Juvenile Crimes

The Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) has found that nearly 26% of Utah’s youth will have some contact with the juvenile justice system by age 18. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 18 juveniles will spend time in locked detention by the age 18.

When a child is charged with a crime, it affects the entire family. The impact on the family is more severe when the child is charged with a serious criminal offense, such as a violent crime or a sexually motivated offense. Even misdemeanor charges come with serious consequences.

Whether your child has committed a crime, been wrongfully accused of a criminal act, or simply made a mistake, the guidance of a juvenile defense lawyer at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP can help you get through this difficult time.

Never let your child talk to a law enforcement officer about a criminal allegation until after you have spoken to an experienced attorney. Your child has the right to remain silent about the allegation and the right to be represented by counsel. An attorney can help you and the child understand the charges and possible defenses that might apply.

Juvenile Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT

At the law firm of Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP in Salt Lake City, Utah, our criminal defense attorneys assist juvenile clients and their families by negotiating with the prosecutor to obtain the best possible outcome in the case. In some cases, the best result is getting the charges dismissed entirely. In other cases, the goal is getting the charges reduced.

In addition to negotiating the best possible plea deal, we also work hard to prepare the case for trial by investigating the facts of the case and filing motions to suppress evidence illegally obtain or to dismiss charges not supported by sufficient evidence.

With offices in Salt Lake City, our criminal defense attorneys represent juveniles charged with a variety of felony and misdemeanor delinquent acts in the juvenile court in Salt Lake County and the surrounding counties of Summit County, Morgan County, Tooele County, Utah County, Wasatch County, and Davis County, Utah.

From our offices in Beaver County, we also represent minor children throughout the juvenile courts in the western portions of Utah including Millard County, Iron County, Sevier County and Piute County.

Call us to discuss your case at (801) 532-5297.

Utah Juvenile Crimes Information Center

  • Experience in Juvenile Court Matters
  • Experience with the Disciplinary Actions in the Schools
  • Differences Between Juvenile Court and Adult Court
  • Delinquency Referrals in Juvenile Cases in Utah
  • Additional Resources

Experience in Juvenile Court Matters

Fighting cases in juvenile court requires understanding the special set of rules and procedures that apply to the juvenile justice system. Our attorneys have experience representing juveniles charged with delinquent acts.

In fact, our attorneys are chosen to speak on issues related to juvenile justice. For example, Mark Moffat with Brown Bradshaw & Moffat was selected as co-presenters at the 2013 Utah Juvenile Seminar to speak on "Serious Youth Offenders and Certifying Juveniles to District Court."

Experience with the Disciplinary Actions in the Schools

Our juvenile defense attorneys are also familiar with the policies used by the five separate public school districts in Salt Lake City including:

  • the Salt Lake City school district;
  • the Murray school district;
  • the Granite School District; the Jordan School District; and
  • the Canyons School District.

Our criminal defense attorneys, with offices in Salt Lake City, also represent high school and middle school students throughout Sandy, South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, Murray, Magna, Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Herriman, Midvale, West Valley City, Kearns, Holladay, Riverton, Millcreek, Taylorsville, and West Jordan.

We are also familiar with the procedures used in the Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City and the Juan Diego High School in Draper.

Differences Between Juvenile Court and Adult Court

Unlike in the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile court does not find a juvenile defendant “guilty” of a criminal charge.

Instead, the juvenile court judge “adjudicates” a charge or petition that the defendant has committed an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult, and finds the charge or petition to have been proved true or not true. For example, Utah Code Ann. § 78–3a–103(1)(b) defines adjudication as "a finding by the [juvenile] court ... that the facts alleged in [a] petition have been proved."

Delinquency Referrals in Juvenile Cases in Utah

Delinquency referrals occur in juvenile cases. The delinquency referral usually comes after the child is accused of commiting a crime in the community by a local police department or the school. The time of crime determines the severity of the case to be resolved in Juvenile Court.

In Utah, there are five different severity categories for a delinquency referral to juvenile court including: felony, misdemeanor, contempt of court, status, and infraction. The most serious type of delinquency referral is for a felony. The most common type of delinquency referral is for a misdemeanor.

Recently published statistics in the Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community published by the Utah State Courts show that most delinquency cases referred to the Juvenile Court in 2015 were for misdemeanor charges. In fact, misdemeanor offenses accounted for more than 56 percent of delinquency referrals.

Contempt charges accounted for 20 percent of delinquency referrals. Felony charges accounted for only 6 percent of delinquency referrals. Lastly, infractions accounted for 3 percent of total referrals. In 2015, the per capita rate of felony referrals in Utah were 3.6 per 1,000 youth, which was higher than the rate of 3.0 felony referrals per 1,000 youth in 2014.

Additional Resources

Juvenile Drug Court Services - Visit the website of Salt Lake County. The juvenile drug courts use frequent court supervision and drug testing to focus on eliminating drug addiction as a long-term solution to crime. The juvenile drug courts in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah work by recognizing that unless substance abuse ends, fines and jail time are unlikely to prevent future criminal activity.

Criminal Justice Services

145 East 1300 South Suite #501

Salt Lake City, UT 84115

(385) 468-3500

Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) - Providing a continuum of intervention, supervision and rehabilitation programs to youth offenders, JJS also works to assure public safety. Programs are accessed through court orders including receiving centers, home detention, aftercare, early intervention, work camps, and case management. JJS serves more than 1,650 youths each day

JJS State Volunteer Coordinator

195 North 1950 West

Salt Lake City, Utah 84116

(801) 265-5964

Juvenile Courts in Utah - Visit the website of the Utah Courts to find the 2015 Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community and the Juvenile Court Petition Cover Sheet. Learn more about Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), juvenile drug court and how to expunge a juvenile arrest and prosecution record.

Expungement of Juvenile Records - In Utah juvenile cases, expungement is the process of sealing a criminal case after the case has been resolved. A variety of adult and juvenile cases can be expunged, under conditions specified in state law.

Finding a Juvenile Justice Lawyer in Salt Lake City

A criminal charge against your child doesn’t have to negatively affect the child for the rest of his life. If your child is in trouble, call a criminal defense attorney at Brown Bradshaw and Moffat today. When you call, we can schedule a free consultation to meet with you and your child to discuss the charges, possible defenses, and potential penalties.

Our attorneys also work with prosecutors in the juvenile justice system, other juvenile justice professionals, probation officer, public and private youth services providers, public school teachers, principals, counselors, school resource officers. We work hard to stay up to date on the impact of juvenile justice reforms that can impact our cases and the procedures used in juvenile court.

We can also help you expunge the juvenile record after the case is resolved, if eligible. We use a combination of compassion and knowledge of the law to see your child through the juvenile court system and work to achieve the best possible outcome.

Call (801) 532-5297 to discuss your case today.

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