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The Law Office of

J. Edward Jones

Recent Victories:


Juvenile Charges:

Thief 2 Felonies/ 15 Misdemeanors
 Result:

*Plea in abeyance to 1 Felony & 3 weekends in the Hall.


Juvenile Charges:

Auto Burglary & Forgery
Result:

*Plea in abeyance



* Plea in Abeyance = plea with sentencing deferred for 6 months with promise of dismissal if no new offenses occur.

Utah's Juvenile Court

The juvenile court has jurisdiction over persons under the age of 18 who have committed a criminal offense. Juvenile court cases also has jurisdiction over ungovernable youth if social services and the schools have failed—despite persistent efforts—to correct the youth’s problem. The court protects the community, orders appropriate sanctions for delinquent juveniles, and directs their rehabilitation. The court also handles matters involving abused, neg- lected, or dependent children.

How do cases reach Juvenile Court?


Alleged offenses are generally first reported to the Juvenile Court by the police. At the court, cases are assigned to an intake juvenile probation officer who meets with both the juvenile and his or her parents to determine what action is necessary. If the juvenile denies the charge, the probation officer will set a time for a hearing with a judge.

If the juvenile admits to the charge, the intake officer has two options, depending on a number of factors including the severity of the offense, the family situation, and the juvenile’s age and past record. The officer may set a time for the juvenile and the parents to have a court hearing with a judge or the officer may develop a non-judicial contract that out- lines how the juvenile will be held accountable for the offense that was committed. If the contract is fulfilled, the juvenile’s case will not go to court.

Utah Juvenile Court Process and Cases

What are Juvenile Courts like?


Juvenile Courts are different in some ways from adult courts. Attempts are made to protect the juvenile’s privacy, so many of the hearings are closed to the public. Generally, only the juveniles and their parents are present at the hearing. At least one legal guardian must attend, unless the child is a ward of the state. The probation officer also attends. Juvenile Court hearings are less formal than trials held in adult courts. Juveniles do not have the right to a jury trial, nor can they post bail in order to get out of detention, unless they are from out of the state.

Juvenile Courts are similar to adult courts in that the courts are required to meet constitutional requirements of due process. Juveniles must be notified of all the charges against them and must be given the chance to call and cross-examine witnesses. They have the right to an attorney and the right against self-incrimination. 

What Happens to a Juvenile’s Record?


Generally, only the juvenile, the parents, and the attorney representing the juvenile have access to a juvenile’s record. If a youth is 14 or older and commits a felony, certain parts of his or her records are available on request. The Juvenile Court may consider past records to determine dispositions for new offenses. If a youth is later convicted in an adult court, his or her record may be made available to adult probation and parole for use in preparing their pre-sentencing report.

To expunge a Juvenile Court record, the juvenile must pay a filing fee and request an expungement hearing at least one year from the date jurisdiction ended. The judge may expunge the record if the juvenile has stayed out of trouble during the year and has reached the age of 18.

The rules of juvenile court are different than that of adult court.  You need a  experienced attorney to help you keep your legal rights.