Utah Teens Leave Youth Center, Warrants Issued

Photo: Mustafa Khayat

Four Utah teens recently left a Draper youth center, which isn’t a secure facility, but is set aside as a place youth “inmates” aren’t allowed to leave without permission.

On the Run?

Two of the Utah teens were located in Orem, but the other two young men–a 15- and 16-year old, are still unaccounted for. Warrants have been issued for their arrests, since they’re not legally supposed to leave the youth facility on their own.

The youth center is a supervised facility for teens who’ve been ordered “incarcerated” for 60 to 90 days. This particular type of facility houses troubled youth who also are required to perform community service, in addition to other consequences assigned by a juvenile court judge.

Worries About Teens’ Abilities to Care for Themselves

News reports indicate that law enforcement are concerned for the two teens’ welfare and hope they don’t become dangerous. Of course, we don’t have any other information on these two young men, so discussing their potential danger to the community seems quite speculative at this point.

Troubled youth facilities can be beneficial for some Utah teens; quite a bit likely depends on the people who run the facility and the teens themselves.

Consult with a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

It’s important to make sure that any youth who finds himself in trouble with the law gets the best legal help possible, as quickly as possible. Having an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney on your child’s side can make all the difference in the outcome of his or her case.

Help your child today by contacting a reputable Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Serious Youth Offender Amendments to Utah Juvenile Law

Utah House Bill 105 was passed earlier this year, amending the procedure transferring jurisdiction for a serious youth offender from a juvenile court to a district court.

Why Change Utah Law?

The bill’s intention is to provide juvenile court judges with more latitude in determining whether a serious youth offender should be tried in juvenile court or have his case moved to adult court where the penalties are usually much more severe.

Questions for the Judge to Consider

In order for a serious youth offender to have his case transferred to district court, the juvenile court judge can consider the following questions:

• Whether the minor has been previously adjudicated delinquent for committing an offense using a dangerous weapon (which would have been a felony if committed by an adult)
• If the offense was committed with one or more additional people, what level of culpability does the minor have (greater or lesser than the codefendants)
• Whether the minor’s role in the offense was committed in a violent, aggressive or premeditated manner
• The amount and type of previous juvenile court adjudications
• How will public safety be best served

It’s the state’s responsibility to prove that the serious youth offender should be remanded to district court. Then it is up to the juvenile court judge to determine how to best serve the minor and public safety.

Your Child Deserves Legal Help

Talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney if you have a child being adjudicated in any juvenile court. Children need to have their own legal representation to insure that they are treated appropriately and fairly in the court system. Make the right phone call today.