Speak Up! - View Question #18126
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Question: I know I'm not a kid, but my nephew is. This applies to him. He took his dad's truck (only means of transportation) with no lisence or permit, without dad's knowledge and totaled truck. No injuries. He hit a tree. What is likely to happen to him in court?
Mostly this depends on how young your nephew is and how long his juvenile record is.
He could be charged as an adult if he is close to 17, or has 2 prior felony adjudications, or the prosecutor decides that his record otherwise justifies charging him as an adult. In that case, theft of a vehicle is a class 3 felony. He could be placed on probation, or possibly sent to prison. He would also likely be ordered to pay for the cost of the damage to the vehicle. Probation on a class 3 felony is up to 5 years. Prison could be up to 8.5 years. There would also be fines and related fees.
In juvenile court, he could be placed on probation until his 18th birthday or sent to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections up to his 18th birthday. He would have to repay the damages and could be sent to a drug rehab program or a foster placement if the court felt that was necessary as part of probation. Lastly, his license would be suspended, or MVD would be ordered not to issue him a license, until he turns 18 (ARS 28-3320.)