Delinquency is typically when a youth under the age of 18 commits a crime. This can be a minor crime that would not be a crime if they were an adult or crimes that adults commit.
The juvenile courts are there to help youth and not criminalizing normal adolescents learning. Protecting the community and victims is critical and helping youth to be law abiding citizens is an important aspect of the courts.
An "incorrigible" youth is one who is truant, runaway, refuses to obey a parent or guardian, violates curfew or smokes cigarettes. ARS § 8-201.
A "delinquent" youth is one who, if he/she was an adult, could be charged with any crime listed in Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. ARS § 8-201.
A youth, between ages 15 and 18, who commits murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, forcible sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated driving or any other violent offense SHALL be tried in adult criminal court. ARS § 13-501.
A youth, who is at least 14 years of age, and who has been convicted in the Juvenile Court of two prior felonies and then is arrested for another felony MAY be tried in the adult criminal court if the County Attorney believes it is necessary to protect the public. ARS § 13-501.
If the County Attorney wants to try any other juvenile in adult criminal court, a motion to transfer must be filed. A Juvenile Court judge must then make two determinations: (1) whether there is probable cause to proceed; and if so, (2) whether the juvenile should be transferred to the adult court to protect the community after a consideration of the seriousness of the alleged offense and the manner it was caused, whether a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used, whether it was a crime against property or person; whether anyone was injured as a result of the juvenile's actions, whether the juvenile was acting with or furtherance of a gang, the juvenile's sophistication and maturity, the juvenile's physical, mental and emotional condition, the juvenile's previous Juvenile Court history, if any, whether the juvenile had previously been committed to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections and the prospects for adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of reasonable rehabilitation by the use of services and facilities of the Court. Rule 14, Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court.
Competency and Restoration
Please click on picture to learn about Restoration
By Arizona statute, when a delinquency petition is filed with the court claiming a juvenile committed criminal behavior, it is the Court’s responsibility to ensure the juvenile understands the Court process as well as their role within the process.
If there is a question of the attorney for a juvenile will request a Mental Competency evaluation be completed if he/she feels the juvenile does not understand the Court process or possess the ability to assist the attorney with his/her defense. There can be one of three rulings from the court:
- Juvenile is competent and the Court proceedings continue.
- Juvenile is not competent not restorable to proceed and it is dismissed.
- Juvenile is not competent but restorable the youth is ordered to the restoration program.
The Restoration Program was designed to educate juveniles within the Maricopa County Juvenile Court system to a level necessary for them to assist their attorney with their defense which also gives them the confidence to fully participate in the justice system. This program will help the juvenile understand how the court works, the people they will see, and the words they will hear in the courtroom. While in the program, a juvenile will be assigned a Restoration Educator who will regularly meet and teach him/her about the court. There is a team approach and they work closely with other Educators, stakeholders, parents, and schools to ensure the juvenile is successful. A juvenile will also meet and talk with a mental health doctor who is called a psychologist. The doctor will talk with the juvenile about his/her progress in restoration. The doctor will then send a report to the judge and the judge will decide if you need more time to learn about court. There will be court hearings to decide if the juvenile is competent and if the court can proceed.
Restoration Workbook (English)
Restoration Workbook (Spanish)
Click to see the Post Probation "My Records + My Rights" (DOR, Set Aside, Firearms, Etc.)
Destruction of Records
If you were involved in a case in Juvenile Court and want to get your records destroyed, please click the link below to get the forms and instructions you need.
Juvenile Destruction of Records, Set Aside Conviction, Restore Rights
If you participated in diversion with Juvenile Probation, please read the paragraph below.
Diversion records are automatically destroyed by the Juvenile Probation Department when you reach 18 years and 90 days per A.R.S. § 8-349(L). If you participated in and successfully completed diversion you do not need to apply for Destruction of Juvenile Records, Set Aside Conviction, or Restore Firearm Rights. You should get notice by mail regarding record destruction. If you have any questions or did not successfully complete diversion, please call (602) 506-4011 if your case was at the Durango facility in Phoenix, and (602) 506-2619 if your case was at the Southeast facility in Mesa.