Unlawful Body Piercing and Tattooing of a Minor

Teens have many ways of expressing themselves through the way the look, yet when it comes to body piercing and tattooing, it is unlawful for anyone to perform either on a minor without consent from a parent.

Body piercing

Photo by: Roxie Rampage

Many teens in Utah have body piercings that do not include any piercings done on the ear. Body piercing can include: Nose, eyebrow, tongue, lip, belly button, nipples, and even genital piercing. While there are many parents that allow their minor children to explore with body piercings, many Utah teens obtain these piercings without permission from their parents.


Photo by: Rick Bergstrom

Unlike piercings which can be removed with the possibility of the piercing closing up, tattoos are forever. For this reason, most parents encourage their teens to wait until they are older to avoid to risk of having tattoo regrets. It is reported that almost 40% of teens have a tattoo before they reach the age of 18 years old. A large majority of those tattoos are also done without a parent’s permission or even knowledge.

Trouble for teens

Photo by: Soon

When a parent discovers that a teen has gone behind their back to get a body piercing or a tattoo, that minor can usually expect to get into trouble. Whether it is being grounded, losing a phone or car privileges, surprised and upset parents may punish their kids even though it cannot change a permanent decision.

Trouble for the artist

Photo by: kill

If a parent is upset about their child getting a body piercing or tattoo, they may go after the person responsible for giving the new body art to their teen. This can result in civil fines and criminal charges for the piercing and tattoo artist. Utah Code 76-10-2201 states “A person is guilty of unlawful body piercing [and tattooing] of a minor if their person performs or offers to perform a body piercing [or tattoo]:

(a) upon a minor;
(b) without receiving the consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian; and
(c) for remuneration or in the course of a business or profession.”

Unlawful body piercing or tattooing of a minor is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. Rebellious teens that don’t want to get others in trouble should either wait until the age of 18 or speak with their parents about their desire for body art.

Multiple Felony Charges for 18+ Teens Looking to “Score Weed”

Three teens 18+ in age who were attempting to “score weed” are now facing multiple felony charges for kidnapping and robbing a 17 year old minor in Magna, Utah earlier this month.

Looking for Marijuana

Photo by: Chuck Grimmett
Photo by: Chuck Grimmett

18 year old David Saul Gonzalez-Reyes, 19 year old Eduardo Flores-Loeza, and 19 year old Alisha Jimenez were arrested last week after they met a 17 year old female in a grocery store parking lot who was there to sell marijuana. After they entered the minor’s vehicle, one of the teens struck the minor in the face with a handgun and forced her to drive to a nearby residence where they continued their crime spree by physically assaulting and robbing two individuals at that house.

Multiple Felony Charges = Possible Life in Prison

The trio of older teens was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail with each facing:

Aggravated assault, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison;

Aggravated burglary, a first degree felony that carries a possible prison term of five years to life;

• Aggravated robbery, a first degree felony that may add on another five years to life;

Aggravated kidnapping, another first degree felony punishable by what Utah code 76-5-302 states to be “not less than 15 years and which may be for life”.

Multiple Felony Charges
Photo by: Office of Public Affairs

Although all teens are facing the same multiple felony charges, it is not clear what role each played in the alleged kidnapping, assault, and robbery. It is also not known whether or not the teens knew the minor or the individuals who were at the home prior to the scheduled drug deal. If convicted of the multiple felony charges, the teens who are barely old enough to vote could spend the rest of their lives in jail because they wanted to get high.

Helping a Friend Commit Suicide Results in First-Degree Murder Charges for Utah Teen

A Utah teen is facing first-degree murder charges after he helped a friend commit suicide then left her body hanging from a tree.

Photo by: Utah County Sheriff's Office
Photo by: Utah County Sheriff’s Office

Helping a friend commit suicide

18 year old Tyerell Przybcien from Spanish Fork, Utah was arrested on murder charges and reckless endangerment after he admitted to helping his friend, 16 year old Jchandra Brown commit suicide by hanging herself from a tree in Payson Canyon. Przybcien helped Brown acquire the supplies needed, drove her out near Maple Lake Campground, and then filmed her while she dangled from the rope.

Suicide pact

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook

Pyzybcien told police that he and Brown had a suicide pact but he hadn’t carried out his own suicide after helping her. He admitted to having a fascination with death and was curious to see someone die so he knew whether or not he could go through with it. Weeks prior to Brown’s death, Pyzybcien had texted a friend about the plan and eluded that he was looking forward to the incident. Shortly after Brown’s suicide however, he texted the same friend again, only this time confessing his feelings of guilt.

First-degree murder for watching?

Helping Friend Commit Suicide
Photo: PixGood

Although Pyzybcien played a large part in helping his friend prepare to commit suicide, even going so far as to tie the noose, he didn’t actually force Brown to take her life or even encourage it. He simply went along and did what she had asked him to do. So why then was he charged with first-degree murder? According to Utah Code 76-5-203 from which his charges are based, “Criminal homicide constitutes murder if:

a) The actor intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another;
b) Intending to cause serious bodily injury to another, the actor commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of another;
c) Acting under circumstances evidencing a depraved indifference to human life, the actor knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another and thereby causes the death of another; ( . . . )”

By purchasing the supplies, tying the rope, and not attempting to talk his friend out of killing herself, Pyzybcien could very well be seen as having “depraved indifference to human life” and acting in a way that would be a “grave risk to another”.

Utah suicide prevention

Photo by: Jared Keener
Photo by: Jared Keener

The rate of depression among Utah teenagers is dangerously high. When those depressive moods or feelings of hopelessness lead a teen to consider suicide, those around should be supportive of the teen, not their choice to end their life. For more information on how to talk to teens about depression and suicide, contact the Utah Department of Health. For those who are having thoughts of suicide, contact the Suicide Hotline at #1-800-273-TALK or speak to a responsible adult for support.

Bomb Threat at California School Made by Teen in Utah

A High School in California received a bomb threat earlier this month and authorities found the call was made by a teen in Utah.

Long distance threat

Bomb Threat
Photo by: Alexandra E. Rust

A 15 year old boy in Utah was arrested for threat of terrorism after he called Chino High School in Chino, California and told them there was a bomb on the property. Staff and students of the California High School were quickly evacuated while authorities determined the bomb threat to be a fake.

Targeted school or random bomb threat

Utah police have not disclosed whether or not the Utah teen had chosen the California high school specifically or at random. At this time, the city or county in Utah where the teen resides is being withheld as is any possible ties he may have had to Chino High School.

Threat of terrorism

Utah Code 76-5-107.3 states “A person commits a threat of terrorism if the person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and:

i. Threatens the use of a weapon of mass destruction (second degree felony) or;

ii. Threatens the use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction (second degree felony) or

(b) acts with intent to:

i. Intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence or affect the conduct of a government or unit of government (second degree felony) or;

ii. Prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building or a portion of the building, a place to which the public has access, or a facility or vehicle of public transportation operated by a common carrier; (third degree felony) or;

iii. Cause an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the person’s conduct posing a serious and substantial risk to the general public (class B misdemeanor)”

This section also adds that any threat “may be express or implied.”

Juvenile defense

Teens who are facing criminal charges such as threat of terrorism for making a fake bomb threat should be represented by council experienced in handling cases in juvenile court as well as adult court, should the defendant be charged as an adult. Crimes that take place in more than one jurisdiction or state could end in repeated charges, each sovereignty with the option to press charges. For more information on how to handle charge in and out of state, contact a juvenile defense attorney.

Reminding Utah Teenagers of Their Right to Remain Silent

The right to remain silent is not reserved solely for adults, and it may be wise to remind the youth in Utah that they are also granted this same protection.

Right to Remain Silent
Photo by: Craig Sunter

The Fifth Amendment and the right to remain silent

According to the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, “No person ( . . . ) shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself ( . . . )”. The U.S. Supreme court realized back in the late sixties that ALL citizens ought to be reminded of their constitutional right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination in the event that they are ever arrested. Thus was the beginning of the Miranda rights or Miranda warning that must be recited to citizens upon an arrest in order for any statements of the arrestee to be used in court.

Intimidation from adults and law enforcement

When a teen is caught in situations where illegal activity is taking place, they may feel intimated when an adult or law enforcement officer confronts them. This pressure to do whatever is asked of them often skyrockets when the Miranda Warning is recited. Unfortunately, this warning meant to protect those facing charges is usually not portrayed in movies and TV as a benefit to those arrested, but instead as the final act before a person is deemed guilty and whisked away in handcuffs. The fear from being in that situation and having their Miranda Rights read to them may result in a teen saying too much and offering information that is self-incriminating. Although youth should be respectful to those who have authority over them such as teachers and police officers, they can be respectful while still protecting their right to remain silent until represented by counsel.

Silent does not mean guilty

Photo by: Martin Cathrae
Photo by: Martin Cathrae

Utah teenagers may be under the impression that if they choose not to speak when asked questions regarding a crime, they may get it trouble or have their silence seen as a sign of guilt. If not speaking entirely is uncomfortable for the youth, they can politely state that their family’s attorney has advised them to exercise their right to remain silent if they are ever accused of a crime. To further reduce the stress of the situation, the teen and their family should be prepared with the contact number of a trusted attorney that can handle juvenile cases. For more information on constitutional rights or how to prepare a teen should in the event that they are ever faced with criminal charges, contact a reputable juvenile defense attorney.