Prank Call About Gunman Lands Utah Teen in Trouble

A Utah teen is in custody following a prank call incident that sparked the lockdown and removal of kids at three northern Utah schools.

Photo: Tulane Public Relations

The 13-year-old was arrested and may face charges for making a terrorist threat, a third degree felony, by placing a prank call about a gunman at school. Dozens of police officers in Davis County were on the scene as North Davis Junior High was placed on lockdown and searched. Once law enforcement determined that there was no gunman on the premises, they turned to look for the person(s) responsible.

Based on tips from several students, the 13-year-old was identified as the one who made the phone call. No one was physically injured at the junior high or the other two schools, a high school and an elementary.

Threat of Terrorism

A person may be guilty of threat of terrorism if he threatens to commit certain types of offenses involving the use of a weapon of mass destruction or a hoax weapon of mass destruction. He may also be guilty of the same crime if he acts with intent to:

• intimidate or coerce civilians
• influence or affect government
• prevent or interrupt people in a public building
• begin an emergency service crisis

Someone who does any of the above cannot use the defense that he couldn’t or wouldn’t carry out the threat. Additionally, a person who makes threats like these is liable for the monetary damages/costs incurred during the event.

Prank Calls Can Be Trouble

Making a prank call today can be very serious, particularly when the police become involved. We don’t know what led this young man—if he was the one—to make the phone call, but the best way to help him is to make sure he has a good Utah juvenile defense attorney on his side.

If your child is facing legal charges, don’t wait to talk to an attorney. Kids need legal assistance just as much as adults.

Juveniles Admit Committing Arson in Utah

Three kids have admitted to committing arson in Utah at a Magna LDS church by setting hymnbooks on fire.

Photo: Samuel M. Livingston

The fire was first noticed by a passerby Monday morning. When fire officials arrived, the building was filled with smoke. It’s believed that the kids entered the church house through a door that was either broken or forced opened. Damages appear to be at least $500,000.

In addition to being charged with arson in Utah, the kids may be charged with additional crimes—including burglary.

Definition of Burglary

Burglary in Utah is defined as:

• Entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a felony, theft, assault, lewdness, sexual battery, lewdness involving a child or voyeurism.

Burglary is a third degree felony unless committed in a residence, in which case it’s a second degree felony.

What is Arson?

Arson in Utah can be charged if a person uses fire or explosives to intentionally damage any property for the purposes of committing insurance fraud or any property belonging to someone else. If you commit arson and cause damages of $5000 or more, you will be charged with a second degree felony.

There are several other lesser charges for arson; most depend on the cost of damages and whether or not someone is injured. Aggravated arson in Utah occurs when someone sets fire to a residence or a car or structure when someone not involved in the arson is inside.

Most kids are charged with offenses in Utah juvenile court; under some circumstances they may have their case moved to adult court and suffer penalties usually reserved for those over 18.

Because you don’t know what will happen with your child’s case, it’s important to have a Utah juvenile defense attorney represent your son or daughter from the beginning. Kids deserve to have qualified legal representation, too, and need it as much as an adult. Talk to an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Utah Juvenile Arrested for Park City Arson

A pair of suspected arsonists, one a Utah juvenile, has been arrested following a busy crime spree in Park City.

Photo: viZZZual.com

They’re Not Batman and Robin

The dynamic duo is believed to be responsible for starting a fire at the Park City Marriott hotel, followed by a burglarizing trip to the local high school and a condo in the city.

Investigators don’t know why the pair set the fire in an area of the hotel’s parking garage, but security video from the hotel helped identify one of the alleged criminals. The two people are being held while they’re investigated for arson, burglary and causing a catastrophe.

What Constitutes Burglary?

Burglary is normally a third degree felony unless it’s committed in a dwelling, in which case it’s a second degree felony. Additionally, a burglary is usually charged when a person enters or remains illegally in a building with the intent to commit some type of felony, a theft, assault, etc.

Causing a catastrophe can mean doing anything from using a weapon of mass destruction to being responsible for a fire, flood, avalanche or collapsing building. Since this situation probably doesn’t fit the weapon of mass destruction clause, the people responsible may be charged with a second degree felony or a class A misdemeanor.

Kids Often Deserve a Second Chance

We’ve previously mentioned on this blog that Utah law is designed to help rehabilitate juveniles if possible. In fact, a Utah juvenile is normally charged with an offense as opposed to a crime. Kids (and adults) sometimes do dumb things that require punishment but not confinement. That’s where an attorney comes in.

A Utah juvenile needs an attorney as much as a grown-up. If your child is in trouble with the law, talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today and get your kid’s case on the right track.

Be on the Lookout for Kid Burglar in Utah

Police are on the lookout for a couple of people: one reportedly a kid burglar who allegedly accompanied another person to steal from a Utah home back in December.

Photo: elhombredenegro

Kid Burglar Strikes–But Not Alone

A homeowner contacted police after she arrived home in mid December to find two people in her house. The alleged burglars, one of whom is believed to be a juvenile between 8 and 12, fled the premises with an expensive camera and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. They are still at large, and the homeowner is offering a reward in conjunction with the capture and conviction of the thieves.

It’s not too often that we see evidence of a kid burglar in Utah, but if he is caught he will likely be charged with committing serious juvenile offenses, including burglary and theft. As we’ve previously noted, juveniles who are accused of offenses are normally handled in juvenile court. Juvenile courts in Utah handle kids’ cases much differently than adults are treated in district courts.

Have an Attorney Represent Your Child

Authorities hope that kids will be more likely to not reoffend if given proper attention and appropriate consequences in relation to their offenses. Even though we hope that juveniles will be treated fairly, it is in a child’s best interest to be represented by a Utah juvenile defense attorney who will fight for the child’s rights.

If you have a child, whether he’s accused of being a kid burglar or another offense, contact an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney right away. Don’t leave your child’s future to chance. Hire an attorney who will see that your child’s rights are protected, regardless of the charges he’s facing.

Reasons For Suspensions and Expulsions from a Utah School

Kids attending a Utah school can be suspended or expelled for a variety of reasons, although they may not necessarily be charged with a crime at the same time—that would depend on law enforcement and local prosecutors.

Photo: Alex Bellink

Reasons for Being Suspended from School

If your child does any one of the following, he may not be allowed to return to school:

• Frequent or flagrant willful disobedience
• Defiance of proper authority
• Disruptive behavior, which may include using foul, vulgar, profane or abusive language
• Willful destruction or defacing of school property
• Behavior or threatened behavior which poses an immediate and significant threat to the welfare, safety or morals of other students or Utah school personnel or to the operation of the school
• Possession, control or use of alcohol
• Behavior which threatens harm to the school or does harm to the school or school property, to someone associated with the school or that person’s property, no matter where the harm or threat occurs
• Possession or use of pornographic material on Utah school property

Additional Reasons for Suspension or Expulsion

A student shall be expelled or suspended for doing any of the following:

• A serious violation that affects another student or staff member, occurs in a school building, occurs in or on school property or in relation to any school activity, including
• Possession, control, use or threatened use of a real weapon, explosive, noxious or flammable material
• The actual use or threatened use of an item that looks like a weapon with the intent to intimidate someone or disrupt Utah school activities
• Drug-related sales, use, etc.
• Commission of an act using force or threatening use of force which would be a felony or class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult

Let an Attorney Help You

Kids who are expelled or suspended from a Utah school for any law enforcement-related offense will benefit from the legal services of an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney. Utah school officials undoubtedly do their best to provide for the safety and welfare of all students, but some kids need and deserve extra help when they are facing juvenile offense charges. Do the right thing for your child by contacting a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.