Except for traffic violations and a few other situations, Utah juvenile offenses are generally considered to be civil matters as opposed to criminal issues.
The only times a minor may be charged with a crime in Utah are in the following circumstances:
• Aggravated murder
• Offenses that would be considered felonies if committed by an adult if the juvenile has previously been committed to a secure facility
• Felony violations of:
• Aggravated arson
• Aggravated assault with serious bodily injury
• Aggravated kidnapping
• Aggravated burglary
• Aggravated robbery
• Aggravated sexual assault
• Felony discharge of a firearm
• Attempted aggravated murder
• Attempted murder
• Traffic violations
Even though this may seem like a lengthy list, the majority of offenses committed by Utah juveniles don’t fall under these categories. Although wrong, many offenses are of a much more minor nature—things that kids can rebound from.
We have previously noted that Utah juvenile courts are theoretically designed to help rehabilitate kids who have committed offenses that might be serious but don’t require long-term, if any, detention/prison stays.
Help Your Child
In spite of the law’s best efforts, though, it is possible for good kids to have bad outcomes from a juvenile court. It’s always in your child’s interest to have him or her represented by an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney.
If your child has committed any offense and is now is legal trouble, talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today. Getting your son or daughter the help they need now may prevent further legal problems in the future.