Utah Court Records
What are Utah Juvenile Court Records?
A juvenile court record in Utah summarizes all legal activities and proceedings about a juvenile in the state.The Juvenile Court System in Utah has the responsibility of hearing cases that pertain to persons below the age of 18 in the state. Juvenile cases are based on protecting the rights of the child or to adjudicate wrongdoing by the child. The interpretations of the state law regarding wrongdoing by juveniles differ significantly from that of the adult law court. Court orders and sentences aim at providing support and rehabilitation for troubled youths, rather than punitive treatment.
What Information is Contained in a Utah Juvenile Record?
The contents of a juvenile record in Utah typically represent the social and legal history of a young person, especially as it relates to their interactions with state agencies or service providers. Social records contain:
- Contact information about the youth
- Academic information
- Health and medical assessments
Legal records as the name suggests refer to information about court proceedings concerning a juvenile. Some of them include:
- Filings of complaints and petitions
- Court motions
- Court proceedings, findings, orders, and judgements
- Notices from probation officers
- Arrest records
- Custody records
- List of charges and existing convictions
- Fingerprints and DNA samples
- Copy of community service or court supervision programs
What Cases are Heard by Utah Juvenile Courts?
The Chapter 6 of the Juvenile Court Act, Part 1 states that Juvenile Courts in Utah have original and exclusive jurisdiction over persons below the age of 18 charged with violating the laws of the local, state or federal authorities. The Juvenile Court also handles cases pertaining to children facing abuse neglect or a dependent. Among them are:
- Status offenses
- Custody allocations and guardianships
- Protection from abuse and neglect
Who is Eligible to View Juvenile Records in Utah?
Under the public records policy of Utah, juvenile records are closed to the public. Under the Utah Code § 78A–6–209, the following persons eligible to access juvenile records in the state without a court order:
- The juvenile listed in the record (if up to the age of 19 years)
- Parents, guardian or agency with custody rights of the child
- The child’s representing attorney
- Assigned prospective employers
- State agencies such as the State Office of Education or the Department of Health to assess eligibility of the individual for specific jobs.
Other state agencies that have access to juvenile records are:
- Criminal Investigation and Technical Services
- Division of Eligibility to purchase weapons
- Division of Child and Family Services
- Protective Services Investigation
Persons outside of the eligibility list will require a court order to get access to juvenile records in Utah. Some juvenile records are under a seal on discretion by the court or upon request by a party to the case and are therefore not available for public disclosure. The court judge may grant permission to persons with a legitimate interest in the proceedings of the case or for research to view or copy juvenile records. Exceptions to the case are offenses committed by juveniles that are felony equivalents in an adult criminal court proceeding.
How to Find Juvenile Records in Utah
Besides state agencies dedicated to children’s affairs, juvenile records are trackable by identifying agencies or establishments with which the juvenile has had formal interactions. For example, the academic records should be available at the educational institutions the child has been to. If a child has been under arrest before, the relevant law enforcement agency should have a record of the incident. Therefore, to find a juvenile record in Utah begins by determining what type of record is needed. Next, contact the relevant custodian agency for information about the record. Have ready the following minimum information to ensure a more accurate search of the record:
- The full names of a juvenile
- The file number of the record if known
- The county of the incident or hearing
- The date or year of incident or hearing
For example, Juvenile Courts in Utah have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases involving children less than 18 years old. If it is a legal record, then the Juvenile Court is the primary record custodian. Identify which courthouse filed and heard the case. Next, contact the Office of the Court Clerk for information about accessing the record. Confirm the eligibility status before making a request. If the requester fits into the eligibility list of persons who can access records without a court order, then he or she can request the record. Otherwise, be sure to get a court order and submit along with the application. Attach a valid photo ID to the application. While applications to view records may be free, expect to pay for copies of the record.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
Can you Lookup Utah Juvenile Records Online?
No. Unless the records entail cases of juvenile offenses that are felony equivalents in adult criminal law. For example, if a child 14 years and above bears a conviction for murder, rape or violent assaults, the records are visible to anyone searching for them online. Also, children above the ages of 14 years charged with sex offenses or certain traffic violations such as a DUI usually have their records in public space.
Do Utah Juvenile Records Show up on Background Checks?
By default, no. Only juvenile records that contain felonies and certain convictions, such as a DUI reflect in a background check. The Utah Department of Public Safety does not allow third-party requests to conduct background checks, except for employers. Employers can conduct background checks as far back as 7 years. The background check structure of the Utah Department of Public Safety also allows employers to decide what kind of information they need. For example, an employer can decide to search for felony convictions only. The search will return felony convictions while other minor offenses and infractions remain invisible. Certain agencies can conduct a full background check because of the sensitive nature of the job, such as education, health care and military agencies. Other employers that do not have full access can request an employee to get a full criminal history record along with fingerprints.
How Long are Juvenile Records Kept in Utah?
Juvenile records remain in the custody of the primary record agency for at least one year after the court ends jurisdiction on the case, or the juvenile completes all probation programs and restitutions. Dismissed charges, erroneous arrests, discharges and acquittals, and non-conviction records all qualify for immediate expunction by the laws of the state. At 18 years, the juvenile listed in the record can apply to have their records expunged. Murder convictions do not qualify for expunction.