Lack of Remorse May Encourage Adult Charges

Having a lack of remorse about a crime may encourage a judge to charge a juvenile as an adult.

Sorry, not sorry

Photo by: Maddie Photography
Photo by: Maddie Photography

When a juvenile commits a crime, the prosecution may discuss whether or not the youth should be charged as an adult. This is most often the case for more heinous crimes such as murder. When a juvenile has a lack of remorse for the crime, it is harder for his defense to prove him to be nothing more than an immature person who made a big mistake. Showing a lack of remorse may spell out a criminal nature, or a sociopath in the making.

Not something to brag about

Even if a juvenile shows remorse in the courtroom, what he does prior to that will be taken into account. Youth who brag about their crime to peers or continually blame the victim in the case may be accused of lack of remorse and therefore struggle to prove to the judge that they feel sorry. Remorse should begin the second the crime has been committed, or once the shock of the situation wears off. Any action contrary to that will be noted by authorities and may be used against the defendant.

Counseling suggested

Photo by: Bridget H
Photo by: Bridget H

Frequently, youth who are responsible for causing pain or death of another may be in denial of what they have done or their brain may block out the event to protect their mental wellbeing. For this reason, the accused may appear as though they have a lack of remorse, when in fact they are merely dealing with the crime as they would any other tragic situation, by blocking it out. When this is the case, counseling may help them to come to terms with the charges and their grief so they can feel and show their remorse. For any youth who are facing possible adult charges, it is important to speak with a juvenile defense attorney immediately.

Juvenile Opens Fire in School, Wounding Three People

Photo: Isaac Tovar

A 12-year-old juvenile in New Mexico was taken into custody after he opened fire at the middle school he attended, wounding three people–two of whom were students.

What Happened?

Authorities believe the juvenile boy planned the attack; they also think he warned some students that there would be an attack. Two students were wounded during the shooting, one critically. An adult also received some type of injury.

As Bad As it Was, It Could Have Been Worse

Fortunately, the situation didn’t end up as bad as it might have had there been more shooters or had the juvenile had more gun ammunition. A judge ordered that the juvenile receive an evaluation and mental health treatment. Officials are still looking for a motive behind the attack.

There are many ways parents can help their children these days, but some areas are tough, including when kids have to deal with bullies, sex issues and mental health problems. Parents can be on the lookout for difficult situations but can’t always prevent serious problems.

Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney About Your Child’s Legal Dilemma

Children who get into legal trouble, no matter what type, need and deserve competent, experienced legal help. Talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today if you have a child who’s considered delinquent for any reason.

There’s no need to wait for the worst possible scenario to occur. Get your son or daughter the expert legal defense they need.

Utah Teens, Arson and Restitution

Two Utah teens have been arrested as suspects in the weekend arson of the Davis High School football field and may end up with a large restitution bill.

Photo: Matthew Venn

The 16-year-olds were booked into the local juvenile detention facility while they’re being investigated for committing arson and criminal trespass. They allegedly burned an approximately 48 square foot patch of the field; damages are estimated to be at least $10,000.

What Should We Do Tonight?

The suspects attend another high school, but supposedly started the fire for fun. Considering the amount of damages, the school district may look for restitution.

When a person is found guilty of committing a crime that results in financial damages, Utah law states that a court shall order the individual to make restitution to the victims. In determining restitution, the court looks at complete restitution and court-ordered restitution.

What is Restitution?

Complete restitution covers the money necessary to compensate a victim for all losses. Court-ordered restitution means the restitution the person must pay as part of his sentence at the time of sentencing or within one year after sentencing.

Parents Can be Financially Liable

When a juvenile commits an offense where there is property damage, the juvenile’s parent or legal guardian is liable for property damages not to exceed $2000 under the following conditions:

• The minor intentionally damages, defaces, destroys or takes someone else’s property
• The minor recklessly or willfully propels or shoots a missile or other object at one of several objects
• The minor intentionally and unlawfully tampers with the property of another endangering human life or involving public utility services

There are circumstances under which a parent may not be legally responsible for a child’s actions; if you have questions about this, it’s best to consult with a Utah juvenile defense attorney.

If your child is involved in any juvenile legal problems, it’s a good idea to talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible. Don’t assume that the issue will resolve itself or go away. Get your child the legal help he or she needs today.

Utah Teen Arrested After He Shoots Friend

A Utah teen has been taken into custody following an accidental shooting that left his friend with a bullet in his stomach.

Photo: J BrewWhat Happened?

The teens were outside a West Valley City apartment complex when the shooting occurred. A 16-year-old allegedly tried to shoot a gun towards the ground but it didn’t discharge. At some point, the gun went off and a 15-year-old ended up worse for the wear. It’s believed that his injury isn’t life-threatening.

The 16-year-old Utah teen was taken into custody and booked into a local juvenile detention facility. He’s being investigated for possession of a firearm and discharge of a firearm.

Utah Kids and Guns

According to Utah law, a minor under the age of 18 may not be in possession of a dangerous weapon unless he:

• Has a parent or guardian’s permission to have the weapon or
• Is accompanied by a parent or guardian while he has the weapon

Failure to obey this law can result in a class B misdemeanor charge the first time. If it happens any other times, the charge will increase to a class A misdemeanor.

Discharging a gun is addressed all on its own. There are several places it’s illegal to shoot a gun, including:

• From any vehicle
• Around highways
• At road signs
• At railroad equipment or signs
• Without written permission of the owner of property within 600 feet of a house, dwelling or any other building

It’s a class B misdemeanor to disobey this law, and a person may have his driver’s license revoked, suspended or denied if he commits this crime.

This particular case sounds like it was likely just an accident, that no harm was actually intended. However, it’s still in the Utah teen’s best interest to have expert legal representation in any court hearing or other aspects of his case.

Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child has been arrested for committing any offense, don’t wait to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. An experienced juvenile defense attorney may be able to help your Utah teen make sure that he’s treated fairly and respectfully. Make the right call today.

Potential Consequences for Utah Juvenile Offenders

Consequences for juvenile offenders in Utah can vary from one district to another, but are fairly similar. Sometimes knowing what might happen if you behave a certain way may keep you from making that particular choice.

Photo: Steven Orr

Fines

The fines juvenile offenders are required to pay are generally set by the legislature and differ depending on the offense.

Written Assignments

Juvenile offenders may be required to write letters of apology or a report concerning their behavior.

Restitution

Restitution is a requirement to repay financial loss to a victim. If a child and/or his family can’t pay the money, the child may be able to work until he can repay the damages in full.

Counseling

This may be required for certain juvenile offenders who may benefit from specialized counseling services in regard to what led to their behavior.

Community Service

This consequence may be given to juvenile offenders so that they can work instead of pay fines. Community service may be a good opportunity for youth to return some of what was “taken” from the community.

Home Detention

In this situation, a juvenile is required to be with a parent/guardian at all times and may not have phone calls or visits with friends.

Detention

This type of detention requires juvenile offenders to be locked up in a formal youth detention center.

A Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney Can Help

It’s ultimately up to a juvenile judge to decide what consequences a youth will face. It is beneficial for any youth in the juvenile justice system to have an attorney to help make sure the child’s best interests are looked after.

Talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today if your child is struggling with legal problems. Getting him the help he needs now may make his—and your—life easier in the future.