Two Utah teens have been charged with first degree felony murder in a case that has surprised local authorities.
Why Adult Court?
The two 16-year-olds’ cases will be handled in adult court, a move that doesn’t happen regularly in Utah. Utah teens are usually adjudicated in juvenile court, but there are certain crimes that can be remanded to district court if the circumstances seem appropriate.
The teens have also been charged with obstruction of justice, which is a second degree felony. The two young men are accused of being involved with the death of a man whose body was discovered in the Colorado River last weekend. The man appeared to have been shot, although the exact cause of death isn’t publicly known at this point in time.
When a youth is found guilty of committing an offense in juvenile court, he may: serve time in a detention facility, have work hours to accomplish or other consequences placed upon him. However, when a teenager is tried in district court, he will be treated as an adult and could find himself serving a lengthy prison sentence if found guilty of a crime.
Penalty for Murder
A person convicted of first degree felony murder in Utah is required to serve an indeterminate prison sentence of at least 15 years and as long as life; a judge doesn’t have the authority to reduce the sentence to anything lower than a minimum of 15 years.
These two Utah teens are in a tough spot; hopefully they have consulted with a Utah criminal defense attorney who has experience handling murder cases.
Help Your Child by Hiring the Right Attorney
For most legal situations involving kids, however, it’s a good idea to talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney who is skilled in helping juveniles may be the best way to help your son or daughter in their court case.
Don’t just hope that things will turn out for the best for your child. Contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.