the probation term will follow. If the Juvenile is released from the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, then a term of “Community Supervision” (i.e. “Parole”), will commence. Both of these will terminate no later than the Juvenile’s eighteenth (18th) birthday. On Sex Offenses, the Judge can also order that the Juvenile register as a Sex Offender until his or her twenty-fifth (25th) birthday.

If you or a loved one have more questions about a Juvenile Disposition Hearing in Arizona, contact the DM Cantor and speak to an attorney today.

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