Prosecutors are seeking to certify 16-year-old Joshua Hoggan as an adult after receiving information that the juvenile was going to use a weapon of mass destruction at Roy High School in Utah. Hoggan has been charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction, which is a first-degree felony, in 2nd District Juvenile Court, but prosecutors have filed the motion to have Hoggan’s case transferred to adult district court.
Should Hoggan be Tried as an Adult?
Prosecutors reportedly believe that Hoggan is adult enough to comprehend the gravity of his situation and the choices he made to get to this point. Also, his co-conspirator in the alleged bomb plot is already an 18-year-old adult who has been charged with the same crime in adult court.
Safety Issues at Roy High School Noted by Hoggan
Interestingly, Hoggan wrote an article for the Roy High School newspaper in 2010 that detailed problems around the school that could put everyone’s safety at issue if the school was attacked. Hoggan also interviewed the Columbine High School principal this past December, purportedly for a follow-up article for Roy High’s newspaper.
What Constitutes Weapon of Mass Destruction Involvement
In Utah, a person can be charged with a first-degree felony for any of the following situations relating to a weapon of mass destruction:
• Attempts to use
• Solicits the use of
• Conspires to use
We would not attempt to sit in judgment of Joshua Hoggan; that is for a judge or jury. We strongly believe that any person accused of a crime is innocent unless they are found guilty. Hopefully Hoggan will be treated fairly and respectfully, as is appropriate for any individual facing criminal charges.
Juvenile Courts Are About Rehabilitation
There are many reasons why juvenile court is separate from adult court, and if you have a child whom prosecutors are attempting to certify as an adult, it is vital that you get the advice of an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney. Just because a prosecutor believes a 16-year-old is mature enough to be tried as an adult doesn’t mean that is what should happen.
Make sure your child, regardless of his or her circumstances, is represented by a juvenile defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of helping juveniles through any legal procedures.
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