If your child or teenager has been accused of a felony or misdemeanor you may want to read further. In the State of Utah, minors actually have the same constitutional rights as adults. This includes their Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. They have the right to remain silent and not give law enforcement and prosecutors unnecessary information which may be used to charge them with additional crimes, and otherwise make it easy to convict them of a crime. They also have a right to legal counsel if they choose.
When most juveniles get charged with crimes it is through the Utah Juvenile Court and the Utah Juvenile Justice System. At Anderson & Rogers, we have had many parents tell us over the years that they were instructed to have their accused child talk with police officers, guidance counselors and court probation officers. That their child would only get charged in juvenile court, which is not like adult courts as it is intended to rehabilitate minors so they won't have a traceable or "real" criminal record that could harm them. These parents are often promised that by just letting the Juvenile Court system handle things, they would ensure the protection and proper treatment of their child. This is advice our office routinely advises against.
Contrary to many inaccurate opinions, juvenile records can be traceable and identifiable, even after one reaches adulthood. Juvenile defendants, depending on the charge, can be incarcerated and sometimes removed from their families and placed in state custody. Even with relatively minor charges, juveniles can be misunderstood, or unknowingly take the blame for their friends in a matter that they did not do. They may also admit to crimes, or appear to admit to crimes, that they are not being investigated for. Thus, drawing additional and possibly more serious charges than they were previously facing.
At Anderson & Rogers, our juvenile defense lawyers have over two decades of combined experience representing minors in juvenile court. We love working with our young clients and giving them and their parents accurate legal advice so that they can make the best decisions in an otherwise difficult matter. Many of our young clients and their parents have been grateful that we have been there to fight for and fully explain a minor's rights to them. They have been relieved that we have been able to work with the court to set up proper ways of resolving rough legal issues, and provided our young clients with hope for a great future.
Feel free to call us today and speak with an experienced juvenile defense attorney today for FREE.