Let’s face it: kids make mistakes. It’s part of growing up. Even the most diligent parent can not usually monitor their children 24/7. Sometimes, kids get involved with criminal activities. This can be hard for parents to understand, especially when their child’s mistake leads to their child getting arrested. But it does happen, and it’s important not to let the arrest affect the child’s life to the point where it ruins his or her future. Attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano is a criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah. She works hard with her juvenile clients and their families to ensure that their rights are protected and that they still have a chance at having a respectable future.
Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney
Times have changed. Today, legislatures and courts are leery of giving the benefit of the doubt to juveniles. We simply can not assume the court is going to let them off because they have not reached the age of majority. Kim’s job is to present the most aggressive defense for the juvenile, whether it is that of actual innocence of the crime or presenting mitigating factors, such as that the juvenile did not know better or that the crime was due to mere childlike curiosity.
One of the biggest ways she can help is by interviewing the child’s teachers and others who associate with the juvenile in the community. The reason this is important is because those people, like the juvenile’s teachers, are usually not biased, and they see the child’s daily interactions in a social setting. Where state of mind is an essential component of proving a crime occurred or did not occur, their testimony can make a big difference in helping the court to understand what was going on in the juvenile’s mind at the time of the crime to show innocence.
One of Kim’s strengths is drafting strong motions to suppress wrongfully obtained evidence or coerced confessions elicited by law enforcement officials. Often, teenagers are profiled, especially when they are in groups, and the search and/or seizure may have been conducted improperly. Kim investigates the police report and interviews witnesses to determine if evidence can be excluded. By doing this, she makes it harder for the prosecution to prove its case.
Kim is very sensitive to the needs of her juvenile clients. She make herself accessible to her juvenile clients and their families. It is her goal for the child and his or her family to feel comfortable with her and that they trust her. Kim understands the importance of family involvement, so she does her best to work with the families while still representing their child’s very best interests.
Protect your rights
If you are under the age of 18 and have been arrested or face the possibility of arrest, it is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. As your attorney, Kimberly J. Trupiano will represent you and your interests effectively and aggressively and make sure you are given fair and just treatment. Call her law office by phone at 801-266-0166 to arrange for your initial consultation.
I. PLEADING GUILTY IN A JUVENILE DELINQUENCY MATTER CAN HAVE ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES ON THAT CHILD’S OPPORTUNITIES LATER IN LIFE.
Trupiano Law represents juveniles charged with having committed crimes. Juvenile justice is an area of criminal law that applies to individuals charged with committing a criminal act but who are not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In Utah, a juvenile who is 14 years of age or younger is statutorily considered not criminally culpable for his or her criminal conduct. See Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-201. “A person is not criminally responsible for conduct performed before he reaches the age of fourteen years.” Id. However, this does not preclude juvenile delinquency proceedings against a minor under the age of 14. See id. Such proceedings would result in an adjudication of delinquency as opposed to possible conviction as an adult.
In most states, including Utah, the age for criminal culpability is set at 18 years except if the juvenile is eligible for certification to adult court under the Serious Youthful Offender Act (see below for more information on the Utah Serious Youthful Offender Act). Trupiano Law defends juveniles and tries to keep their case in juvenile court. The main objective of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation as opposed to the adult criminal justice system, which can often result in an imposition of punishment that is thought to be a deterrent against future criminal behavior. In Utah, and most of the states, a separate juvenile code has been enacted by the state legislature so that juvenile law is usually governed by state law rather than federal law.
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE ADJUDICATIONS OF DELINQUENCY INCLUDE BEING ON THE DNA DATABASE, EXCLUSION FROM SOME UNIVERSITIES AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT, EXPULSION OR SUSPENSION FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL, AND REGISTRATION ON THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY
Trupiano Law aggressively defends and protects the rights of juvenile clients. It is important to have competent legal counsel who is well versed in state juvenile law because juveniles are being prosecuted more aggressively now than ever! The effects of even a juvenile adjudication can be long-term and far spread. These can range from having to submit a specimen for the state DNA database, registering on the Sex Offender Registry, preclusion from certain vocational and professional licenses, alien immigration consequences, school expulsion or suspension, denials of college and university applications, and incurring aggravating factors for sentencing if convicted of crime later as adult.
1) Denial of College and University Applications and Job Applications:
Many colleges and universities are asking whether the applicant has any juvenile adjudications or convictions on their record. See School to Prison Pipeline, at http://www.nyclu.org/node/1323. “Zero tolerance policies rely on suspension, expulsion, citations, arrest, and juvenile and criminal charges to deal with often minor disciplinary problems.” Id. (citing The Advancement Project, Education on Lock down: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track, at 15 (March 2005)). Since juvenile adjudications do not normally constitute convictions college applicants could truthfully respond in the negative to questions in college or employment applications that ask whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. However, currently employers and institutions of higher education are increasingly including specific references to juvenile adjudications on their applications. These include specific questions as to whether the applicant has ever been arrested.
Often, if a juvenile adjudication is not viewed by the state as a conviction of crime, if it need not be revealed upon inquiry, or if it has been expunged, it will not need to be reported on an application form for employment or for admission to college. However, a complete inquiry should be made discreetly on behalf of the youth as to the employer’s or admissions officer’s intent and interpretation of the quality of the inquiry before answering because a false answer may be more damaging to the applicant than an affirmative truthful response.
Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Criminal Justice, Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Proceedings: Part II, Fall 2000, Vol. 15, No. 3 (see also Vol. 15, No. 2, page 59), also available at http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/juvjus/cjmcollconseq2.html (last accessed June 21, 2008).
Such invasive questions about juvenile adjudications are showing up on apartment lease applications as well.
2) Sex Offender Registration of All Juveniles Adjudicated Delinquent for Certain Serious Sex Offenses
Juvenile adjudications and convictions of certain sex offenses can result in the juvenile’s having to register as a sex offender! The Utah State Legislature just passed House Bill 492 that now includes juvenile adjudications of certain serous sex offenses that could subject the juvenile to mandatory Sex Offender Registry obligations. See Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5(14)(A)(I)(a). That is, your child could be labeled by statute a “sex offender” if he or she is adjudicated delinquent based on one or more offenses listed below.
(A) a felony or class A misdemeanor violation of Section 76-4-401, enticing a minor over the Internet;
(B) a felony or class A misdemeanor violation of Section 76-9-702.7, voyeurism;
(C) a felony violation of Section 76-5-401, unlawful sexual activity with a minor;
(D) Section 76-5-401.1, sexual abuse of a minor;
(E) Section 76-5-401.2, unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old;
(F) Section 76-5-402, rape;
(G) Section 76-5-402.1, rape of a child;
(H) Section 76-5-402.2, object rape;
(I) Section 76-5-402.3, object rape of a child;
(J) a felony violation of Section 76-5-403, forcible sodomy;
(K) Section 76-5-403.1, sodomy on a child;
(L) Section 76-5-404, forcible sexual abuse;
(M) Section 76-5-404.1, sexual abuse of a child or aggravated sexual abuse of a child;
(N) Section 76-5-405, aggravated sexual assault;
(O) Section 76-5a-3, sexual exploitation of a minor;
(P) Section 76-7-102, incest;
(Q) Section 76-9-702.5 lewdness involving a child;
(R) Section 76-10-1306 aggravated exploitation of prostitution; or
(S) attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit any felony offense listed [above].
Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5(1)(n)(i). Hence, if your child is charged with one or more of these serious sex offenses, a mere juvenile adjudications could result in your child being labeled a “sex offender” under Utah law. Such a stigma subjects him or her to certain invasive bi-annual reporting requirements, including keeping the Division of Juvenile Justice Services apprised of his or her primary and secondary addresses (within three days of change as well); make, model, color, year, plate number, and vehicle identification number of any vehicle or vehicles the offender owns or regularly drives; a set of fingerprints; telephone numbers; Internet identifiers; copy of the offender’s passport; if the offender is an alien, all documents establishing the offender’s immigration status; all professional licenses that authorize the offender to engage in an occupation or carry out a trade or business; each educational institution in Utah at which the offender is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student, and any change of enrollment or employment status of the offender at any educational institution’ the name and the address of any place where the offender is employed or will be employed; the name and the address of any place where the offender works as a volunteer or will work as a volunteer; and offender’s Social Security number. See Utah Code Ann. §§ 77-27-21.5(10)-(12).
The registry will state what crimes the minor was adjudicated delinquent of. See Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5(13)(a)(i). Hence, this invades your child’s privacy as his or her picture, name, identifying information and crime for which he or she was adjudicated delinquent will be posted on the Registry.
3) Juveniles Adjudicated Delinquent for Class A Misdemeanors or Felonies Must Submit a DNA Specimen to be Kept with the Utah DNA Database
Utah law also requires any individuals 14 years of age or older with juvenile adjudications or convictions involving crimes that would be a Class A misdemeanor or felony if committed by an adult to provide their DNA sample for the State DNA database. See Utah Code Ann. §§ 53-10-403(2)(a); 53-10-403(3) (entitled “DNA specimen analysis–Application to offenders, including minors”). See also Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-118(4)(a) (authorizing designated employees of the court or, if the minor is in the legal custody of the Division of Juvenile Justice Services, then by designated employees of the division, to collect a specimen of saliva DNA from juveniles under the jurisdiction of the court as described in Subsection 53-10-403(3)).
4) Adverse Effects on Eligibility to Obtain Certain Professional, Vocational, and Operator’s Licenses
Juvenile adjudications and convictions can also preclude or hinder an individual from later obtaining certain vocational, professional, and operator’s licenses. These are just a few examples.
To be admitted to practice law in Utah one must pass the character and fitness requirements. Past juvenile delinquency can result in a finding of insufficient character and fitness to be admitted to the Bar. See Overview of Utah Bar Admissions, available at http://www.utahbar.org/admissions/.
b) Child Care Provider:
It can preclude the juvenile from later, as an adult, obtaining a child care license. See Utah Code Ann. § 26-39-404(2)(b) (Utah Child Care Licensing Act).
c) Firearms Permit:
Obtaining a firearms permit can be blocked where the division of licensing must make a finding of good moral character. See Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(1)-(2). Background checks are conducted on all applicants and the following are requirements for the applicant for the necessary good moral character finding:
•· within the last ten years, has not been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a violent felony. (Juvenile offenses)
•· within the last seven years, has not been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a felony. (Juvenile offenses).
Utah Code Ann. § 53-5-704(2)(i)-(j).
Hence, juveniles with mere adjudications of delinquency can be precluded from obtaining a firearm permit later in their adult lives. This can adversely affect employment offers that require the carrying of a firearm.
Hiring an aggressive juvenile defense attorney like Kimberly J. Trupiano at Trupiano Law is essential. It is wise not to underestimate the far-reaching effects and consequences of juvenile adjudications. The juvenile defense lawyer should be found and hired as soon as the parents learn of the arrest or charges.
d) Utah Driver’s Licenses (with Juvenile Adjudications of Certain Serious Sex Crimes):
Driver’s licenses will expire prematurely when the juvenile is adjudicated for one or more certain serious sex offenses. See Utah Code Ann. § 53-3-205(h) Rather than expiring on the “birth date of the applicant in the fifth year following the year the license certificate was issued,” such a juvenile would be required to seek renewal of his license much sooner. See id. “An original license or a renewal to an original license expires on the birth date of the applicant in the first year following the year that the license was issued if the applicant is required to register as a sex offender under Section 77-27-21.5.” Section 77-27-21.5 is now entitled “Sex and kidnap offenders — Registration — Information system — Law enforcement and courts to report — Registration — Penalty — Effect of expungement” and was recently enacted from House Bill 492.
Hence, a juvenile must seek renewal of his driver’s license not five years after issuance but by his birth day the year after his juvenile adjudication of said sex offense. See also 77-27-21.5(11)(b) (referencing “the driver license certificate or identification card surrender requirement under Subsection 53-3-216 (3) or 53-3-807 (4) and application provisions under Section 53-3-205 or 53-3-804″). See also Factors That Could Affect the Successful Implementation of Driver’s License-Related Processes to Encourage Registration and Enhance Monitoring, Report to Congressional Committees, United States Government Accountability Office, January 2008 GAO-08-116 (finding “As of July 2007, 22 of the nation’s 50 states were using some form of driver’s license-related process to encourage registration or provide additional monitoring of convicted sex offenders”).
Adverse Effect on Eligibility for Military Enlistment and State and Federal Government Employment
Applications for government jobs could be denied where favorable discretionary decisions arise most often in cases of exemplary good moral character and clean criminal history. Many government agencies look back into teenage years for government employment, security clearances, and military enlistment.
Protect your child’s rights and future! Hire an astute juvenile defense attorney like Kimberly J. Trupiano.
e) Military Enlistment and Security Clearance:
For example, many sensitive military jobs will be closed to individuals who have any past association with illegal drug or alcohol use. A juvenile who aspires to work in aviation in the military, for example, may be precluded if he or she has a juvenile adjudication for just about any drug violations. Army enlistees applying for the Military Occupational Specialty (“MOS”) 15P, which is an Aviation Operations Specialist, are precluded under the following circumstances according to the United States Code of Military Justice. Except “teenage civilian experimentation with marijuana or other cannabinoids”
“. . . [A] documented instance of the use, sale, transfer, possession, or manufacture of any narcotic or other controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by 21 USC 801, et seq., is disqualifying. A documented instance includes conviction by any courts martial or any civilian court. Convictions include juvenile adjudication, non judicial punishment under Article 15, UCMJ, or voluntary confession after proper rights warning ac cording to Article 31(b), UCMJ.”
Army Regulation 601-210, chapter 4, para. 4-20 through 4-23 (emphasis added).
Air Force enlistee applicants face the same uphill battle under the conditions for acceptance into many of the Air Force Specialty Codes. Secret security clearance like intelligence or communications specialties can also be out of range of an individual enlisting in the military with certain juvenile adjudications on his or her record. See also Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Criminal Justice, Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Proceedings: Part II, Fall 2000, Vol. 15, No. 3 (see also Vol. 15, No. 2, page 59), also available at http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/juvjus/cjmcollconseq2.html (last accessed June 21, 2008).
f) Utah Department of Corrections Employment:
Applicants for employment with the Utah Department of Corrections, for example, are subject to strict background checks. “Applicants may be disqualified if found to be unsuitable for Department employment as indicated by a background investigation or psychological evaluation” R251-105-4(2).
5) Aggravating Factor If Sentenced Later as an Adult on a New Offense
Juvenile adjudications are increasingly being used as an enhancer in federal and state sentencing guidelines. See Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Criminal Justice, Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Proceedings: Part II, Fall 2000, Vol. 15, No. 3 (see also Vol. 15, No. 2, page 59), also available at http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/juvjus/cjmcollconseq2.html (last accessed June 21, 2008). Criminal defense attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano has seen the Utah Adult Probation & Parole office use juvenile adjudications on their reports to the court as aggravating factors for sentencing on the new crimes. The Utah Code allows a court in an adult criminal proceeding to consider a defendant’s juvenile record in sentencing for convictions as an adult. “With respect to pre-sentence investigations, [Section] 76-3-404(1) specifically authorizes inquiry into ‘the defendant’s previous [juvenile] delinquency or criminal experience,’ among other things.” State v. McClendon, 611 P.2d 728, 729 (Utah 1980). That is, a “prior juvenile court record may be taken into consideration by a judge in sentencing a person convicted of a crime.” Id.
6) Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults in Utah under the Serious Youthful Offender Act
In Utah under the Serious Youthful Offender Act, juveniles can be certified to the adult district court depending on the age of the juvenile and the seriousness of the crime(s) he or she is charged with. See Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-602. The state can petition that a juvenile case be bound over to the adult district court if a juvenile is 16 years of age or older and being charged with a felony consisting of one or more of the following: aggravated arson, aggravated assault, involving intentionally causing serious bodily injury to another, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated sexual assault, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, attempted aggravated murder, or attempted murder. In the alternative, if the juvenile is not charged with a felony involving one or more of the above crimes, the state can still try to certify the case to adult district court if the juvenile is 16 years of age or older and being charged an offense other than those listed above but “involving the use of a dangerous weapon which would be a felony if committed by an adult, and the minor has been previously adjudicated or convicted of an offense involving the use of a dangerous weapon which also would have been a felony if committed by an adult.” Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-602(1)(b).
If the state seeks transfer of jurisdiction to the adult court, the juvenile is first entitled to a preliminary hearing where the state must prove
“(a) probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed it; and
(b) by a preponderance of the evidence, that it would be contrary to the best interests of the minor or of the public for the juvenile court to retain jurisdiction.”
Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-603. It is important to have aggressive counsel like Kimberly J. Trupiano in such proceedings since the burden then shifts to the juvenile to convince the Juvenile Court judge that there are compelling reasons to keep the case in Juvenile Court on the grounds that certification to the adult court would not be in the interests of the minor or the public.
The factors the court can consider are the following:
(a) the seriousness of the offense and whether the protection of the community requires isolation of the minor beyond that afforded by juvenile facilities;
(b) whether the alleged offense was committed by the minor in concert with two or more persons under circumstances which would subject the minor to enhanced penalties under Section 76-3-203.1 were he an adult;
(c) whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner;
(d) whether the alleged offense was against persons or property, greater weight being given to offenses against persons, except as provided in Section 76-8- 418;
(e) the maturity of the minor as determined by considerations of his home, environment, emotional attitude, and pattern of living;
(f) the record and previous history of the minor;
(g) the likelihood of rehabilitation of the minor by use of facilities available to the juvenile court;
(h) the desirability of trial and disposition of the entire offense in one court when the minor’s associates in the alleged offense are adults who will be charged with a crime in the district court;
(i) whether the minor used a firearm in the commission of an offense; and
(j) whether the minor possessed a dangerous weapon on or about school premises as provided in Section 76-10-505.5.
Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-603(3).
It is important to hire aggressive counsel who can rally the evidence to help show it would be in the minor’s and the public’s best interest to keep jurisdiction with the juvenile court as well as to passionately and effectively defend the minor against the crimes charged with. Kimberly J. Trupiano and her associates at Trupiano Law have seen many cases where the juvenile did not commit the act charged with and needs an aggressive defense. Kimberly J. Trupiano puts together a thorough investigation of the case by issuing subpoenas and filing detailed and thorough briefed motions for certain discovery. The prosecution often only has the evidence that tends to infer guilt. So the burden is on the defense to hire private investigator to interview witnesses and to gather evidence and testimony with the defense’s subpoena powers to bring reasonable doubt that the juvenile in fact committed the crime.
IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE ALIENS ADJUDICATED AS DELINQUENT
If a juvenile is found guilty of committing certain crimes in juvenile court that is usually a adjudication of delinquency, not an actual criminal conviction. For immigration purposes, as well, a juvenile delinquency proceeding does not always constate a conviction for immigration purposes. See Matter of Devison, 22 I&N Dec. 1362, 1265-66 (BIA 2000). However, if the youth is tried as an adult and that results in a finding of guilty, that will be a conviction for purposes of immigration benefits and consequences. A mere adjudication of delinquency can result in serious adverse immigration consequences and deprivation of benefits if the crime involves controlled substances, especially trafficking. It is construed as giving the Attorney General “reason to believe” that the alien was trafficking or had otherwise committed a drug crime or was addicted to a controlled substance – which is enough to find that the alien child is no longer admissible to the United States. See INA §§ 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) or (2)(C). This could in turn subject that minor alien to being deportable under INA § 237(a)(1) and subject to mandatory detention under INA § 236(c) while they await the outcome of the removal proceedings!
This is why it is important to hire an attorney who specializes in juvenile criminal defense as well as immigration defense before entering any plea deals! In some cases, a juvenile’s guilty plea and adjudication of delinquency could prevent him or her from applying for naturalization, asylum, and other immigration benefits and worse yet make them deportable and subject to mandatory detention under INA § 236(c) while they await the outcome of the removal proceedings. So even juvenile delinquency proceedings are a serious matter – for a United States citizen as well as an alien minor and the close family members.
FEDERAL DELINQUENCY ADJUDICATIONS UNDER THE FEDERAL JUVENILE DELINQUENCY ACT
If a juvenile is prosecuted under federal law, however, the governing law would be the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act. The current definition of a juvenile delinquent offenses is any act that is otherwise a crime but is committed by someone under 18 years of age. This was first enacted in 1938 with the primary purpose of keeping juveniles apart from adult criminals in the course of prosecution and incarceration. The Act also conferred some important rights on juveniles who were subject to prosecution and/or sentences as a result of adjudication of delinquency. This included the right not to be sentenced to a term beyond the age of twenty-one. The 1938 Act also precluded the Attorney General from prosecuting juvenile offenders as adults with regard to those allegedly committing offenses punishable by death or life imprisonment. The Juvenile Delinquency Act was amended in 1948, with few substantive changes.
In 1974, Congress made some changes and the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act” or “JDPA”). See 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 5031-50. It improved procedural rights for juveniles who came under federal jurisdiction to keep abreast with many state changes and federal case decisions. The purpose of the Act is also to address acts of juvenile delinquency but in a venue much apart from and different than ordinary criminal process. See United States v. One Juvenile Male, 40 F.3d 841, 844 (6th Cir. 1994) (reviewing the legislative history of JDPA). See also 18 U.S.C.A. § 5032. This was so that the juvenile could avoid having to enter adulthood and the world of work and self-reliance with the stigma of having a prior criminal conviction as well as to encourage treatment and rehabilitation of juveniles. See id. That is, Congress expressed its desire that juveniles falling under federal prosecution would be channeled into state and local treatment programs. See id. These objectives to protect the juvenile and foster rehabilitation are necessarily balanced against the need to protect the public from violent offenders. See id. See also States v. Juvenile Male, 864 F. 2d 641, 644 (9th Cir. 1988). Despite these procedures for federal jurisdiction of juvenile adjudications, referral to the state courts should always be observed except in the most severe of cases. United States v. Juvenile, 599 F. Supp. 1126, 1130 (D. Or. 1984).
II. HIRING A JUVENILE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
It can be tempting for some parents to want to avoid the expense of hiring an attorney when they are already stressed with their child’s arrest. Often they convince themselves that the can “handle it” themselves. This would be a mistake. Here is why.
Once a juvenile comes under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, many damaging things can happen without an aggressive and effective juvenile defense attorney to counsel with and speak for you and your child every step of the way. Special rights can be waived without realizing it. The juvenile can be placed in detention for days, months, and even years! The juvenile’s home environment will come under close scrutiny. The court’s power over the juvenile is quite broad and comprehensive. If the judge considers the minor very dangerous, he or she can have the juvenile locked up for possibly years. Once detention is successfully opposed and the juvenile is to be released to his parents or guardians, the juvenile justice judge will want to ensure the home environment is not damaging to the child. Otherwise, that judge can remove the minor. If the minor is placed on home detention, many rules must be closely followed. Your attorney can help work with the court and case worker to alleviate some invasive rules once the juvenile and family have shown they are being careful to stay in compliance.
Many parents want their child to rush into a plea deal because the prosecution tells them he would recommend little or no detention and some treatment and/or fine and/or community service. This seems like an attractive way to “get this over with.” Unfortunately, there are other consequences that the parents never considered, such as discussed above (DNA database, Sex Offender Registry, preclusion from certain vocational and professional licenses, alien immigration consequences, school expulsion or suspension, denials of college and university applications, aggravating factors for sentencing if convicted of crime later as adult). Hurrying to “get this over with” is the worst approach for your family and child! Often, the juvenile is not guilty of what he or she is being charged with! Or there is a viable defense, such as self-defense, involuntary intoxication (where an adult was providing the alcohol to a minor who then committed a criminal act without really knowing what he or she was doing)
An individual must have knowingly committed a crime. See Utah Code Ann. § 76-2-101.
Hence, the juvenile’s parents should find a lawyer who specializes in juvenile delinquency law, such as Kimberly J. Trupiano. If your child is not a United State citizen, it is also important to seek the advice of an attorney whose expertise includes immigration law as criminal and immigration defense attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano does. Though some criminal defense attorneys also do a great deal of juvenile defense work, be sure to find an attorney who is not just dabbling in juvenile defense but mostly specializes in criminal defense. That is, juvenile defense requires some different procedures and rules than criminal defense. Criminal and juvenile defense attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano is well versed in both and understands the differences and commonalties in the procedures and substantive law. She does not practice in family law – that is juvenile abuse or neglect cases where parental rights might be taken away. She focuses only on that part of juvenile law that pertains to criminal defense.
Attorneys’ fees can vary widely. You want an attorney who will go into the case with professionalism and civility yet preparing entirely for trial. This results in an effective vigorous and thorough defense and has the best chance of resulting in an acquittal or dismissal. If the parties end up reaching a resolution, the vigorous defense at the front end often effectuates a better plea deal than was first offered. This is because in the course of the thorough discovery and investigation process on the part of the defense, the prosecution may see weaknesses in its case that it did not see before. Hence, fees can range from $1,500 to $10,000, or more if the matter must actually be tried before the judge. There are no jury trials in Juvenile Court. Obviously, all things being equal, hire an experienced and aggressive advocate to represent your child, as his or her future may depend on it! You will want an attorney who you also feel comfortable with and who keeps you apprised on the progress and strategy of the case at all times.
A juvenile defense lawyer should be hired as soon as the parents learn of the arrest or charges. There is no right to bail in Juvenile Court, so the attorney’s early assistance can be crucial in convincing the judge to let the minor go home while the case is pending. The attorney can also negotiate and petition the court for certain terms at home that are less invasive than might otherwise be imposed.
What to Bring to the Initial Meeting with Your Attorney to Get the Defense Started:
The family of the accused juvenile should gather up the following items and information to take to juvenile defense attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano on the first meeting to avoid delays: The minor’s date of birth, birth certificate, documentation of school work (grade reports, special projects or awards), documentation of employment (pay stubs) or of church or temple activities, copies of prior Juvenile Court records or police reports. The lawyer you chose for your child will have to deal with any prior “criminal” and truancy history as well as school expulsions and suspensions, so it is best for her to know of it at the earliest time. If your child has a health condition that might make it hazardous for him or her to be kept in custody, take along proof, i. e., a letter from the doctor, prescriptions or even prescription bottles. If you know of witnesses who can help your child’s case, bring along the names, addresses and phone numbers.
Kimberly J. Trupiano will conduct a telephone consultation but requires a retainer once an appointment is made. If you want just an office consultation to go over the case in more detail and get to know attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano better before you actually retain her on the case, she is happy to have her office schedule that with you. That office consultation is charged at an hourly rate and is prorated based on how long it lasts.
You can be absolutely assured that you will have vigorous and effective defense if attorney Kimberly J. Trupiano is representing your child and his or her future!