9 Ways to Support Your Child’s Juvenile Defense Case in Utah

Whether your child has been charged with a drug crime, possession of alcohol, or a violent or sexually motivated offense, your knowledge can help improve the outcome of their offense.

Here are nine ways you can help support your child through the process of fighting for their rights in Utah’s juvenile courts.

1. Only let your child speak to a law enforcement officer about a criminal allegation after you have spoken to an experienced attorney

Many people know this, but even seemingly insignificant words or exchanges could lead to negative consequences in your child’s case. Your child has the right to remain silent about the allegation against them and the right to be represented by counsel. Our experienced attorneys can help you and your child understand the charges and possible defenses that might apply.

2. Prepare your child for the reality that in some cases, the goal is to dismiss charges, but in other cases, the best result is reducing charges.

Preparing you, your family, and your child for all possibilities keeps the situation at hand in perspective. However, the attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw, and Moffat know the ins and outs of juvenile defense and will fight hard to get the best possible outcome for your child.

3. Learn about the special set of rules and procedures that apply to the juvenile justice system based on the school district.

Fighting cases in juvenile court requires understanding the policies, which differ from the policies of adult courts. Juvenile justice rules for high school and middle school students can differ between school districts.

Our attorneys are familiar with the policies of Utah school districts in the following cities: Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, Murray, Magna, West Valley City, Herriman, Midvale, Kearns, Holladay, Riverton, Millcreek, Taylorsville, and West Jordan. We are also familiar with the procedures used at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City and Juan Diego High School in Draper.

Additionally, we work with a variety of local individuals and organizations to help ensure minimal negative effects from the process of defending your child. This includes prosecutors, juvenile justice professionals, probation officers, public and private youth service providers, public school teachers, principals, counselors, and school resource officers.

4. Know that juvenile courts do not find juvenile defendants “guilty” of a criminal charge.

Instead of finding juveniles guilty, 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.

 5. Understand Utah’s five severity categories for a delinquency referral to juvenile court.

The most common type of delinquency referral is for a misdemeanor. Our attorneys are experienced at fighting against all five severities, including felonies.

6. Explore the ways drug courts operate in Utah.

Depending on the charge, your child may be referred to a juvenile drug court. 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 on a system that aims to reduce substance abuse because fines and jail time are unlikely to prevent future criminal activity.

7. Know the alcohol laws for minors and persons under 21.

There are many alcohol-related laws that minors may be charged with. One common charge is minor in possession of alcohol. In Utah, that is a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000, plus a 90 percent surcharge. For more information, see our Minor in Possession of Alcohol page.

8. Fight for an expungement of your child’s juvenile record.

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. Our attorneys can help you determine if your child’s record is eligible for expungement and what will be involved in the process.

9. Retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can defend your child in Utah.

A criminal charge against your child doesn’t have to negatively affect them for the rest of his or her life. If your child is in trouble, the criminal defense attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw, and Moffat are available for you to schedule a free consultation with. We will meet with you and your child to discuss the charges, possible defenses, and potential penalties. We use both compassion and expert legal knowledge to help your child achieve the best possible outcome.

Whether you child has committed a crime or been wrongfully accused of a crime, the guidance of a juvenile defense lawyer at Brown, Bradshaw, and Moffat will help your child navigate the difficulties of effectively defending their rights.

Call (801) 532-5297 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case today.

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