Utah Juvenile Crimes Attorney – Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo
A juvenile crime can have a lasting effect on a young person’s life. Utah has a large teenage population, and many of these young individuals are charged every year with juvenile offenses. Even kids as young eight years old have been charged with crimes in Utah juvenile courts.
It is important these young people retain a criminal defense attorney who understands the juvenile court process and their young clients. At Utah Defenders, our lawyers are committed to helping juveniles through difficult situations and the offense with which they may be charged. Our attorneys are some of the most experienced in the legal representation of juveniles in Utah.
Utah Juvenile Court
Unlike criminal courts in Utah for adults, the juvenile court system is considered civil rather than criminal in nature. However, and despite what some may believe, a juvenile record can have lasting effects well into adulthood. Like adults, juveniles have the right to an attorney when they are required to appear in the juvenile court. You don’t have to go through the juvenile court system alone. One of our lawyers can help you navigate through the juvenile court process.
If you have been charged with DUI and you are a minor, you are facing a difficult legal battle. An underage drinking charge can have serious effects on your future background moving into adulthood. The criminal defense lawyers at our firm commonly represent juveniles in such matters as:
- Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol - In Utah if you’re under 21 it’s a crime to consume alcohol, purchase alcohol, or possess alcohol. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 20 it can result in up to six months in jail. If you’re under 18 years old and the charge is brought in juvenile court it is still considered a class B misdemeanor, but the you are not likely to do jail (called “detention” for juvis). You will be stuck with a fine, probation, community service, and substance abuse courses.
- Underage DUI - A minor who drinks and drives can face detention if the circumstances warrant it, such as if there is a car wreck or an injury that is caused by the DUI. In most cases detention is not likely because juvenile courts are most concerned with correcting the behavior than punishing the behavior. The judge, therefore, is likely to sanction the youth to do substance abuse courses and other penalties that will help the youth stop drinking.
Call us today to discuss your potential minors alcohol related case.
Other Crimes Committed by Kids
- Possession of marijuana – This is probably even more prevalent than underage drinking. Marijuana is the drug of choice for junior high and high school kids and most of them smoke weed without any parent, teacher, or law enforcement officer knowing. It’s when they take the marijuana in the car that they tend to get caught. Police love to pull over a car full of teenagers and all it takes is the “smell” of marijuana to give law enforcement probable cause to search the vehicle. If weed is found, everyone in the car gets charged with possession of marijuana.
- Retail Theft – Otherwise known as shoplifting, retail theft seems to be a favorite for kids. A lot of them do it on dares from their friends, or simply because they like it. Some youth have a real addiction to shoplifting which can cause even more problems down the road.
- Dealing in Material Harmful to Minors (Nude Selfies) – the smartphone has gotten a lot of kids in trouble. The “selfy” or “selfie” (who knows how it’s really spelled) has emerged as one of the top uses made out of smartphones. It becomes criminal in nature, however, when nude selfies are sent between smartphones. A lot of kids send nude selfies, but most times it is never reported because the conduct was invited. Sometimes, however, a kid will send a nude selfy to another when it isn’t welcomed and inevitably a parent finds out and then law enforcement is called. The age of the defendant will determine how severe the penalties.
- Sexual Abuse of a Child – This is when the defendant touched the private areas of a kid who is under 14 years old. It is a second degree felony and it is usually presented in the following scenario: A 14 year old kid and a 13 year old kid engage in consensual sexual conduct; the kids end up telling someone; the 14 year old kid gets charged with a felony. Stupid, right? Unfortunately, that’s how it works because the age thing is black and white. If under 14, it’s a 2nd degree felony.
- Criminal Mischief - This is a fancy name for damaging property. Lots of kids do it. These charges can come in the form of misdemeanors or felonies, depending on how much damage was done.
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