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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Court Process - Your Rights, Confidentiality, Definitions

Delinquencies | Bailable Offenses | Citation Diversion Unit
Preliminary Inquiry | Arraignment | Pretrial | Trial | Post Dispositional Information
Your Rights, Confidentiality, Definitions | Free Legal Advice

Your Rights Under the Law,
Juvenile Court Confidentiality Rules &

Your Rights Under the Law
You have the following Rights under Utah State Law:

  1. The Right to appear in person and to defend in person or by counsel:
  2. The Right to an Attorney:  You have the right to an attorney at any stage of the court process.  If you cannot afford one, then the court can appoint one for you.  To apply for a public defender, you must fill out a financial affidavit and submit it to the court.  You can pick up a Financial Affidavit Form at any Juvenile Court office.
  3. The Right to receive a copy of the petition:
  4. The Right Against Self-Incrimination:  You have the right to remain silent and anything you say can be used against you in the court proceedings.
  5. The Right to a Speedy Trial and for Sufficient Time and Notice to prepare a defense: 
  6. The Right to confront and cross examine opposing witnesses:
  7. The Right to Testify and to have process for the attendance of witnesses in your behalf:
  8. The Right to Appeal:
Juvenile Court records are confidential and not open to inspection or release with some exceptions:   
  1. To parties directly related to the case i.e. parents, attorneys, DCFS, Youth Corrections, etc.
  2. A person over 18 may receive a copy of his/her own record and it won't be release to a parent without written permission. 
  3. A child who is charged with  a felony level crime or has 3 prior misdemeanors loses the right to confidentiality and the charges which have been filed against them are posted in the lobby of the courthouse
  4. Victims are entitled to be notified when the court hearing regarding their case is to be held and they are allowed to attend the proceedings.

Acquittal:  Found by the court to be Not Guilty;  In criminal law, a person is acquitted if the charge against him is dismissed either through a verdict of acquittal or by some formal conclusive legal procedure.

Adjudication: The giving or pronouncing a judgment  by the Court; disposition

Admission of Charge(s): A statement by defendant of facts  from which guilt is inferred, but only tending to  prove the offense charged; guilty plea

Allegation/Alleged Offense: 
A statement of the charges filed against a person not yet proven

The complaint to a superior court of an injustice done or error committed by an lower court.

Consists of calling a person to the Court by name, reading the charges, and demanding of him whether it be true or false, admitted or denied and entering a plea.

Arraignment Waiver: 
A form provided by the probation department,  upon signing, the minor charged of an offense agrees to bypass the arraignment and go directly to pretrial.

Burden of Proof:
   Necessity of affirmatively proving a fact in dispute before the court.

Denial of Charges:   Refusal to admit to charges, which places the burden of proof on the petitioner and takes the process to the next stage; Not Guilty
Disposition:  Adjudication;  Pronouncement of judgment by the Court; the consequence imposed upon admission or finding of guilty.

Dispositional Order:   A written statement of disposition or adjudication.

Diversion Agreement:   The charge is set aside for a period of time whereupon the defendant agrees to comply with certain conditions in exchange for some other action of lesser consequence such as amending or dismissing the charge.

Evidence:  Any proof legally presented during a trial by the act of the parties or  witnesses, submission of records, documents, etc., for the purpose for inducing belief in the mind of the Court.

Expungement:  The purging and sealing of an arrest record and/or a Juvenile record.

Intake:  The process undertaken by the probation department from the time the referral is received until final disposition.

Motion for Dismissal: 
A formal request placed in writing before the court for dismissal of a court action.

Non-Judicial Agreement:  Written agreement between the probation officer, the minor and parent(s) whereas a petition will not be filed with the Court upon compliance with the agreement; not amounting to a legal record.

Non-Judicial Assessment: 
Payment of a monetary amount to the Court in a Non-judicial agreement.

Non-Judicial Closure:  A charge handled by Non-Judicial Closure shall not be deemed an adjudication of jurisdiction of the court and shall not constitute an official record of Juvenile Court action or jurisdiction.  Utah Rules of Juvenile Procedure Rule 15(d)

Plea held in abeyance: 
An admission or no contest plea whereupon the defendant agrees to comply with certain conditions in exchange for some other action of lesser consequence such as amending or dismissing the charge.

Petition:  A legal document containing allegations upon which the court's jurisdiction is based.  The filing of a petition commences the Judicial proceedings.  It shall set forth in plain and concise language the time, place, and manner of the acts alleged and the law allegedly violated. Only the Court can dismiss a petition once it is filed.

Plea:   The answer which the defendant makes to the petition; examples include guilty, not  guilty, no contest, true, denial

Preliminary Inquiry: 
An investigation and study to determine whether the interests of the public and/or of the child require that further action be taken.

Anyone 14 years of age or older is considered capable of intelligently comprehending and waiving the minor's right to counsel and may do so  where the court finds such waiver to be knowing and voluntary, whether the minor's parents are present or not.  A minor under 14 years of age may not waive such rights outside the presence of the minor's parents.

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last Modified: 3/29/2018
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