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MESA PHOENIX JUVENILE DRUG CRIMES DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Click for a list of possible defenses.

Juvenile (child or teen) drug crimes include drug use, drug possession, drug sales, and drug paraphernalia.

A.R.S. § 8-321 states that the County Attorney may divert the prosecution of a juvenile who is accused of committing a delinquent act (a drug crime if committed by an adult) if this would be the first or second time that the juvenile has participated in a community based alternative program or a diversion program administered by the juvenile drug court within twenty-four months before the date of the commission of the alleged drug crime.  The County Attorney has sole discretion to decide whether to divert or defer prosecution of a juvenile. 

 

  • If the County Attorney diverts the prosecution of a juvenile to the juvenile drug court, the juvenile probation officer must personally interview the juvenile in the presence of his or her parent or guardian.  The juvenile must then acknowledge responsibility for the drug crime and comply with one or more of the following conditions established by the juvenile probation officer:  unpaid community restitution work; court-approved counseling program to strengthen family relationships and prevent more juvenile felonies; court-approved education program to prevent further juvenile felony behavior; court-approved education program designed to deal with juvenile alcohol or drug abuse; court-approved nonresidential program of rehabilitation or supervision either offered by the court or a community youth servicing agency; payment of restitution to the victim; and/ or payment of a fine.

“Being charged with a drug crime in juvenile court can become the start of drug rehab for your child—I will help make that happen.”

  Lisa Witt

  •  If the juvenile successfully complies with the conditions, the County Attorney will not file a petition in juvenile court and the program's resolution will not be used against the juvenile in any further proceeding and is not an adjudication of delinquency. The resolution of the program is not a criminal conviction, does not impose any civil disabilities ordinarily resulting from a criminal conviction, and does not disqualify the juvenile in any civil service application or appointment.

 

  • If the County Attorney diverts the prosecution of a juvenile to a community based alternative program, the juvenile must admit responsibility for the drug crime and must cooperate fully with the program.  After holding a meeting with the juvenile and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s), the participants may agree on any legally reasonable consequences that are necessary to fully and fairly resolve the matter except confinement.  The juvenile then must complete the consequences within ninety days after the juvenile is referred to the community based alternative program.  If the juvenile successfully completes the consequences, the County Attorney shall not file a petition in juvenile court and the program's resolution shall not be used against the juvenile in any further proceeding and is not an adjudication of delinquency. The resolution of the program is not a criminal conviction does not impose any civil disabilities ordinarily resulting from a conviction, and does not disqualify the juvenile in any civil service application or appointment.

“I’m an expert in poking holes in the State’s evidence.”  Lisa Witt

  • If the juvenile does not acknowledge responsibility for the offense or fails to comply with the consequences set by the community based alternative program, the case must be submitted to the County Attorney for review.  The County Attorney may return the case to the juvenile probation department for further action if the County Attorney declines prosecution after reviewing a referral.

 

A.R.S. § 8-341 describes the powers of a juvenile drug court judge if the drug crime charge is not diverted or diversion fails.  A juvenile drug court judge may hold a hearing which is similar to a trial without a jury to determine if the juvenile should be found to be delinquent (guilty) of the drug crime charge.  The juvenile court judge may enter judgment as follows:

 

  • Subject to the supervision of a probation department, award a delinquent juvenile to the care of his/her parents; to a probation department (including a period of incarceration in a juvenile detention center of not more than one year); to a reputable citizen of good moral character; to a private agency or institution; to the department of juvenile corrections;  to maternal or paternal relatives; or to an appropriate official of a foreign country of which the juvenile is a foreign national who is unaccompanied by a parent or guardian in this state to remain on unsupervised probation for at least one year on the condition that the juvenile cooperate with that official.

 

  • Place the juvenile on probation until his/her eighteenth birthday except that probation must not exceed one year if all of the following apply:  the juvenile is not charged with a subsequent offense; the juvenile has not been found in violation of a condition of probation and the court has not made a determination that it is in the best interests of the juvenile or the public to require continued supervision; the offense for which the juvenile is placed on probation does not involve a dangerous offense as defined in A.R.S. § 13-105; the offense for which the juvenile is placed on probation does not involve a violation of title 13, chapter 14 or 35.1; restitution ordered pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-344 has been made; and the juvenile's parents have not requested that the court continue the juvenile's probation for more than one year.

 

  • Order the juvenile to submit to random drug and alcohol testing at least two times per week as a condition of probation if a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for a drug crime.

DEFENSES FOR JUVENILE DRUG CHARGES IN ARIZONA

Lisa is a passionate, detail-oriented defense attorney who will thoroughly evaluate your child’s case and determine if one or more of the following potential defense strategies apply:

 

  • Conduct described is not a juvenile drug crime:  The act described may not fit the statutory definition of a drug crime.

 

  • Case is eligible for juvenile diversion:  The State is incorrect in deciding that your child’s drug crime does not qualify for juvenile diversion.

 

  • Case is eligible for juvenile court:  The State is incorrect in deciding that your child’s drug crime does not qualify for juvenile court.

 

  • Dismissal agreement is appropriate:  Your child’s drug crime may be dismissed if your child completes community service, writes an essay, and/or takes a diversion class. 

 

  • Eyewitnesses:  There may be eyewitnesses who can testify about the drug crime.

 

  • Mistaken identity:  Someone else committed the drug crime and your child was mistakenly identified as the suspect.

 

  • Alibi:  Your child may have been at school or working with other people or elsewhere when the drug crime took place.

 

  • Implausibility of State’s case:  The State’s case may be implausible based on the timeframe or other facts alleged.

 

 

  • Suppression of State’s evidence:  The State may have violated your child’s constitutional rights or otherwise acted illegally in acquiring evidence or your confession.

 

  • Missing or tainted evidence:  Sometimes the State’s evidence cannot be produced or is corrupted. 

 

  • Insufficiency of State’s evidence:  The State may have insufficient evidence to prove a drug crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

  • Reduction in number of counts: Each count alleged against your child should concern a separate criminal act and not be part of the same drug crime. 

 

  • Police misconduct:  There may be police misconduct in collecting the evidence, investigating the drug crime, interviewing the victim and witnesses, or obtaining your child’s confession.

 

  • Prosecutorial misconduct:  There may be prosecutorial misconduct in disclosing the evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and in the general disposition of your child’s case.

 

  • Possible other defenses to a drug crime:  Depending on the unique facts of your child’s case, there may be other possible defenses.  Lisa thinks outside the box by diligently searching for defenses so she may come up with a novel defense that no other attorney has thought of before.

 

If your child has been charged with a drug crime, you need a passionate, detail-oriented defense attorney.  Please call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the online form for a free case review.

Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona juvenile drug crimes defense attorney serving clients facing charges in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.

 
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer