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If your child has been charged with a crime, you no doubt are anxious and worried about the outcome of his or her case. Sometimes kids run astray of the law, usually due to the influence of others in their circle or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Other times they make foolhardy decisions without thinking about the outcome. The juvenile courts in Utah handle all criminal matters related to persons age 18 and under, typically with an eye toward rehabilitating your child and discouraging future delinquent behavior. If your child has been charged with a crime, contact Jardine Law Offices P.C. and our experienced criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your child’s particular situation with our compassionate and understanding legal team.

Types of Juvenile Offenses

There are three types of criminal offenses that juveniles commit. These include status offenses, property crimes, and violent crimes.

Status Offenses are behaviors that are only considered legal violations due to the juvenile’s age. Status offenses are acts that are legal for adults but not for underage persons. Some violations include truancy, running away, and underage drinking.

  • Girls are more often arrested for status offenses, as girls are more likely to run away from home
  • Boys make up a higher percentage of underage drinkers
  • Most status offenses cases go to family crisis units, social service agencies, and county attorneys. These are considered minor offenses, i.e. juvenile courts avoid them.

Property Crimes are criminal offenses such as burglary, theft, larceny, and arson

  • Boys make up over 60 percent of juveniles arrested for property crimes
  • The rate of property crimes committed by juveniles has been reduced by half since 1985
  • Over a quarter of those arrested for the property, crimes are under the age of 18

Violent Crimes are serious offenses including murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.

  • Nearly a quarter of all violent crimes are committed by individuals under the age of 18
  • Most violent crimes happen between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., coinciding with schools letting out
  • Boys make up over 80 percent of juvenile arrests for violent crimes

Penalties for Juvenile Offenders in Utah

Possible penalties imposed by the Juvenile Court in Utah include:

  • Probation, probation state supervision, or in-home protective supervision
  • Placing a minor in legal custody of a relative or other suitable adult
  • Placing a minor into legal custody and guardianship of a Department of Human Services Agency, including social services, child and family services, youth corrections, etc.
  • Placing a minor into the custody and guardianship of the State Division of Youth Corrections for out-of-home confinement (such as juvenile jail,) residential or community-based programs, Wilderness/Ranch therapeutic programs, out-of-state residential programs, and observation and assessment.
  • Ordering replacement, repairs, or other restitution for damages from the minor
  • Ordering payment of court fines and fees, imposing a work order, or community service
  • Ordering parent/guardian/custodian and minor to receive counseling and/or treatment
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Certification that the minor is to be tried as an adult in the District Court
  • Holding in juvenile jail for violation of previous court orders or committing an act that would be a criminal offense if performed by an adult.

Getting Your Child Help

Although it is a scary time for your family right now, you are not alone. Jardine Law Offices P.C. and our compassionate and juvenile delinquency attorneys are ready to help you navigate the complexities of juvenile court so that your child can put this unfortunate part of their life behind them. Your child’s future may very well depend on the effectiveness of his or her defense right now, so it is a smart move to go with an attorney with a proven track record of advocating for youth offenders. No matter the offense, from simple juvenile delinquency and truancy to theft, underage drinking, and assault, schedule your case consultation now to find out what legal options are available to your child.