Utah Teens and Reckless Driving

A couple of Utah teens were sent to the hospital following a bout of reckless driving in the Taylorsville High School parking lot.

Photo: Jason Bain

Truck Rolls Over at School

The teens were in a pickup truck that rolled in the parking lot following what police believe was a race with another vehicle behind the school’s football stadium. Some kids in the back of the truck bailed before the vehicle rolled, but the driver and one passenger were transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

We could talk to kids about reckless driving until we’re blue in the face and some teens would still choose a good old drag race to playing it safe. However, you can’t dispute the fact that injuries are more likely to occur when teens aren’t driving carefully; for that matter, injuries can occur when any person—regardless of their age—drives recklessly.

Reckless Driving Charge Adds Insult to Injury

It’s reported that the driver will be cited for reckless driving, which is a class B misdemeanor. We don’t know what that will mean in terms of juvenile court, but hopefully this particular teen and his compatriots will have learned a valuable lesson from this experience.

Reckless driving can be charged if a person drives:

• With willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property or
• While committing three or moving traffic violations within a distance of three miles or less

As you probably know, juvenile court usually handles kids’ offenses a little differently than district court treats adults. Kids tend to deal with rehabilitation efforts better than a lot of adults, so it’s good to give them a chance to make amends.

Ask a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney for Legal Advice

There are times, however, when a child needs the additional advice of a lawyer. In those circumstances, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney.

If your child needed medical attention you’d take them to a doctor, and it’s no different when he needs legal help. Give your child the best assistance you can by contacting a top Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

School Board Discusses Random Drug Testing

Should high school students be subjected to random drug testing? That’s a question the Davis Board of Education is considering saying “yes” to.

Photo: Francis Storr

A vote among school board members came out with five members voting for and two against the preliminary random drug testing policy. The policy would allow every high school within the Davis County boundaries to randomly test five students each week for a variety of substances.

Which Students Would be Tested for Drugs?

According to reports, the drug testing policy was requested by school administrators and parents. As currently written, the random drug testing would affect student government officers, student athletes and cheerleaders. If given final approval, the policy will go into effect next year.

Although there wasn’t a lot of opposition at the recent school board meeting, once people get a chance to consider the concept more fully it will be interesting to see whether the random drug testing policy is easily approved or if there are more people who speak out against the potential governmental intrusion into their kids’ personal lives. After all, children have rights, too—as far as we know.

Do You Have an Opinion on this Issue?

What’s your opinion on random drug testing of high school students? Also, do you think it makes sense that only the athletes, cheerleaders and student leadership will be tested? Maybe there are some more questions that should be answered before a final decision is made. If you have concerns either way about this issue, don’t wait to contact the Davis School Board.

Kids Need Legal Representation Too

You should know that if your child ever ends up in legal trouble there are excellent Utah juvenile defense attorneys available to help him. It doesn’t matter whether his problems are drug-related or a different offense. One of the best ways to help your child is to talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Overview of Utah Juvenile Court

Today we’re going to give you an overview of what types of cases are handled in Utah juvenile courts and the rights of the youth in juvenile court.

Photo: Shockingly Tasty

Juvenile Court Cases

Kids who get into legal trouble over the following issues will likely have their case heard in juvenile court:

• Class A misdemeanors and Felonies
• Class B or C misdemeanors and Infractions
• Tobacco and Alcohol violations
• Any other infractions or misdemeanors specified by juvenile court judges
• Curfew
• Class B misdemeanors or traffic violations (for kids under 16)
• Boating laws
• Fish and Game laws

A Juvenile’s Rights

Kids do have rights in Utah juvenile courts. They include the right to:

• Appear in person to defend yourself
• Have a lawyer represent you or have one appointed to help you if you can’t afford to pay an attorney.
• Know what the state is accusing you of having done
• Not incriminate yourself
• A speedy trial and time to prepare for a defense
• Tell your own story and have witnesses tell their version of events
• Ask questions of people who are accusing you of wrongdoing
• An appeal; if you believe a higher court may not agree with the lower court’s decision to find you guilty

If you have more questions about either the types of cases handled in juvenile court or the rights of a child, it makes sense to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Attorneys spend many years in school learning about the law and numerous hours throughout their careers continuing to enhance their legal knowledge in order to provide their clients with the best defense possible. Do your child a favor and talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Utah Teen Arrested for Arson

A Utah teen was sent to a local youth detention facility after she allegedly committed arson at the junior high school she attends.

Photo: Erich Stussi

Footage from the school’s security system helped identify her, but her name has not been released to the public. The fire started in one of the girls’ bathrooms and caused the entire school to be evacuated until the fire was extinguished by the school’s principal. Fortunately, no one was injured.

When a Utah teen is arrested by law enforcement, he is usually considered to have committed an offense, not necessarily a crime. Except in more extreme cases, juveniles are not treated as adults—although juvenile judges do refer to Utah law when it comes to determining the type of offense committed by a Utah teen.

In Utah, a person is guilty of arson if he uses fire or explosives to illegally and intentionally damage the property of another person or with the intention to defraud an insurer. If the damage from an act of arson is or exceeds $5000, the charge is normally a second degree felony. The charge may be as low as a class B misdemeanor is the damage is less than $500.

If your Utah teen has been charged with committing an offense, don’t wait to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Any child going through the Utah juvenile justice system needs and deserves expert legal representation, regardless of what they may have been charged with. Get your child the help that may make a long-term difference in his life; call a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Utah Juvenile Justice System

A young person who commits an offense and is arrested by police is automatically involved in the Utah juvenile justice system. There are certain processes which are then followed for each child in the system.

Photo: bloomsberries

The police have a few different options for handling kids who’ve been arrested. They may:

• Take the child to a receiving center
• Make a referral to Youth Services
• Take the child’s name and give them a warning

Additionally, a juvenile may be required to see an intake probation officer about his offense. The probation officer will then decide what further steps—if any—need to be taken.

If a juvenile is arrested and booked, he will have to go to regular detention or be assigned home detention, depending on the judge. It is mandatory that a child receive a detention hearing within 48 hours. This is different than a regular court hearing. A juvenile’s guilt or innocence is determined at a court hearing, as well as any punishments that are to follow. Some possible consequences include:

• Fines
• Payment of restitution to victims
• Probation
• Detention
• Work camp

Serious Utah juvenile offenders may be transferred to the jurisdiction of adult court.

If a juvenile is placed under the custody of juvenile justice services, he receives a case manager. Then, the child may be required to secure care, observation and assessment or some other type of community placement.

When a child goes to observation and assessment, he spends 45 days in that program before returning to court and final determination, or a decision on placement.

Juveniles placed in secure care are handled by the Youth Parole Authority, who determines what services the child needs while in YPA custody.

While there are certain steps the state must follow when handling juveniles who are guilty of certain crimes, it is vital that any child in the juvenile system be represented by his own Utah juvenile defense attorney. Make sure that your child receives the legal help and support he needs by contacting an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney today.