Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer
For serious crimes in Utah committed by persons under the age of 18 the juvenile courts have jurisdiction. Juveniles, kids, minors, whatever you want to call them, are treated much differently than adults are in the criminal system. The juvenile criminal system does not aim to punish so much as it does to rehabilitate, treat, and fix issues that a troubled minor may be experiencing. We are Utah juvenile criminal defense lawyers. We can help your child if he has been charged with a crime.
Secure Detention Facility
When minors are alleged to have committed serious felony offenses they are typically not taken to jail. Instead, they may be taken into custody and transferred to a secure detention facility, which allows the minors many more freedoms than they would otherwise have in a county jail.
Utah law prefers that minors stay with their families and a youth will not be taken to a secure facility unless one of the following applies:
- It is unsafe for the public to leave the minor with the minor’s parents, guardian, or custodian
- Any felony offense
- Any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a felony offense
- A class A misdemeanor distribution of a controlled substance violation
- Domestic violence
- Assault, only when the assault is against an individual with whom the youth lives if efforts by law enforcement, in conjunction with the youth’s parent or guardian, to safely place the youth with a family member living outside the youth’s home are unsuccessful
- Assault causing substantial bodily injury
- Assault on a police officer
- Reckless burning which endangers human life
- Causing a catastrophe, class A misdemeanor
- Criminal mischief involving tampering with property that endangers human life
- Theft by extortion
- Carrying a concealed dangerous weapon
- Carrying a loaded firearm
- Threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel
- Possession of deadly weapon with intent to assault
- Possession of a dangerous weapon by minor
- Prohibition of possession of certain weapons by minors
- Providing certain weapons to a minor
- Three or more non-status criminal offenses are currently alleged in a single criminal episode
- The youth is an escapee or absconder from a Juvenile Justice Services secure institution, observation and assessment unit or community placement or state supervision placement
- The youth has been verified as a fugitive (which means he has absconded from probation or parole) or a runaway from another state
- The youth has failed to appear at a court hearing on a criminal offense within the past twelve months
Length of Detention
When a youth has been detained in a secure facility he has the right to see a judge within 48 hours to determine if he should continue to be held in detention. The primary factor that goes into determining whether the youth should continue to be held in the a secure facility is if he poses a danger to those around him. Even if the juvenile does pose a threat, courts are willing to return the youth to his own home if measures can be taken to alleviate the potential hazards that the youth poses to others.
Our law firm’s defense team represents juveniles who have been accused of crimes. Let us help your son or daughter and protect his or her rights through the process.