Are You Going to Hell If You Burglarize a Church? Utah Church Vandalism Case Cracked.

A case of vandalism at a Magna, Utah, church has been solved, as far as law enforcement is concerned; however, you are gonna need a great attorney in front of the Judge and on Judgment Day.

Busy Little Bees

The vandalism occurred twice within a 48 hour time period back in August. Numerous items were broken, destroyed or stolen during those vandalism episodes, but police were initially stumped as to who the culprits were.

At some point, police found a cell phone in the church and were able to trace it. They talked to the Utah teen who owned it and he confessed to being part of the trio who broke into the church. Police have since discovered the identities of the other two teens and charges have been filed against at least one of the juveniles, including felonies such as burglary, theft and destruction of property.

Vandalism Can Include a Host of Crimes

Often, vandalism includes crimes such as graffiti and criminal trespass. Criminal trespass can be charged if a person enters property unlawfully and commits crimes that don’t amount to theft and/or burglary. This situation included taking property off the premises, as well as destruction of property so the charges are (presumably) cited accordingly.

Since minors’ cases are normally handled in juvenile court, that court doesn’t look at the charges the same as the adult court does. Juveniles are usually charged with offenses and hopefully can be rehabilitated through the juvenile court processes.

Your Child’s Rights Matter

Because kids’ rights are as important as adults’ rights, it’s just as vital that a juvenile has legal representation, too. Utah juveniles who have been charged with any offense need and deserve the help of a top Utah juvenile defense attorney.

If your child is in a legal conundrum, talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today. Help your son or daughter get back on the right track.

Utah Teen Under Investigation for Attempted Murder

A 17-year-old Utah teen is being investigated for his alleged role in an attempted murder earlier this week.

Photo: Iain Watson

Who Else Was Involved?

Police know the young man was one of five occupants in a car that was involved in a drive-by shooting in the Kearns area. Unfortunately for the Utah teen, authorities believe that he was the one who fired several shots towards a Kearns home—in the direction of one resident who was standing outside the home.

All five of the car’s occupants are thought to have gang connections. The other four people in the vehicle, including another teen, have all been arrested pending investigation into their roles in the shooting.

Elements of Attempting to Commit a Crime

A person may be guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if he:

• Does certain things that would legally constitute a substantial step towards the commission of the crime
• Intends to commit the crime or
• Acts in such a way that he knows his action is likely to produce a certain result

Attempted murder (in adult court) is frequently charged as a first degree felony. The punishment for committing attempted murder can differ from one case to the next, depending on the circumstances.

People of all ages do become involved in gangs. There are laws in Utah that make persuading or even forcing a minor to become involved in a gang illegal. However, freedom of choice is still a positive benefit of living in this country.

Even Kids Need Legal Help

If your child has been arrested or is otherwise involved in a juvenile court case, don’t wait to talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Kids’ rights aren’t supposed to be overlooked, but it’s better to make sure that your son or daughter has the best juvenile defense possible. Make that important call today.

Utah Teen Arrested After He Shoots Friend

A Utah teen has been taken into custody following an accidental shooting that left his friend with a bullet in his stomach.

Photo: J BrewWhat Happened?

The teens were outside a West Valley City apartment complex when the shooting occurred. A 16-year-old allegedly tried to shoot a gun towards the ground but it didn’t discharge. At some point, the gun went off and a 15-year-old ended up worse for the wear. It’s believed that his injury isn’t life-threatening.

The 16-year-old Utah teen was taken into custody and booked into a local juvenile detention facility. He’s being investigated for possession of a firearm and discharge of a firearm.

Utah Kids and Guns

According to Utah law, a minor under the age of 18 may not be in possession of a dangerous weapon unless he:

• Has a parent or guardian’s permission to have the weapon or
• Is accompanied by a parent or guardian while he has the weapon

Failure to obey this law can result in a class B misdemeanor charge the first time. If it happens any other times, the charge will increase to a class A misdemeanor.

Discharging a gun is addressed all on its own. There are several places it’s illegal to shoot a gun, including:

• From any vehicle
• Around highways
• At road signs
• At railroad equipment or signs
• Without written permission of the owner of property within 600 feet of a house, dwelling or any other building

It’s a class B misdemeanor to disobey this law, and a person may have his driver’s license revoked, suspended or denied if he commits this crime.

This particular case sounds like it was likely just an accident, that no harm was actually intended. However, it’s still in the Utah teen’s best interest to have expert legal representation in any court hearing or other aspects of his case.

Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child has been arrested for committing any offense, don’t wait to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. An experienced juvenile defense attorney may be able to help your Utah teen make sure that he’s treated fairly and respectfully. Make the right call today.

When Can Utah Juveniles Get Probation?

Utah juveniles who are adjudicated in juvenile court may be eligible for probation; only a judge can make that decision.

Photo: Chris Costes

The Probation Process

Probation for Utah juveniles begins the moment a judge enters an order for probation. Probation is an indefinite time period and can only end with a court order. Depending on the severity of the offense, a juvenile might be placed immediately in detention or may spend two weeks under house arrest.

Within a couple of days, a probation officer with the juvenile court will contact the youth’s family and arrange for an appointment where they will discuss a variety of topics including the probation order, house arrest and drug testing.

First Month of Probation

This time period is an assessment and planning phase during which the probation officer interviews the youth and his family and others who can help the probation officer determine the best course of action for helping the delinquent youth.

Protective and Risk Assessment

This tool is utilized by probation officers to help determine a youth’s risk and protection factors. Risk factors are issues that could put a youth at risk for reoffending. Protective factors include situations that could help a youth not reoffend.

Once the top three risk factors are identified by the probation officer, those factors become the focus of the plan to help the youth. They may be his goals for avoiding reoffending. The hope is that when risk factors are nailed down, a plan can be put into place for helping a youth stay on the right track.

After the first month of probation, each juvenile is placed into a risk level so that he can be supervised appropriately. Higher risk youth will receive greater supervision and structure. The probation officer will then keep tabs on each youth and make regular reports to the juvenile court judge.

Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child is adjudicated in juvenile court, it makes sense to hire an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney to make sure that your child receives the appropriate treatment for him. There isn’t a one size fits all category in juvenile court, and your child’s attorney can assist in helping see that your child is treated fairly. Talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Utah Law Enforcement and Understanding Kids with Autism

There was some recent law enforcement training concerning how officers can deal with kids who have autism and autism spectrum disorders.


What is Autism?

These disorders can be characterized in a variety of degrees; particular symptoms may include difficulties in: social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

Autism spectrum disorder may also include intellectual disability, motor coordination difficulties and attention and physical health issues. Autism is more prevalent in boys than in girls and about 1 in 188 kids in the United States are on the autism spectrum.

Why Law Enforcement Needs to Know About Autism Symptoms

The point of the training was to help law enforcement officials understand some of the ins and outs of autism in order to help them better deal with youth they come in contact with in the field. It was pointed out that the skills you use with one autistic person may not work with the next autistic person you meet.

Autistic kids can suffer from sensory input issues, so it can be helpful for officers to turn off their lights and sirens. Using basic, literal language can be helpful too, as can avoiding using lots of hand gestures. When police officers have a more complete understanding of disorders like autism, they can hopefully deal more effectively with situations involving autistic kids.

Contact a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

If you have a child in the juvenile legal system, talk to an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney today. Any child with legal troubles can benefit from the services of an attorney.