Juvenile Court

Sometimes Utah law requires that certain proceedings occur in Juvenile court. Such proceedings include:

 

juvenile court

Abuse/Neglect of Children
Termination Proceedings
Juvenile Delinquency (Crimes)
Child Protective Orders
Truancy
Initiation of Ungovernability and Runaway Cases
Adoptions
Juvenile Expungements
Judicial Bypass for Minor Abortions

Having a Juvenile court record has serious and lasting ramifications.

Whether you are fighting abuse or neglect accusations, seeking a termination of parental rights or dealing with a child who has had problems with the law, the Juvenile court attorneys at Howard Lewis & Petersen can guide you through the process.

The attorneys at Howard Lewis & Petersen, PC can help your child if they are involved in a juvenile offense.

Juvenile law is a special area of criminal law where a significant purpose is to rehabilitate the child, rather than imposing punitive punishment like the adult system does.

Within Utah’s Juvenile law, there are formal referrals for delinquency and informal nonjudicial adjustments to correct offensive juvenile behavior.

FORMAL REFERRALS

The provisions for formal referrals from law enforcement agencies are found at Utah Code Ann. 78A-6-602. When a minor child is found to have

broken the law, police officers can make a formal referral to have the child adjudicated for delinquency. Meaning, they broke the law and the juvenile system will intervene and make attempts to correct the behavior.

The corrective measures could be community service, probation, drug testing and even incarceration at a special jail just for minors. Minors are generally not mixed with the adult population when incarcerated.

Sometimes if the alleged crime is serious enough, the minor child can be tried as an adult in the adult court system. In March 2005, the United States Supreme Court held that the death penalty for minors under 18 years of age was cruel and unusual punishment and hence barred by the Constitution. Penalties for minor children are significantly different than adult punishments for similar offenses.

NONJUDICIAL ADJUSTMENTS

Often for very young offenders or first time offenders, Utah’s juvenile system will offer the minor child a nonjudicial adjustment. This is an informal disciplinary measure where the juvenile offender meets with a social worker/probation whom offers and designs a plan to correct the offensive behavior. As of August 2017, the statute changed and it now does not require the juvenile to admit guilt in order to enter into a nonjudicial adjustment agreement.

Non-judicial adjustments do not involve a juvenile judge and are very short in duration. These adjustments often involve a fine, community service and a shorter probation period. They are designed to rehabilitate.

TRIED AS AN ADULT

Certain offenses committed by a child over the age of 16 can be tried in the adult system. These offenses are generally very serious and careful consideration is made by the District Court judge as to where the trial should be held. These offenses can be found at Utah Code Ann. 78A-6-701 et seq. These offenses include murder, attempted murder, arson, kidnaping and aggravated sexual assault, to name a few.

 

EXPUNGEMENTS

Eventually you can have your juvenile delinquency adjudications expunged. Meaning, you can state tha

t you have never been

adjudicated delinquent in your entire lifetime. You can truthfully answer all questions on a Utah employment application as if the offense never occurred. Juvenile

expungement information can be found at www.utcouts.gov.

A juvenile offense on your record can cause serious problems as you go through life. Proper mitigation or defense of juvenile criminal allegations are important. The trial lawyers at Howard Lewis & Petersen, PC can help your child get the best outcome.

 

Serious advocacy for serious allegations.

Call (801) 373-6345 for more information.