Arizona Juvenile Transfer to Adult Court

Can my child’s case be transferred to adult court?

arizona juvenile transfer to adult courtArizona juvenile transfer to adult court is governed by specific laws and rules.

Arizona law requires certain juvenile cases to be filed directly in adult court.

Other cases may be direct filed in adult court, or transferred from juvenile court to adult court, if they meet certain criteria.

When a juvenile’s case is filed in or transferred to adult court, that juvenile faces adult court penalties including adult jail and prison.

Cases That Must Be Direct Filed in Adult Court

Certain offenses, by law, require juveniles 15 years or older to be charged in adult court:

  • Murder
  • Forcible sexual assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated assault causing serious physical injury
  • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
  • Drive-by shooting
  • Discharging a firearm at a structure
  • Chronic felony offenders

When transfer is required, the juvenile’s case is filed directly in the adult court.

Cases That May Be Direct Filed in Adult Court

  • Juvenile must be 14 years or older at the time of the offense
  • Class 1 felonies
  • Class 2 felonies
  • Certain class 3 felonies
  • A class 3, 4, 5, or 6 involving a dangerous offense
  • Any felonies by a chronic felony offender

Cases That May Be Transferred to Adult Court

Even if a transfer to adult court is not required, the prosecutor may request that a juvenile, whose case has been filed in juvenile court, be transferred to adult court by requesting a transfer hearing not later than 15 days after the Advisory Hearing.

A Juvenile Transfer Hearing is held and the court decides if a juvenile should be transferred to adult court.

Juvenile Transfer Hearings

  • Must be held within 30 days of the Advisory Hearing;
  • Court must find that probable cause exists to believe that the offense was committed and the juvenile committed it; and
  • Court must find that public safety would be best served by transferring juvenile to adult court.

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