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Arkansas Juvenile Crimes Attorneys Protect Your Child’s Future

Standing up for Little Rock families since 1994

A juvenile arrest is a shocking experience for the parents as well as the child. Your first phone call should be to an experienced criminal defense attorney. With offices in Little Rock, Fayetteville and Conway, the James Law Firm stands ready to provide an aggressive defense for juveniles accused of crimes in Arkansas.

What are the categories of juvenile crime in Arkansas?

Many acts that adults engage in regularly — and legally — are crimes when a minor commits them. These are known as “status” crimes. But minors also are held accountable when they violate the general criminal laws. Such violations are sometimes referred to as “delinquency” crimes. Here are some examples of each category:

  • Status offenses include curfew violation; truancy; possession of alcohol, tobacco or a handgun; and running away from home. With these offenses, the juvenile courts tend to focus on rehabilitation.
  • Delinquency offenses include both property crimes, such as trespassing and theft, as well as violent crimes, such as assault and rape. In some cases, the state will charge and try a juvenile offender as an adult.

When can a juvenile be charged as an adult in Arkansas?

After two boys, aged 11 and 13, shot and killed five people in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in March 1998, legislators consulted child-development specialists and criminal lawyers, and came up with legislation that experts say is one of the most carefully drafted juvenile justice laws in the nation.

The legislation removes what had been a blanket prohibition against trying children 14 and younger as adults. It imposes major hurdles, however, if a prosecutor wants to charge a child younger than 13 as an adult. Through psychological tests, the prosecutor must show that the child understands the criminality of his or her conduct as well as the consequences of that conduct. As a result, young children are rarely tried as adults in Arkansas.

What are the long-term consequences of a juvenile conviction?

A juvenile conviction can limit future employment, educational and financial aid opportunities. But the outlook isn’t totally bleak — your child’s record can be sealed or expunged in some situations. Our Little Rock criminal defense attorneys can help you remove a blot on your child’s record.

If your child has legal issues, call our Arkansas criminal defense firm today

At the James Law Firm, our experienced attorneys work hard to keep your child’s record clean. Contact the James Law Firm at 501.683.8575 or online to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24/7. Hablamos español.