When Utah kids get into trouble with the law, some may find themselves in a state youth court instead of the traditional juvenile court setting.
What is Youth Court?
Youth court is an alternative to the typical juvenile court. Youth court is organized with teens as the judges, jury, lawyers, bailiffs and clerks—under the supervision of an adult. Any person may make a referral for a juvenile to youth court for minor offenses. Potential referrals are always screened by an adult coordinator.
What Type of Authority does a Youth Court Have?
Youth courts have authority over kids:
• Referred for a minor offense or offenses
• Who, with a parent, voluntarily and in writing request youth court involvement
• Who admit having committed the referred offense
• Who (along with a parent) waive privilege against self-incrimination and right to a speedy trial and
• Who, along with a parent, agree to follow the youth court disposition of the case
Youth courts may decline to accept a youth in their court for any reason and kids or their parents may decide to quit the youth court process at any time. If either occurs, the case will be transferred back to a juvenile court.
Who Will Know What Happens in Youth Court?
The happenings in youth court are only allowed to be shared with the referring agency, juvenile court and the victim.
Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney
Regardless of the offense a child is charged with, it’s always in his best interest to talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Having an attorney on your son’s or daughter’s side may make a world of difference in his or her case. Make the right choice and call an attorney today.