Sex crimes are among the most serious offenses that a juvenile may face in Arizona. These are high-stakes cases that have a high potential for false allegations and serious consequences for the accused youth.
Sexual assault, including date rape, statutory rape, and other sex-related charges
The term “rape” is no longer used in Arizona’s courts. It is included in the broader category of “sexual assault.” Historically, many children as young as 14, when accused of sex crimes, were transferred to the adult court system. This sometimes happened even when the sex was consensual and involved young people close in age. This is a tragedy, because convicted sex offenders, including juveniles, become part of state and national registries and their photographs, addresses, and charges become public record and are often readily available online and elsewhere.
Many adolescents in today’s society are sexually active at an early age and may not be aware of the possibility of being charged with sexual assault as a result of a sexual relationship that they perceive as young love. This can happen because a person under the age of 18 is not considered capable under the law of consenting to sex in Arizona.
A more enlightened disposition of a sex crime case is often possible
Today, with the representation of an experienced juvenile sex crimes defense attorney, it is more often possible to get youthful offenders into treatment programs with others of similar age and maturity level, rather than incarcerating them in adult facilities where they are exposed to hardened criminals and are more likely to reoffend after release. If the worst has happened and the child has been transferred to the adult system, a rigorous and aggressive defense can often result in charges being reduced or dropped or the defendant being acquitted at trial.
Proper treatment means low recidivism for juvenile sex offenders
Research has shown that the recidivism rate for juvenile sex offenders who get the proper treatment is extremely low.
Programs for juvenile sex offenders include individual, group, and/or family counseling to help young offenders make more appropriate decisions with regard to their sexual behavior. With this kind of treatment, the great majority of children who have engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviors go on to become healthy, productive, and responsible adults.
Avoiding conviction and incarceration for sex crimes in the adult penal system
Without a juvenile defense attorney who knows how to present the case to prosecutors and judges in such a way as to decrease the likelihood of transferring the child to the adult system, the results can be catastrophic for a child, who could end up in prison, exposed to the worst elements and denied the child-specific treatment that is most likely to set him on the road to mature, responsible sexuality.
It is important to engage the services of an experienced juvenile sex crimes attorney at the earliest stages to protect the child’s rights help him or her navigate the justice system.
Jeremy Geigle with the Jackson White law firm has years of experience representing young offenders in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Mesa, Gilbert and throughout the state of Arizona. If a young person close to you is facing allegations of sexual assault, Jeremy will conduct a free initial consultation to explain what options might be available.
Call him today.