Practice Area Overview

Juvenile Law

Juvenile law is the area of criminal law which is applicable to those who are not yet old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In Arkansas, the age for criminal culpability is set at 18.

Juvenile law exists because the courts believe that minors should be treated differently than adults under the law. They are not yet fully developed and they are not completely independent, which means they cannot be held fully responsible for their actions.

The main aim of a juvenile law attorney should be to fight for an outcome that best serves the interests and well-being of the minor, no matter the circumstances of the case.

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Status Offenses

More Info

There are many acts that are legal for adults to engage in, but that juveniles are barred from. Possession of alcohol or tobacco, truancy, running away from home, etc. are all considered “status” crimes. Usually, in these cases, the court focuses on rehabilitation for the minor involved.

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Delinquency Offenses

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Delinquency offenses are true crimes committed by a minor rather than an adult – trespassing, theft, rape, and murder. In some cases, a juvenile can be tried as an adult for serious crimes. If your child is being accused of a delinquent crime, contact a juvenile law attorney immediately.

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Being Tried As an Adult in Arkansas

More Info

If your child is older than 14, they may be tried as an adult for committing serious crimes. There is usually perceived malicious intent or repeated offenses involved in the decision to try as an adult, but it’s not always necessary. Those under 13 are very rarely tried as adults in Arkansas.

When can a juvenile be charged as an adult?

In Arkansas, any child can be charged as an adult if the right criteria are met. However, our laws make it very difficult to try anyone younger than 13 as an adult. The closer a minor is to 18, the more likely it is that they will be tried as an adult, especially if it is a repeat offense.

What are the consequences of a juvenile conviction?

A juvenile conviction can limit their educational and employment opportunities for the rest of their lives. However, in many cases, the records can be sealed or expunged. Contact a lawyer about protecting your child's future.

Will my child go to prison if they are convicted?

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act passed in 1974 requires that incarcerated minors be separated from adults. They will not go to prison, but they may be sent to a juvenile delinquency center.

How is being tried as a minor different than being tried as an adult?

Almost half of all juvenile cases are heard "informally". In most cases, if the youth admits guilt, the judge will issue an informal disposition laying out his punishment or the requirements of his/her release. Sometimes the judge will decide that a formal hearing is required and if they are found guilty, a separate hearing is held to decide where to place them. If possible, it is always better for your child to be tried as a minor rather than an adult.

What Others Say

Frequent Questions

A juvenile arrest is often very shocking and traumatic for the family and the child alike. Make sure that your child is protected and call a good juvenile law attorney as soon as possible.

There are also a lot of questions from parents when their child is facing charges. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about juvenile law. If your child is being accused of a legal infraction, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

When can a juvenile be charged as an adult?

In Arkansas, any child can be charged as an adult if the right criteria are met. However, our laws make it very difficult to try anyone younger than 13 as an adult. The closer a minor is to 18, the more likely it is that they will be tried as an adult, especially if it is a repeat offense.

What are the consequences of a juvenile conviction?

A juvenile conviction can limit their educational and employment opportunities for the rest of their lives. However, in many cases, the records can be sealed or expunged. Contact a lawyer about protecting your child's future.

Will my child go to prison if they are convicted?

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act passed in 1974 requires that incarcerated minors be separated from adults. They will not go to prison, but they may be sent to a juvenile delinquency center.

How is being tried as a minor different than being tried as an adult?

Almost half of all juvenile cases are heard "informally". In most cases, if the youth admits guilt, the judge will issue an informal disposition laying out his punishment or the requirements of his/her release. Sometimes the judge will decide that a formal hearing is required and if they are found guilty, a separate hearing is held to decide where to place them. If possible, it is always better for your child to be tried as a minor rather than an adult.

You’re not alone. Ready to talk?

Schedule a Consultation

(501) 428-0346

700 S German Ln Suite 101, Conway, AR 72034

info@thlaw.net

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