JUVENILE COMPETENCY

Juvenile Competency focuses on a youth’s ability to understand the trial process and consult with counsel in a rational and factual manner. Youth experiencing significant emotional and/or behavioral challenges involved in juvenile court delinquency proceedings are identified and, through this process, evaluated for competency to stand trial of pending charges.

1COURT ORDER

A competency
evaluation is ordered
by the court

2EVALUATION

The evaluation is performed to assess whether or not the youth is competent and the likelihood that competency can be attained within one year.

3FINDINGS

Based on the evaluation, the court will set a date for a competency hearing to review the findings.

THEN

If the youth is found competent, the court will proceed with the judicial process

OR

If the youth is found not competent without substantial probability of attaining competency, the court will dismiss charges without prejudice.

OR

If the youth is not found competent, with substantial probability to attain competency in a year, the court will initiate the attainment process.

Blue Arrow Pointing Down

ATTAINMENT

The process of attaining juvenile competency is initiated in a separate order than that of the competency evaluation. Attainment is ordered when the court finds the minor is incompetent to proceed in the court process and is likely to attain competency within one year. During this process, the youth will remain in the least restrictive and most appropriate setting.

1 DEVELOP PLAN

A juvenile attainment coordinator works with the youth and family to identify and connect the youth to services that may help them attain competency.

2REVIEW PROGRESS

Every 90 days the Juvenile Court will review the youth’s progress and attainment plan toward competency.

At six months the Juvenile Court will again review the youth’s progress. If the minor has not attained competency but is showing progress, the court may order an additional 6 months of attainment services.

At one year the Juvenile Court will conduct a final review for the youth’s competency attainment.

3EVALUATE

If the youth is found competent, the court will proceed with the judicial process

For more information on juvenile competency, email jvcompcor@utah.gov.

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