If a negotiated settlement is not reached, the case will proceed to an Adjudication Hearing. This hearing is the same as a trial in adult court with the exception that the evidence will be heard only by the Judge. A jury is never used in the juvenile justice system. If the juvenile pleads guilty to the delinquent act, or if the juvenile is adjudicated delinquent (found guilty), the Judge will set a date for the Disposition Hearing. Prior to the Disposition Hearing, a Probation Officer will prepare a predisposition report on the juvenile. This report includes information about the juvenile, the victim, the crime, previous history of delinquency, and a recommendation for a specific disposition (sentence).
At the Disposition Hearing, the juvenile may be ordered to serve time in the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, the Juvenile Detention Center, or given probation and required to meet conditions set by the Judge. If the juvenile is placed on probation and fails to meet the conditions set by the Judge, then the probation may be revoked, and the sentence modified by the court.
A juvenile may be placed on probation or committed to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections for a specified time up until they reach the age of 18.
This is a summary of the steps in the juvenile justice system. If you have specific questions as to issues in your case, please contact the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, Victim Services Division at 1(800) 208-6897 ext. 6813 or (520) 866-6813.