Criminal charges brought against a child are handled (unless severe) by the Juvenile Court. In Juvenile Court charges are called allegations, and the cases are referred to as juvenile delinquency cases. A juvenile probation officer is assigned at the beginning of the case. The title and severity classification of offenses follow the adult system, but the punishments differ greatly. In some cases, the probation office may enter into a “nonjudicial adjustment” with the minor which avoids the filing of charges.
In cases where charges are filed, the County District Attorney’s Office represents the State as the Prosecutor. In some cases, a Guardian ad Litem is appointed to represent the best interests of the child. In all cases, juveniles have a right to be represented by a defense attorney. Juvenile Judges are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Utah Senate. Juvenile Court cases can only be reviewed by the Utah Court of Appeals and the Utah Supreme Court.
If you need assistance with a delinquency case in juvenile court, please contact our office to discuss your options.