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Question: What will happen if a 15yr old is charged with a felony?

Answer: A couple of things can happen, depending on the type of felony the juvenile is charged with and what type of criminal record he or she has.

If the felony the juvenile (age 15 and over) is charged with is one of the following, then Arizona law requires that they be charged as an adult in adult court;


-Rape or Sexual Assault

-Armed Robbery

-Aggravated Assault - either serious physical injury or with a deadly weapon

-Drive-by Shooting

-Discharging a Firearm at a Structure

or if the juvenile already has 2 prior felony convictions in juvenile court (chronic felony offender)

These are called mandatory direct file cases.

If the juvenile is 14 years or older, and committs any of the following felonies, then the county attorney MAY file adult charges in adult court. That is a decision made on a case-by-case basis;

-a class 1 or 2 felony (included murder and some drug sales offenses)

-a class 3 felony (except possession of drugs or theft)

-a class 3,4,5, or 6 felony with intentional or knowing serious physical injury or use of deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (these would be aggravated assaults and similar offenses)

-or a juvenile that has been convicted already of 2 felonies in juvenile court (chronic felony offender)

Other felonies would be charged in juvenile court. Those would include, burglary, car theft, possession of marijuana, narcotics or dangerous drugs, some aggravated assaults where there is no serious injury or weapon used, fleeing from law enforcement or escape, resisting arrest, and theft.

The juvenile court has a broad range of sentences, and does not have any mandatory sentencing provisions like adult court. The juvenile judge consideres the crime and the juvenile's circumstances, then can impose everything from community service to juvenile prison, including probation, fines, and placement in a residential treatment or foster home.

1 thru 5 of 37 comments
On 04/12/09
Ray from NM said:
Now common its not worth gettin in trouble, nothing good comes out of it so Why do it you have to live your life with your family.RIP Grandpa RIP
On 03/26/09
dede from AL said:
i have a 16 yrold son who went inside a home because his friends did now hes charged with a class 1 felony how time will he get
On 06/08/08
kris from LA said:
i got a felony when i was 16 for crack cocaine and paraphnailia (cant spell) any way the files are sealed as juvenile if its not to severe, just stay out of trouble from now on.
On 10/30/07
shanno from FL said:
I was charged with felony burglary, petty theft, and trespassing. I'm a juvenile and when I went to the juvenile center the states attorney gave me a plea of a program they give I accepted the plea and my mom and I signed the paper. When we returned home there was a phone call from the states attorney saying she gave me the wrong paper. When i go to court because she gave me that specific plea am I still able to follow this plea.
On 01/27/07
Rose from NE said:
Okay im 14 and i forged my dads signature at school. I got caught and what the bad thing is that i already got caught and in troublr for a dirty UA. But my caseworker wants me to write this stupid report on what would really happen if i did forge a signature and i cant find any information what so ever so can you help me find information.
1 thru 5 of 37 comments

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