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Juvenile Defense Attorney in Utah

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Juvenile Defense Attorney in Utah

Anyone under the age of 18 who is accused of violating federal, state, or municipal law falls within the jurisdiction of Utah’s juvenile court. Unlike its adult counterpart, juvenile court is always considered a civil court, not a criminal court, with the purpose of rehabilitating young offenders rather than punishing them.

However, juvenile court still operates under strict rules and it can be all too easy for parents to find their interests minimized or even ignored during the trial. If your child is facing juvenile felony charges, you need to find them a lawyer who understands how juvenile court works, and you also need a lawyer who’s going to protect your interests. Here at Wasatch Defense Attorneys, our experienced juvenile defense attorneys aggressively attack the case against your child, but we also defend your interests to the utmost.

Call us today at 801.980.9965 for your free, confidential case review.

Utah Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Juvenile courts exist to give underage offenders a chance at rehabilitation. These courts focus on sentencing the child to probation or community service rather than jail time. Aside from this, and aside from the procedural differences between civil and criminal courts, a juvenile court still differs from an adult court in many ways. For example, many hearings are closed to the public in order to protect the child’s privacy. Similarly, juvenile cases are never tried by a jury, even if the child requests one.

All juvenile court cases are left up to the judge to determine guilt and, if need be, the appropriate punishment. Juveniles cannot post bail. They are kept at the detention center throughout their trial.

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a criminal charge that is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. This criminal charge is brought up whenever there is suspicion that an adult caused or encouraged a minor to commit any act that would be a crime if committed by an adult. This covers a wide spectrum of potential criminal activities and can range from shoplifting when a minor is present, to furnishing tobacco and alcohol to anyone who is underage.

Juvenile Felony Defense

In Utah, certain categories of youth offenders–even first time offenders–must be transferred to the criminal justice system and be tried as adults. This is covered in Utah’s Serious Youth Offender Law (SYOL) which ties the judge’s hands and blocks any attempt at rehabilitation. Charges covered under the SYOL include:

  • Murder or aggravated murder
  • Felonies committed after the juvenile has been committed to a secure facility
  • Any aggravated charged (aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, etc.)
  • Discharge of a firearm from a vehicle
  • Attempted murder or attempted aggravated murder
  • Any other felony offense that involves the use of a dangerous weapon

When juveniles are accused of any of the above felony charges, they first receive a hearing in juvenile court, which determines their level of guilt. If the juveniles are considered appropriately responsible for their actions, the case is transferred to an adult criminal court where they face the full brunt of the law.

Regardless of your innocence or guilt, if you or your children are facing any of these charges, don’t wait. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation and discover what Wasatch Defense Attorneys can do for you 801.980.9965

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Do NOT Waive Your Right to Legal Counsel! Authorities will try get you to incriminate yourself and suggest there is no need for an attorney. Stay calm and call us immediately: 801.980.9965

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