Criminal Defense Attorney West Valley City Utah

Criminal Defense Attorney West Valley City Utah

If you have been charged with a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, it is very important that you work with a criminal defense attorney in West Valley City Utah throughout the entire process. Whether or not you think that the situation is serious, there may be a lot more at risk than is immediately apparent, and you could find yourself looking back on this case year from now wishing that you had taken some different steps.

When hiring a defense lawyer, it is important to find the right one to handle your specific case. However, many wonder what a defense lawyer generally does for their clients. First of all, before choosing a lawyer, it is important to make sure they are licensed to practice law in that specific state. Most lawyers specialize in a certain area of law and it is best to choose one that specializes in the practice area in which you require defense. When an attorney has specialized in a specific area of law for the majority of their time in practice, this typically signifies that they have a lot of experience relating to that subject. Their job is to represent their clients in court proceedings and they are supposed to do what they possibly can to get their clients the best outcome. It may not always work in their client’s favor, but attorneys are bound by a code of ethics under licensing laws and must provide their clients with fair and honest representation that works in the best interest of their clients.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Accepting a Plea Bargain

The prosecutor and the judge may prefer to dispose of cases through a plea bargain because doing so helps to manage caseloads and reduce the number of cases that require a full trial. This helps to decrease the expense that the state will pay for this portion of the criminal justice system. Criminal defendants may gain certain advantages by accepting a plea bargain. However, they must also be aware of the disadvantages.


• Lighter Sentence: Many criminal defendants accept a plea bargain agreement because the prosecutor offers a lighter sentence for a crime. This may result in significantly less time behind bars in the event that the individual was convicted of the crime after a full trial.

• Reduced Charge: A criminal defendant may receive a reduced charge in exchange for accepting the plea deal. In some cases, this may result in the defendant pleading guilty to a misdemeanor instead of a felony. In other cases, the defendant may plead to a crime of a different class or degree. This reduced charge may result in different consequences. For example, a person may be eligible for certain jobs or to have their criminal record expunged under certain convictions than others.

• Cost Savings: Criminal defendants who hire a private attorney will likely have to pay much more to have an attorney represent them through the entire trial. Accepting a plea agreement can help a criminal defendant dispose of the case more quickly to avoid the time and expense of a trial.

• The Case Is Over: After you accept a plea agreement and appear before the court to plead, your case is virtually over. If you have been in jail because you were unable to bond out, you may be released if you have no jail time to serve or have a suspended sentence. It also helps remove the uncertainty of going to trial and not knowing what the outcome will be. This allows you to deal with the consequences now, rather than worry about them while your case is still pending.


Before accepting a plea agreement, a criminal defendant should discuss the disadvantages of this decision with a criminal defense lawyer. Here are a few such potential disadvantages:

• Avoiding Problems with Prosecution’s Case: Sometimes when a prosecutor offers a plea agreement, it is because he or she realizes that there are certain problems with the state’s case. For example, there may not be credible witnesses, forensic evidence may not be convincing or the defendant may appear sympathetic. By accepting a plea agreement, you may be accepting a conviction that the prosecution may not have been able to otherwise acquire based on its own case.

• No “Not Guilty” Result: When a criminal defendant hears “not guilty,” he or she may feel a sense of vindication. In most cases, when a criminal defendant accepts a plea agreement, he or she agrees to plead guilty of a crime. In some cases the individual makes this decision because he or she was actually guilty of the crime, but in other cases, the individual makes the decision because he or she fears being found guilty and the likely consequences of that conviction. Once an individual pleads guilty, he or she cannot later go back and tell employers or others that he or she didn’t commit the crime because the conviction says otherwise.

• Possibility of Coercion: Even if a criminal defendant has legal representation, he or she may feel tremendous pressure to accept a plea agreement. The prosecution may emphasize the maximum punishment possible. In such a manner, the prosecution may make innocent individuals accept a plea bargain.

• Non-Binding on Court: Even if you reach an agreement with the prosecutor, the court is not bound to accept this agreement. The court must approve any such agreement. It will ask you whether you understand the terms of the agreement, the charges, and your waiver of certain rights and the consequences of a plea agreement.

Alibi Defense in West Valley City, Utah

An alibi defense is a defense based on information that a defendant was not at the scene of the crime when the crime occurred, that he was somewhere else and could not be the person who committed the crime. The defense can have witnesses testify and present evidence at trial to support an alibi defense. If an alibi defense is based on witness testimony, the credibility of the witness can strengthen or weaken the defense dramatically. The jury or the judge deciding whether the defendant is guilty needs to believe and trust the witness who is testifying that the defendant was not at the scene of the crime.

The defendant’s friends and family members can testify about an alibi but the jury or judge may wonder if these people would lie for the defendant or not want to believe that he could be a criminal. If Bill (the accused drug dealer) was home with his girlfriend, visiting his mother, or out drinking with his friends, these witnesses can testify but there always is a concern that the jury might question their credibility because they are friends or family. This could weaken the alibi defense although it does not mean the defense should abandon it. A witness who does not know or is not close to the defendant can strengthen an alibi defense. If the waitress at the restaurant had never met Sally before that night, the jury probably will see her as having no reason to lie for Sally and rely on her testimony more comfortably.

Testimony from more than one person about a defendant’s alibi also can strengthen an alibi defense. If three co-workers who have known Bill for different lengths of time can testify that he was at the construction site, the defense is stronger than one based on testimony from only one co-worker.

Video footage, photos, swipe card records, and phone or GPS records can be the strongest alibi evidence, because this evidence usually does not depend on a witness being reliable or believable. We tend to think that this type of evidence is more objective – that, for instance, “the camera doesn’t lie.” However, having this evidence does not automatically mean the prosecutor will dismiss the charges or the defendant will be found not guilty at trial. The prosecutor may question the accuracy of records or the date stamp on a video and try to present evidence or argue that the alibi is not airtight.

The fact that a defendant presents an alibi defense does not change the requirement that the prosecutor prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense also does not have to provide the alibi beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury or judge does not believe the alibi defense, the prosecution still must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition to proving that the defendant was at the scene of the crime, the evidence in the case must prove all other elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant actually committed a criminal act. If the jury is not convinced of Bill’s alibi, the jury cannot and is not required to stop there and convict Bill. The jury still must consider whether the prosecution has proved that Bill had illegal drugs in his possession and that he exchanged the drugs with the minors for money.

How to Raise an Alibi Defense

Most states require that a defendant inform the prosecution before trial of an alibi defense within a certain time period. If the defense ignores this requirement, the defendant may not be allowed to present the defense at trial. In any criminal trial proceeding, the defense must provide the prosecution with a list of witnesses who may testify at trial and a list of or copies of physical evidence the defense may present. The prosecution is entitled to interview the defense witnesses before trial and inspect the physical evidence if a copy cannot be provided. If the defendant has an alibi, he usually must give the prosecutor separate, additional notice of the defense, explaining where he was at the time of the crime and what witnesses or evidence he will present to support the alibi. If you are charged with a crime and believe you have an alibi, contact an attorney in West Valley City, Utah immediately. An attorney can investigate this potential defense and help you comply with any procedural requirements or deadlines for alibis in the court where you case was filed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pro Se Representation in a Criminal Matter

After being charged with a crime, a defendant will have several court proceedings they need to participate in to resolve the matter. The first thing a defendant should determine is their court representation strategy. Will they hire a private attorney, ask for a public defender, or represent themselves? If a criminal defendant chooses to represent themselves in court, this is referred to a pro se representation. Instead of relying on a lawyer for representation and legal advice, a pro se defendant researches and argues their own case in front of the judge and the jury.

However, most lawyers and judges would agree that pro se representation is not always the best decision for a defendant facing criminal charges. This is because most people lack the skill and experience to put up the best defense. Many times when a defendant has self-representation, they will be convicted when a lawyer could help them get a not guilty verdict or a better deal. On the other hand, the right to pro se representation is guaranteed by the West Valley Constitution. So, if the defendant chooses to represent themselves in a criminal trial, the court must honor that decision.

If a defendant chooses to represent themselves, they will need to take the following steps:

• Tell the court that they wish to proceed with pro se representation;

• Establish competency to stand trial (criminal defendants that lack competency cannot represent themselves pro se);

• File the appropriate court paperwork; and

• Meet all court deadlines and case requirements.

Keep in mind that these requirements may vary between states and particular courts. Additionally, some judges may allow or require a pro se defendant to work with a “standby attorney”. This provides a pro se defendant with a lawyer who is there to help if they need one to step in during a proceeding to help with procedure or arguments. Many judges prefer this type of representation because it allows a defendant to assert their right to be pro se while still having traditional representation available if things get out of hand.

Advantages of Pro Se Representation

While the disadvantages to pro se representation carry more weight in most instances, there may be some advantages depending on the defendant’s situation. These may include:

• Familiarity: The majority of criminal defendants who choose to go pro se base their decision on a lack of trust in the judicial system. The defendants may believe that they know their cases best and are therefore in the best position to provide the greatest defense;

• Lower costs: Another common reason a defendant might choose pro se representation is the cost involved in hiring an attorney. If the defendant does not want the pro bono attorney, they will have to spare significant expense to hire a private attorney. However, even though pro se representation saves money it also provides a lesser chance of winning the case in most instances;

• Strategy Decisions: Having pro se representation means that the defendant solely calls the shots in their defense. This eliminates strategy disagreements between an attorney and client and the defendant feeling pressured to proceed with their case in a certain way. However, pro se defendants will still need to learn and follow the court’s rules; and

• Legal Experience: If the defendant is an attorney or has work experience in a legal setting, they may already be familiar with the judicial system and equipped with the tools needed to effectively argue their case.

Disadvantages of Pro Se Representation

Overall, pro se defendants have a lesser chance of winning their case than if they were represented by an attorney. Before making a representation decision, criminal defendants should consider the following disadvantages of proceeding in a pro se fashion:

• Lack of Training and Knowledge: Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of pro se representation is that most defendants are not adequately trained in the law to represent themselves. Most criminal defendants have not gone to law school or received any legal training. As such, they will lack the knowledge of how to argue a case and be unfamiliar with common criminal procedure requirements that courts impose;

• Inferior Argument Skills: Although a defendant might have some knowledge of the law, knowledge alone is not enough to win a case and persuade the judge or jury that they are not guilty. Again, the average person will usually find it difficult to argue if they lack training in communication and argumentation skills. Language barriers can further complicate these situations;

• Bias: Pro se defendants will generally have inherent bias because they cannot look at the case from the other party’s position. On the other hand, lawyers are trained to think this way in order to determine the best case strategy and arguments. Even defendants who are attorneys or have legal experience may have trouble getting rid of their bias when they are representing themselves; and

• Delays: Since many pro se defendants are unfamiliar with court/case rules and procedures, this may cause delays with case resolution. It can also result in sanctions against the defendant.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Attorneys that specialize in criminal defense are often self-employed or work for private firms, but can also work for organizations and government agencies. Once a lawyer is hired and retained, they will gather all pertinent details regarding your case and will work on building a strong defense strategy. Their defense strategy should challenge every aspect of the prosecution’s case in order to do what they can to get their client the best final outcome possible under the circumstances, which obviously vary from case to case. There are many different types of cases that criminal defense lawyers can take on such as assault charges, theft and fraud charges, white collar crimes defense, and DUIs.

Civil Litigation Defense Lawyers

Civil defense lawyers often work on cases where they defend people listed in a lawsuit. In these types of cases, their clients are being taken to court and sued for a sum of money. The lawyer’s job is in these types of cases is to try and prove that their clients were not liable for the claimed damages. This area of defense covers many different types of cases. For example, divorce law, personal injury law, and mass torts.

Public Defense Lawyers

Lawyers working as public defenders usually work for government agencies and can be specifically appointed to one office like for a county defender’s office. They are retained by these agencies to provide those who cannot afford legal counsel, the right to legal counsel and defense.

Juvenile Defense Lawyers

Juvenile defense lawyers defend people aged between 10 and 17 since they cannot be tried as adults, even if the crimes committed are the same as adult crimes. Sentences and penalties are much different for juveniles and this area of defense law is quite unique because in most cases, defense lawyers who specialize in this area of law are tasked with trying to find rehabilitative solutions for their young clients and hopefully help them avoid incarceration. Defending yourself against a criminal charge is no easy matter. You must understand the elements of the crime that you have been charged with and see what defenses you may have against the various elements. You do not need to defend against all of the elements, as it only takes a reasonable doubt by the jury for one of them. Every case is different, but here are a few of the most common defenses to a criminal charge.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

As noted above, the costs of criminal defense lawyers vary, as no criminal case is identical to another. There are several factors that can affect the overall costs of a criminal case, including:

• Defendant’s Income: Your income determines whether you are eligible for a court-appointed attorney, or whether you need to hire your own attorney. Each jurisdiction may have different qualifications to determine if someone can afford to hire their own attorney. If an individual qualifies based on their income, then the court will appoint a public defender paid for by the government, as guaranteed by the Constitution;

• Investigation and Experts: As mentioned above, many criminal cases have complex issues that can require investigators and/or expert witnesses. For example, a defense attorney might hire an expert in chemical testing to contest or explain the results of a BAC analysis in a DUI trial, or a psychologist if the defendant wants to claim the defense of legal insanity. Investigators and experts require on average a retainer of $2,000 and can charge over $300/hr. Thus, based on the particular circumstances of your criminal charges, there may be extra fees needed to form a stronger defense; or

• Attorney’s Fees: As mentioned above, criminal defense attorneys do not all cost a fixed amount of money. Attorney’s fees will vary according to several factors. Some of the more important factors affecting an attorney’s rate include: The skill of the attorney; the experience of the attorney; the seriousness of the offense; the complexity of the legal issues in the case; the amount of time spent by the attorney in the criminal discovery process; The delegation of tasks to law clerks or paralegals; Whether the case goes to trial; and Whether the attorney charges a flat fee or by the hour.

Call Ascent Law Now

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it’s a great idea to hire West Valley City Utah criminal defense lawyers. These lawyers have enough skills and experience in dealing with criminal cases. This helps them enhance their reputation because they work to satisfy your expectations.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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West Valley City, Utah


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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West Valley City, Utah
City of West Valley City
The Maverik Center in West Valley City, home of the Utah Grizzlies ice hockey team.

The Maverik Center in West Valley City, home of the Utah Grizzlies ice hockey team.
Official seal of West Valley City, Utah


“Progress as promised.”[1]
Location within Salt Lake County

Location within Salt Lake County
West Valley City is located in Utah

West Valley City
West Valley City
Location within Utah

Coordinates: 40°41′21″N 111°59′38″WCoordinates40°41′21″N 111°59′38″W
Country  United States
State  Utah
County Salt Lake
Settled 1847
Incorporated 1980

 • Mayor Karen Lang [2]

 • Total 35.88 sq mi (92.92 km2)
 • Land 35.83 sq mi (92.79 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)

4,304 ft (1,312 m)

 • Total 140,230
 • Density 3,913.76/sq mi (1,511.11/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Area code(s) 385, 801
FIPS code 49-83470[5]
GNIS feature ID 1437843[6]

West Valley City is a city in Salt Lake County and a suburb of Salt Lake City in the U.S. state of Utah. The population was 140,230 at the 2020 census,[4] making it the second-largest city in Utah. The city incorporated in 1980 from a large, quickly growing unincorporated area, combining the four communities of Granger, Hunter, Chesterfield, and Redwood. It is home to the Maverik Center and USANA Amphitheatre.

West Valley City, Utah

About West Valley City, Utah

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Reviews for Ascent Law LLC West Valley City, Utah

Ascent Law LLC Reviews

John Logan

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We've gotten divorce and child custody work from Ascent Law since the beginning because of my ex. We love this divorce firm! Staff is gentle, friendly and skilled. Tanya knows her stuff. Nicole is good and Ryan is fun. Really, all the staff here are careful, kind and flexible. They always answer all my questions, explain what they're doing and provide great legal services. I personally think they are the best for divorce in Utah.

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Jacqueline Hunting

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I have had an excellent experience with Ascent Law, Michael Reed is an absolutely incredible attorney. He is 100% honest and straight forward through the entire legal process of things, he also has a wonderful approach to helping better understand certain agreements, rights, and legal standing of matters, to where it was easy to know whats going on the entire process. I appreciate the competency, genuine effort put forth, and assistance I received from Ascent and attorney Michael Reed, and I will be calling these guys if ever I have the need again for their legal assistance! 5star review Wonderful attorneys!

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Anthony Ziegler

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This review is well deserved for Ryan and Josh. New clients should know they are worth the 5 star rating we give them. We needed 2 sessions from them because of the complexity of the matter, but they are both very passionate about his helping others in need.  My sister needed bankruptcy and I needed divorce.  Sometimes they go hand in hand but a large shout out to this team - also Nicole is one of the sweetest people you ever did meet - she offered me warm cookies!

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Thomas Parkin

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Mike Anderson and his colleagues & staff are knowledgeable, attentive and caring. In a difficult and complex case that eventually went to trial, Mike was the voice of reason and the confidence I needed. His courtroom abilities are amazing and I felt his defense of me was incredible. His quick thinking and expertise allowed for a positive result when I felt the World was crumbling. His compassion, after the case, has helped me return to a good life. I trust Mike and his staff. They are friendly and very good at what they do.

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Yeran Merry

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I worked with Attorney Alex and Paralegal Ami in my divorce case. I got to know the team very well over the course of two years. I cannot think of a better team to have worked with. Ami and Alex are not only exceptional law professions who are very knowledgeable and thorough, they are also the best human beings who empathize with the emotions I was experiencing. Alex was conscious of my budget and worked efficiently to try to reduce unnecessary legal expenses. My case also involved some dealings with a foreign country that Alex and his team had previously dealt with.  They did an amazing job addressing cultural barriers in a very respectful manner and did not fall short in quality of work or in standards when dealing with some of these new challenges. Ami deserves a medal for being extremely professional, calming, and compassionate when it is needed most.  When you need family law attorneys, call this firm. I now feel I can move forward with grace and dignity.

Utah Sex Crime Lawyer

Utah Sex Crime Lawyer

Being accused of any type of sex crime is very serious. When the charges involve a child or a minor, the consequences can be even more severe. When charged with sexual assault of a minor or child sexual abuse, it is important that a defendant fully understands the allegations and associated consequences. A conviction for a child sex offense can follow a person for many years if not for life, whether it be a prison sentence or registration on the sex offender registry. According to the Utah criminal code, there are numerous sex offenses that involve children and minors. Some of these offenses and their penalties are as follows:

• Child sex abuse is a charge involving a person 18 years of age or older and a victim younger than 14 years of age. It generally is a second-degree felony unless there are aggravating circumstances. Aggravated sexual abuse of a child, when a child’s parent is the defendant, for example, is a first-degree felony and carries a penalty of 6, 10 or 15 years to life. Registration on the sex offender registry is for life.
• When sexual intercourse with a person 13 years old or younger is alleged, the charge is rape of a child. A child under 13 cannot consent to sexual intercourse. Object rape of a child is charged when objects other than the defendant’s personal body parts are used to rape the child. These charges are first degree felonies in the State of Utah. Mandatory prison time for 25 years up to life is the penalty. Lifetime registration on the sex offender registry is required.
• Sodomy upon a child is also a first-degree felony. Sodomy upon a child is commonly referred to as oral sex, involving contact between the mouth, genitals or anus of the defendant and the mouth genitals or anus of a child 13 years old or younger. As with rape of a child, prison time is mandatory, and carries a 25 years-to-life sentence. Lifetime registration is required.
• If an alleged victim is 14 or 15 years old, the charge is sexual abuse of a minor, rather than sexual abuse of a child. Depending on the circumstances of the case, sexual abuse of a minor is either a third-degree felony or a class A misdemeanor.
• Utah also identifies unlawful sexual activity with a minor as a situation in which sexual activity takes place with persons aged 14 or 15 years old. These cases are either Class B misdemeanors or third-degree felonies. If sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years old is alleged to have taken place with a person at least seven years older, a charge of unlawful sexual activity can result.

Penalties for Sex Offenses in Utah

Utah categorizes sex offenses in different brackets, each with its’ legal penalties. The State’s legislature has increased the minimum mandatory term for imprisonment for these offenses in the past. As such, when faced with such charges, leave nothing to chance. Though deemed a secondary charge in Utah, sexual assault penalties can be fatal. It stands to add extra 6+ years to the minimum primary sentence charge. And as a first-degree felony, there is no escaping Utah’s sex offenders’ registry. This can be devastating even if you manage to bargain for a reduced sentence on your first charge. The most common scenario for sexual assault penalties is 10 to 15 years for a start. If your defense team happens to sleep on the job you stand to lose out more. Things can escalate to life imprisonment or worse life imprisonment with no parole. Therefore, to avoid grievous consequences, hire the best defense attorneys.

Penalties for Sexual Abuse Charge

According to the Utah legislature, sexual abuse covers a wide degree of charges depending on the type of assault. If the plaintiff is a minor (below years of consent usually 18 years) the penalties fall under the child abuse charge. Such charges are treated as statutory charges and will continue to hold even if the child willingly participated. Child sexual abuse charges are usually considered as secondary charges in Utah. However, if charged with aggravated child sexual abuse, you stand a first-degree felony which has more stringent penalties. You stand a minimum of 15 years to life imprisonment or lifetime with no parole if bodily harm was caused and if you had a previous sexual offense charge. If the plaintiff was above 14 years of age, your case might be treated as forcible sexual abuse. Though a secondary charge, if bodily harm was caused the charge may change to the first-degree felony and carry a 15 year to life penalty.

Penalties for Rape Charge

Rape charges are taken up as serious offenses in the state of Utah. In rape charges, an adult is considered to be 14 years and above. This is contrary to sexual abuse charges where adults are considered to be above the 18-year threshold. Guilty offenders of adult rape charge stand a mandatory sentence of 5 years on the low end. However, the time can shoot up to a minimum of 15 years or more if the court deems it appropriate. As for a child rape case (a first-degree felony), the minimum mandatory sentence is 25 years to life. Life without parole is still on the table if bodily harm was done. Rape committed by a juvenile or when the accused was still considered a minor must incur a sentence with parole. Such charges still incur the minimum sentences with zero exclusion as a previous offense.

Penalties for Enticing a Minor Charge

The magnitude of enticing a minor charge penalty is tied up to a couple of reasons. First, on establishing what happened and next find out what was possibly intended. In Utah, such offenses are treated as class A Class A misdemeanor. They carry a penalty of up to 1 year of jail time or a $2,500 fine for persons below 18 years. Adults caught guilty of enticing minors face jail time of 5 years, permanent criminal record and a possible fine of $5000 to $10,000.

Penalties for Child Pornography Charge

Whether found guilty of producing, distributing or creating child pornography, you face some charges ranging from imprisonment to harsh fines. Such charges are treated as a second-degree felony with a jail term of 6 months to 15 years. You also stand to face fines of up to $10,000 if found guilty.

Penalties for Indecent Exposure Charge

A charge of indecent exposure can incur harsh penalties depending on previous records and the nature of the offense. If a first or second-time offense, the charge is regarded as class B misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 or six-month jail time, if convicted. Three or more violations trigger a third-degree felony punishable by five years of jail time or a maximum fine of $5000 if guilty.

Sentencing Requirements & Required Registration For Sex Offenders

In most criminal matters, Utah employs an intermediate sentencing system, which means that judges and the Board of Pardons and Parole have discretion in determining a defendant’s sentence and release date. However, many sex offenses are subject to mandatory sentencing requirements. For example, aggravated sexual assault carries a mandatory prison sentence of six, 10, or 15 years to life. Even after serving a long sentence, the impact of a sex crime conviction will likely reverberate through a person’s life. Convicted sex offenders are required to register with the Utah State Police, which posts the names of certain sex offenders on a public website. If a person is convicted as a juvenile, he or she may also face sex offender registration upon turning 18. With this information readily available, convicted sex offenders have substantial difficulty obtaining employment and professional licensing, and are often scorned in their communities and avoided by their neighbors.

Strong Defense against Sex Crime Charges

A strong defense requires meticulous preparation and investigation, which may expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, such as inconsistencies in accuser statements or lack of forensic evidence.

Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

Utah has a number of rape and sexual assault laws. The penalties range in severity based upon factors such as the closeness in age of the victim and defendant, whether the victim was a minor, and the degree of violence used. For example, the crime of unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. However, if the defendant was less than four years older than the minor at the time of the sexual activity, it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. The following is a brief summary of Utah rape and sexual assault laws.
Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Laws
The following table outlines rape and sexual assault laws in Utah.

Aggravated sexual assault

During the rape, object rape, forcible sodomy or sexual abuse, the defendant threatened the victim with use of a dangerous weapon, compelled or attempted to compel the victim to submit to any of the above crimes by threatening kidnapping, death, or imminent serious bodily injury, or was aided by one or more people. (It is also aggravated sexual assault if the defendant attempted any of the above crimes and caused serious bodily injury, threatened the victim with a dangerous weapon, compelled the victim to submit by using any of the above threats, or was aided by one or more people.)

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor

Having sex engaging in sodomy or penetrating the genital or anal opening of a minor with the intent of causing substantial emotional or bodily pain or arousing or gratifying a person’s sexual desires.

Forcible sexual abuse

Touching another person’s anus, buttocks, genitals, female breasts, or taking indecent liberties or causing another person to take indecent liberties with the defendant or another person, without consent, with the intent of causing substantial emotional or bodily pain or arousing or gratifying a person’s sexual desires, and the victim is 14 years of age or older. It is sexual abuse of a minor if the victim was a minor, the defendant was at least 7 years older, and held a relationship of special trust. It is unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-17 year old if the defendant was at least 7 years older and knew or reasonably should have known the victim’s age or held a relationship of special trust. It is sexual abuse of a child if the person was under 14 years of age. It is aggravated sexual abuse of a child if the defendant used a dangerous weapon, acted by force, duress, violence, intimidation, coercion, menace, or threat of harm, committed the act during a kidnapping, caused bodily or severe psychological injury, was a stranger to or made friends with the victim for the purpose of committing the crime, used or showed pornography, caused the victim to be photographed lewdly, was previously convicted of a sexual offense, committed the same or similar sexual act upon two or more victims during the same course of conduct, more than 5 separate acts during, before or after the instant offense, had a relationship of special trust with the victim, encouraged, aided, allowed, or benefitted from prostitution, sexual acts or performances by the victim, human trafficking, or human smuggling, or caused the penetration of the child’s genital or anal opening.


Engaging in a sexual act with a person 14 years of age or older which involves the genitals of one person and mouth or anus of another person. (It is forcible sodomy if the sexual act was done without consent and it is sodomy on a child if the victim was under 14 years of age.)


Rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, sodomy with a child, and aggravated sexual abuse of a child are first-degree felonies punishable by up to life imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines. Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If the defendant was less than four years older than the minor at the time of the sexual activity, it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. Sodomy is also a Class B misdemeanor. Forcible sexual abuse and sexual abuse of a child are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another person, it is a first-degree felony. Sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-17 year old, are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. If the defendant was 18 years of age or older and held a position of special trust as a school employee or volunteer while the minor was a student at the same school, it is a third-degree felony.

Lawyer For Sex Defense

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Utah Code 76-5-102.6

Utah Code 76-5-102-6

Utah Code 76-5-102.6: Propelling Substance Or Object At A Correctional Or Peace Officer–Penalties

1. Any prisoner or person detained pursuant to Section 77-7-15 who throws or otherwise propels any substance or object at a peace officer, a correctional officer, or an employee or volunteer, including a health care provider, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, except as provided under Subsection (2).
2. A violation of Subsection (1) is a third degree felony if:
a. the object or substance is:
I. blood, urine, or fecal material; an infectious agent as defined in
II. Section 26-6-2 or a material that carries an infectious agent;
III. vomit or a material that carries vomit;  or
IV. the prisoner’s or detained person’s saliva, and the prisoner or detained person knows he or she is infected with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C;  and
b. the object or substance comes into contact with any portion of the officer’s or health care provider’s face, including the eyes or mouth, or comes into contact with any open wound on the officer’s or health care provider’s body.

3. If an offense committed under this section amounts to an offense subject to a greater penalty under another provision of state law than under this section, this section does not prohibit prosecution and sentencing for the more serious offense.

Degree of Crime

Depending on the facts, propelling a substance or object at a correctional or peace officer can be charged as a class A misdemeanor or a 3rd degree felony.


A defendant commits a class A misdemeanor propelling a substance or object at a correctional or peace officer when they are detained and throw or otherwise propel any substance or object at a peace or correctional officer. A defendant commits a 3rd degree felony propelling a substance or objects at a correctional or peace officer when they are detained and throw or otherwise propel any substance or object at a peace or correctional officer; and the object or substance is:
• blood, urine or fecal material;
• or the prisoner’s or detained person’s saliva, and the prisoner or detained person knows they are infected with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C;
• and the object or substance comes into contact with any portion of the officer’s face, including the eyes or mouth, or comes into contact with any open wound on the officer’s body.
• 3rd degree felony: A fine not to exceed $5,000, plus a 90% surcharge.
• Class A misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $2,500, plus a 90% surcharge.


The court may order the accused to pay restitution if convicted of this crime.

DNA Specimen Analysis

A defendant convicted of a class A misdemeanor or 3rd degree felony propelling a substance or object at a correctional or peace officer must provide a DNA specimen.


• 3rd degree felony: A term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years.
• Class A misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 1 year.


A defendant convicted of a 3 degree felony propelling a substance or object at a correctional or peace officer may not posses, use or have control of a firearm or ammunition for life.

Different Levels Of Assault Charges In Utah

Assault charges range from a Class B misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. Depending on the circumstances of the assault and on its results, a person convicted of assault could spend up to 15 years in prison. Assault is typically considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail. However, it can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor if the victim is pregnant or if the act causes substantial bodily injury to the victim. A Class A misdemeanor carries up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines. You can also face multiple counts of assault depending on the situation when you were arrested for the charge. For example, let’s say you got into a bar fight with three different people. You would then face three separate counts of assault. You only got into one fight, but it’s compounded due to the number of people involved. This means you could be facing up to 3 years in prison versus just the original 1 you would have faced with a normal Class A misdemeanor.

Aggravated Assault Charges In Utah

Aggravated assault is any assault that includes the use of a dangerous weapon. According to assault law, a dangerous weapon is any item that can cause death or serious bodily injury. Typically, aggravated assault is a second-degree felony that carries a prison sentence of 1-15 years and up to $10,000 in fines. If you are facing charges of aggravated assault, you could also be facing the additional charge of carrying a dangerous weapon with the intent to cause harm or to display it in a threatening manner. When your charges are compounded, it increases your potential jail time and any additional fines you might have to pay.

Prosecution For Assaulting A Peace Officer

Assault is a criminal offence. Assaulting a peace officer is deemed an ‘aggravated assault’ and is treated more seriously by the courts.
• It is a criminal offence to assault a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the course of his duty.
• It is an offence to resist or willfully obstruct a constable in the execution of his duty.
The key element to both offences is whether or not the peace officer was executing his duties at the time of the alleged assault, and therefore acting lawfully at the time the alleged offence occurred. However, it will be important to establish whether or not the individual was acting in self-defense.

Peace officer’s ‘duty’

This is not defined by statute; however, the courts will take into account what was necessary for the police to do to protect life and limb, to keep the peace, to prevent crime and to detect crime.

Willful obstruction

At common law, a peace officer is under a duty to keep the peace and prevent a breach of the peace. Willful obstruction of a peace officer is most likely to occur when the officer is exercising these common law powers. Willful obstruction typically occurs during protests when peace officers are attempting to prevent a breach of the peace, but protesters refuse to stop certain activities and obstruct peace officers performing their duties.
The offence has three elements:
1. Obstruction; for instance, making it more difficult for an officer to carry out his duty, or refusing to cooperate with a police officer’s questioning.
2. The obstruction must be ‘willful’ i.e. deliberate or calculated.
3. The police officer must have been acting in the course of his duty.

Assaulting A Peace Officer

Assaulting a peace officer can happen at any time when a peace officer comes into contact with the public and there is the potential for a peace officer to be assaulted. This can often happen in demonstrations when they turn violent, or can happen when an officer is trying to arrest someone. Where, for example, someone resists arrests and punches the officer, this will be an assault. To prove a charge of assaulting a peace officer, the crown must establish that an assault has taken place. The law states that an assault is committed when a person attacks another person by intentionally or recklessly causing another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force. Assault may also be a battery (when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another). If a peace officer is assaulted at a time when he was not exercising his lawful duties, the offender may still be charged with common assault which carries a lesser sentence. On conviction of assaulting a peace, the defendant faces a sentence of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000. On conviction of obstructing a peace officer, the offender can be sentenced to up to 1 month in prison and/or a fine of $1000.

How an Attorney Defend an Assault on a Peace Officer Case?

These types of assault charges are serious. There are several strategies a lawyer will use in your defense:

• Were there any violations of your Constitutional Rights before, during or after the arrest?
• Did the peace officer use excessive force?
• Were you given proper access to a lawyer after detention?
• Was the force, in fact, non-consensual?
• Were you aware that you were assaulting a Peace Officer?
Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt several elements to have a guilty verdict returned by a jury. First, the prosecution must prove the assault caused bodily injury to another. Proof of injuries varies from case to case. The assault must have been committed against a peace officer who was performing law enforcement responsibilities at the time of the assault. In addition, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew, or had reason to know, the victim was a peace officer. Prosecutors will seek the stiffest penalty allowed by Utah law when litigating an assault of a peace officer case. A conviction on this charge is a third degree felony conviction. Here is how the statute reads in the Utah Penal Code: “A person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant.” A third degree felony may result in a jail sentence of between 2 and 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.


Self-defense is an effective defense to use in criminal law cases that involve the use of violence. However, a defense lawyer must prove a peace officer attacked his or her client first. Another way to argue self-defense is to assert a client felt threatened by a peace officer. Self-defense works only when the force used to repel an attack by a peace officer is proportionate to the force applied by the peace officer.

Constitutional Violations

Assault against a peace officer will trigger strong emotions from other law enforcement officers at the scene of the alleged crime. In reaction to an alleged assault, one or more peace officers might shirk their duty to uphold the constitution.

Is Assaulting a Peace Officer a Misdemeanor or Felony

It’s important to remember peace officers are honorable people who act with integrity and are serious about their difficult job. The profession is held to a high standard, so assaulting a law enforcement officer will not play over well in court. As mentioned earlier, assaulting a peace officer is classified as fourth-degree assault, which has the potential to be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the facts of your case. According to the Utah law, physically assaulting a police officer without bodily harm is a gross misdemeanor punishable by:
• Up to a year in jail; or
• A fine of up to $3,000; or
• Both incarceration and a fine
Assaulting a peace officer is a felony in the following situations:
• Physically assaulting an officer and causing bodily harm; or
• Intentionally throwing or transferring bodily fluids or feces at or onto an officer.

Felony fourth-degree assault is punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $6,000 or both a fine and incarceration. Defending charges for assault against a peace officer is not easy, especially since the offense commonly stems from situations of miscommunication. Defending the crime may come with its challenges, but not all hope is lost. The statute requires that you knew or had reason to believe the alleged victim was a peace officer acting within their line of duty. It may be beneficial to try and prove you did not know the alleged victim was, in fact, a peace officer. For example, the peace officer may have been dressed in plain clothes or was a non-identified school official. Another common defense against charges for fourth-degree assault is self-defense. But keep in mind; Utah states that the type and level of self-defense must be reasonable. You will have to prove you had reason to believe you were in danger and that your response was reasonable for the situation. Additional defenses could include you were defending other people, property or you were misidentified as the assailant. No two cases are alike, and there is no one defense strategy suitable for every case. The best defense you can take is contacting a criminal defense lawyer. They can evaluate the facts of your case and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.

Terms Used In Utah Code 76-5-102.6

• Bodily injury: means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
• Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
• Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
• Offense: means a violation of any penal statute of this state.
• State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes a state, district, or territory of the United States.

Police Officer Assault Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with assaulting a police officer in Utah, you need a great criminal defense lawyer, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah

84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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White Collar Crimes

White Collar Crimes

“White collar crime” can describe a wide variety of crimes, but they all typically involve crime committed through deceit and motivated by financial gain. The most common white collar crimes are various types of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering. Many types of scams and frauds fall into the bucket of white collar crime, including Ponzi schemes and securities fraud such as insider trading. More common crimes, like insurance fraud and tax evasion, also constitute white collar crimes.

Securities Fraud

Securities fraud comes in many flavors, but one common type is “insider trading,” in which someone with inside information about a company or investment trades on that information in violation of a duty or obligation. For example, an executive knows confidential information about an upcoming company earnings report decides to sell of a chunk of his stock in the company. That would be considered securities fraud; specifically, insider trading. Another type of securities fraud occurs when someone seeks investment in a company by knowingly misstating the company’s prospects, health, or finances. By luring an investor to put up money based on false or misleading information, the company and individuals within it commit securities fraud. False or misleading statements in public reports from publicly traded companies also can constitute securities fraud. To commit securities fraud, those speaking on behalf of the business must make these false statements with knowledge that they’re false, or at least reasonably should have known them to be false.

Other White Collar Frauds

Many types of fraudulent schemes, including mortgage fraud and insurance fraud, are among the more common white collar crimes. These can be as common as an individual embarking on an insurance scheme to improperly collect on an insurance policy after lying in application materials. They can also extend to larger scale schemes by businesses to defraud their customers or others in the marketplace. Ponzi schemes and other business related scams to fraudulently take money from investors have been some of the most famous white collar crimes. These can take all shapes and sizes.


The crime of embezzlement involves improperly taking money from someone to whom you owe some type of duty. The most common example is a company employee that embezzles money from their employer by siphoning money into a personal account. Embezzlement can take many forms, however. Lawyers who improperly use client funds commit embezzlement. So do investment advisers who improperly use client funds they’ve been entrusted to protect.

Tax Evasion

Criminal tax evasion is a white collar crime through which the perpetrator attempts to avoid taxes they would otherwise owe. Tax evasion can range from simply filing tax forms with false information to illegally transferring property so as to avoid tax obligations. Individuals as well as businesses can commit criminal tax evasion. As with fraud, there are perhaps infinite ways to commit tax evasion.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is the criminal act of filtering illegally obtained (“dirty”) money through a series of transactions designed to make the money appear legitimate (“clean”). Money laundering often involves three steps:
• First, the money is deposited into a financial institution such as a bank or brokerage.
• Next, the money is separated from its illegal origin by layers of often complex transactions, making it more difficult to trace the “dirty” money.
• The third step is integration. This is where the freshly “cleaned” money is mixed with legally obtained money, often through the purchase or sale of assets.

There is a growing trend among contemporary state legislatures to address criminal concerns with the creation of an offender registry. Today, a wide range of crimes, from arson to animal abuse, can land an offender on a registry. In an attempt to counteract the increasing prevalence of fraud in the United States, some states have even enacted a registry for financial crimes. The Utah White Collar Crime Offender Registry is similar to the sex-offender registry and provides the public with a searchable database of felons who have been convicted of white-collar crime in the past 10 years. The database provides extremely limited instrumental value but has a tremendous impact on the life of the offender. Once listed, registrants will find themselves statutorily blacklisted from their typical vocation, and largely ostracized from the professional community writ large. While criminal registries are flawed mechanisms with no evident value, they continue to proliferate across the United States. Utah legislature generated the registry in hopes of curbing this trend of rampant fraud in the state. However, the registry is a reactionary measure that does not address the underlying issue. While the Utah legislature is perhaps correct in that something must be done to curb this widespread trend of fraud, the registry will not alleviate the preexisting vulnerabilities that facilitated the fraudulent activity in the first place. The registry is a mechanism of shame that will ostracize the offender while leaving the underlying culture of naïve trust unmodified.

Impact of Criminal Registry

The Utah White-Collar Crime Offender Registry blacklists registrants from working in any financial institutions and assigns a general stigma of distrust. Those listed on the registry must follow certain reporting requirements, and disclose their criminal background to employers. Unsurprisingly, these institutional methods of enhancing social shame have been shown to have seriously negative impacts on the registrant’s reintegration with society. Studies on the effects of broad notification policies on the recidivism of convicted sex offenders showed that the registry exponentially enhances the likelihood of recidivism, and drastically impedes reintegrating an offender into normative society. Data from a sample of 6,064 male offenders convicted of at least one sex crime between 1990 and 2004 showed that (8%) of offenders had new sex crime charges and 299 (5%) offenders had new sex crime convictions. These results cast doubt on the effectiveness of broad registry policies in preventing repeat sexual assault. The data shows that a third of the charges that precipitated from the registry were unsubstantiated, and the registry failed to prevent harm in the remaining instances. The impact and efficacy of criminal registries have been studied ad nauseam over the past 25 years. The evidence conclusively suggests that criminal registries to not prevent recidivism, and may actually increase the likelihood of reoffending. However, researchers interested in public policy have noted that laws may have a symbolic as well as an instrumental function. And while criminal registries demonstrably fail to achieve their desired instrumental end-state, states continue to reinforce preexisting registry schemes and even generate new modes of criminal registry in order to reinforce the symbolic function of the criminal registry.

Criminal Penalties

The criminal penalties for white collar crimes vary. Most of the laws authorize a monetary fine, a prison sentence or a combination of the two. The criminal laws authorize maximum penalties, which are often quite severe. Most defendants, however, receive less than the maximum sentence. Courts often follow sentencing guidelines, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction. Defendants without a significant criminal record may be sentenced to probation, a suspended jail sentence or a jail sentence far shorter than the maximum. They may have fines levied against them, and may be required to forfeit any profits or pay restitution to their victims. There is a common belief among many members of the public that defendants convicted of white collar crime get to do “easy time” in comfortable, minimum-security institutions. This is a myth. While many sentences for white collar crimes are served in minimum-security institutions, there is no guarantee that this will happen. The decision on where a person convicted of a crime serves his or her sentence is usually a matter left to the discretion of the correctional authorities (in the federal system, this is the Federal Bureau of Prisons). While efforts are made to place prisoners in an appropriate facility, there is no certainty that a white collar defendant will always be in a minimum-security prison.

Civil Liability

A civil case that arises out of a white collar criminal prosecution could be brought by the government, by the victims of the crime or by both. A civil action brought by the government might seek disgorgement, or turning over to the government, any profits obtained because of the crime, restitution or repayment, to the victims of the offense or other damages that may be provided by law. In some cases, the government may be able to seek asset forfeiture, which means that anything purchased with the proceeds of the offense would be seized by the government. Victims of white collar crimes may choose to bring their own civil actions. These actions would seek to recover for any financial losses suffered because of the offense.

Employment And Social Consequences

In addition to criminal and civil penalties, a person who is convicted of a white collar crime may have difficulty finding employment and face social stigma. Because so many white collar crimes involve deceit or dishonesty, employers may be reluctant to hire an individual who has been convicted of such a crime. In addition, a criminal conviction may prevent a person from obtaining a professional license or be cause for losing such a license. Further, if a non-United States citizen is convicted of a crime, he or she may face removal and other immigration issues. For example, if a lawful permanent resident, who is lawfully living and working in the United States on a work visa, is convicted of a white collar crime, he or she may be removed. In addition to removal, a conviction may adversely affect a lawful permanent resident’s ability to become a United States citizen.

Consequences of white collar crime

Clients can lose their reputation and even their freedom as a result of these crimes because the penalties include fines, restitution, loss of personal property, or a long prison sentence. With many financial crimes, the prosecutor typically seeks enhanced penalties, which will prevent you from obtaining future employment. White collar crime is the terminology used to describe those crimes perpetrated (mostly) in the office or “white collar” environment. Non-violent in nature, they tend to be treated differently by the courts. On one hand the white collar defendant is not accused of doing physical harm in the perpetration of the crime, and therefore when it comes to determining the sentence for such crimes the courts are less likely to put white collar criminals in the same “classification” as those that have committed acts of violence. On the other hand, white collar crimes account for $200 billion in loss each year, a number far higher than that of more “traditional” crimes like burglary or theft. This fact prompts greater scrutiny from law enforcement and justice officials. When you have been accused of a white collar crime such as embezzlement or computer fraud you must respond immediately by hiring an experienced white collar crime lawyer who understands all of the complicated issues, legal and factual, that surround the prosecution of a white collar case.

Differences in Treatment of Suspects

While the courts attempt to provide equal treatment to all defendants, those that have committed white collar crimes are often not judged as harshly by many involved in the investigation. This could lead to preferential treatment in negotiations for plea bargains, pretrial releases and when sentences occur. However, the difference in treatment is often due to the lack of violence when these crimes occur. Physical assault and battery of anyone are lacking in most cases where a professional has violated the law through interactions with his or her business. Variations of the accused often demand a restriction of movement when the person may be violent or commit further illegal acts when on his or her own recognizance. But, persons that have no history of harming others are often trusted to be out of jail while the trial is ongoing. The only other alteration to this would be if he or she is a flight risk and may leave the state or country while he or she is awaiting a verdict. Those that commit nonviolent crimes are often cooperative with both defending and prosecuting lawyers. They understand the professional world and are calm and friendly during all proceedings in many instances of these cases. When the court has little comprehension of what the crime entails, or if it is unduly complicated, the only possibility for legal action against the accused may lie in a plea bargain. These could be unfairly lenient to ensure some consequences are enacted through a portion of what may be issued against a more violent criminal. The sheer complexity of many of these court issues causes prosecution to be laxer with those that are expert enough to ensure court proceedings are so difficult that they are left with only minor penalties to issue.

White Collar Criminal Lawyer

When you need a criminal defense lawyer who handles white collar crimes, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Search And Seizure Issues And The Fourth Amendment

Search And Seizure Issues And The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In addition, it sets requirements for issuing warrants: warrants must be issued by a judge or magistrate, justified by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Fourth Amendment case law deals with three main issues: what government activities are “searches” and “seizures”, what constitutes probable cause to conduct searches and seizures, and how violations of Fourth Amendment rights should be addressed. Early court decisions limited the amendment’s scope to physical intrusion of property or persons, the Supreme Court held that its protections extend to intrusions on the privacy of individuals as well as to physical locations. A warrant is needed for most search and seizure activities, but the Court has carved out a series of exceptions for consent searches, motor vehicle searches, evidence in plain view, exigent circumstances, border searches, and other situations.

The Fourth Amendment was adopted in response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, a type of general search warrant issued by the British government, and a major source of tension in pre-Revolutionary America. The Fourth Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1789 by James Madison, along with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights, in response to Anti-Federalist objections to the new Constitution. Congress submitted the amendment to the states on September 28, 1789. By December 15, 1791, the necessary three-fourths of the states had ratified it. On March 1, 1792, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson announced that it was officially part of the Constitution. Because the Bill of Rights did not initially apply to state or local governments, and federal criminal investigations were less common in the first century of the nation’s history, there is little significant case law for the Fourth Amendment before the 20th century. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions.

All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by the laws. Fourth Amendment case law deals with three central issues: what government activities constitute “search” and “seizure”; what constitutes probable cause for these actions; how violations of Fourth Amendment rights should be addressed. The Fourth Amendment typically requires “a neutral and detached authority interposed between the police and the public”, and it is offended by “general warrants” and laws that allows searches to be conducted “indiscriminately and without regard to their connection with crime under investigation”, for the “basic purpose of the Fourth Amendment, which is enforceable against the States through the Fourteenth, through its prohibition of ‘unreasonable’ searches and seizures is to safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials.”

The Fourth Amendment has been held to mean that a search or an arrest generally requires a judicially sanctioned warrant, because the basic rule under the Fourth Amendment is that arrests and “searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable”. In order for such a warrant to be considered reasonable, it must be supported by probable cause and be limited in scope according to specific information supplied by a person (usually a law enforcement officer) who has sworn by it and is therefore accountable to the issuing court. The Supreme Court further held in Chandler v. Miller (1997): “To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. But particularized exceptions to the main rule are sometimes warranted based on ‘special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement’. When such ‘special needs’ are alleged, courts must undertake a context-specific inquiry, examining closely the competing private and public interests advanced by the parties.” The amendment applies to governmental searches and seizures, but not those done by private citizens or organizations who are not acting on behalf of a government.


One threshold question in the Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is whether a “search” has occurred. Initial Fourth Amendment case law hinged on a citizen’s property rights that is, when the government physically intrudes on “persons, houses, papers, or effects” for the purpose of obtaining information, a “search” within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment has occurred. Early 20th-century Court decisions, held that Fourth Amendment rights applied in cases of physical intrusion, but not to other forms of police surveillance (e.g., wiretaps). A “search” occurs for purposes of the Fourth Amendment when the government violates a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy”. Katz’s reasonable expectation of privacy thus provided the basis to rule that the government’s intrusion, though electronic rather than physical, was a search covered by the Fourth Amendment, and thus necessitated a warrant. The Court said that it was not recognizing any general right to privacy in the Fourth Amendment, and that this wiretap could have been authorized if proper procedures had been followed. This decision in Katz was later developed into the now commonly used two-prong test, adopted in Smith v. Maryland (1979), for determining whether a search has occurred for purposes of the Fourth Amendment:

• a person “has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy”; and

• society is prepared to recognize that this expectation is (objectively) reasonable.

The Supreme Court has held that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to information that is voluntarily shared with third parties. In Utah, the Court held individuals have no “legitimate expectation of privacy” regarding the telephone numbers they dial because they knowingly give that information to telephone companies when they dial a number. In certain situations, law enforcement may perform a search when they have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, even if it falls short of probable cause necessary for an arrest.


The Fourth Amendment proscribes unreasonable seizure of any person, person’s home (including its curtilage) or personal property without a warrant. A seizure of property occurs when there is “some meaningful interference with an individual’s possessory interests in that property”, such as when police officers take personal property away from an owner to use as evidence, or when they participate in an eviction. The amendment also protects against unreasonable seizure of persons, including a brief detention. A seizure does not occur just because the government questions an individual in a public place. The exclusionary rule would not bar voluntary answers to such questions from being offered into evidence in a subsequent criminal prosecution. The person is not being seized if his freedom of movement is not restrained. The government may not detain an individual even momentarily without reasonable, objective grounds, with few exceptions. His refusal to listen or answer does not by itself furnish such grounds. When a person is arrested and taken into police custody, he has been seized (i.e., a reasonable person who is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car would not think they were free to leave). A person subjected to a routine traffic stop on the other hand, has been seized, but is not “arrested” because traffic stops are a relatively brief encounter and are more analogous to a Terry stop than to a formal arrest. If a person is not under suspicion of illegal behavior, a law enforcement official is not allowed to place an individual under arrest simply because this person does not wish to state his identity, provided specific state regulations do not specify this to be the case. A search incidental to an arrest that is not permissible under state law does not violate the Fourth Amendment, so long as the arresting officer has probable cause.


Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement must receive written permission from a court of law, or otherwise qualified magistrate, to lawfully search and seize evidence while investigating criminal activity. A court grants permission by issuing a writ known as a warrant. A search or seizure is generally unreasonable and unconstitutional if conducted without a valid warrant and the police must obtain a warrant whenever practicable. Searches and seizures without a warrant are not considered unreasonable if one of the specifically established and well-delineated exceptions to the warrant requirement applies. These exceptions apply “only in those exceptional circumstances in which special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable cause requirement impracticable”. In these situations where the warrant requirement doesn’t apply a search or seizure nonetheless must be justified by some individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. However, the Supreme Court carved out an exception to the requirement of individualized suspicion. It ruled that, “In limited circumstances, where the privacy interests implicated by the search are minimal and where an important governmental interest furthered by the intrusion would be placed in jeopardy by a requirement of individualized suspicion” a search [or seizure] would still be reasonable.

Probable Cause

The standards of probable cause differ for an arrest and a search. The government has probable cause to make an arrest when “the facts and circumstances within their knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information” would lead a prudent person to believe that the arrested person had committed or was committing a crime. Probable cause to arrest must exist before the arrest is made. Evidence obtained after the arrest may not apply retroactively to justify the arrest. When police conduct a search, the amendment requires that the warrant establish probable cause to believe that the search will uncover criminal activity or contraband. They must have legally sufficient reasons to believe a search is necessary. Exceptions to the warrant requirement


If a party gives consent to a search, a warrant is not required. There are exceptions and complications to the rule, including the scope of the consent given, whether the consent is voluntarily given, and whether an individual has the right to consent to a search of another’s property.

Exigent Circumstances

Law enforcement officers may also conduct warrantless searches in several types of exigent circumstances where obtaining a warrant is dangerous or impractical. The Court also allowed a search of arrested persons in to preserve evidence that might otherwise be destroyed and to ensure suspects were disarmed. A subset of exigent circumstances is the debated community caretaking exception. The Supreme Court has held that individuals in automobiles have a reduced expectation of privacy, because vehicles generally do not serve as residences or repositories of personal effects, and vehicles “can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought.”[120] Vehicles may not be randomly stopped and searched; there must be probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Items in plain view may be seized; areas that could potentially hide weapons may also be searched. With probable cause to believe evidence is present, police officers may search any area in the vehicle. However, they may not extend the search to the vehicle’s passengers without probable cause to search those passengers or consent from the passengers. A common law rule permits searches incident to an arrest without a warrant. This rule has been applied in American law, and has a lengthy common law history. The justification for such a search is to prevent the arrested individual from destroying evidence or using a weapon against the arresting officer by disarming the suspect. The Supreme Court ruled that “both justifications for the search-incident-to-arrest exception are absent and the rule does not apply”, when “there is no possibility” that the suspect could gain access to a weapon or destroy evidence. Border search exception despite the foregoing citation the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures nonetheless apply to the contents of all communications, whatever the means, because, “a person’s private communications are akin to personal papers.” Fourth Amendment reasonableness is the point at which the Utah government’s interest advanced by a particular search or seizure outweighs the loss of individual privacy or freedom of movement that attends the government’s action.

The Exclusionary Rule

One way courts enforce the Fourth Amendment is through the use of the exclusionary rule. The rule provides that evidence obtained through a violation of the Fourth Amendment is generally not admissible by the prosecution during the defendant’s criminal trial. The exclusionary rule and its effectiveness have often been controversial, particularly since its 1961 application to state proceedings. Critics charge that the rule hampers police investigation and can result in freeing guilty parties convicted on reliable evidence; other critics state that the rule has not been successful in deterring illegal police searches. Proponents argue that the number of criminal convictions overturned under the rule has been minimal and that no other effective mechanism exists to enforce the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has also held the exclusionary rule to not apply in the following circumstances:
• evidence illegally seized by a “private actor” (i.e., not a governmental employee)
• tax hearings
• evidence collected by Utah Customs agents
• deportation hearings
• evidence seized by probation or parole officers
• probation or parole revocation hearings

When is a Warrant Not Required?

While there is a judicial preference for warrants (in terms of separation of powers, warrants act as a check on the power of the executive branch by the judicial branch), the Supreme Court has never required all searches to be supported by a valid warrant. In fact, a number of exceptions to the warrant requirement have been developed. Among the most important in use today are:

• searches incident to a lawful arrest (allowing the police to search a lawfully arrested person and the area immediately surrounding that person for weapons or hidden evidence that might be destroyed)
• consent searches (allowing the police to search without probable cause with an individual’s voluntary permission)
• plain view searches (allowing the police to seize an object related to criminal activity when it is in the “plain view” of the officer)
• stop and frisk (allowing the police to pat down-frisk-an individual for weapons when the police believe the person is acting suspiciously and likely to be armed)
• hot pursuit (allowing the police to make a warrantless entry into a building when freshly pursuing a fleeing felony suspect)
• automobile searches (allowing the police to search a car when they have probable cause without first obtaining a warrant because of the inherent mobility of a car)
• inventory searches (allowing the police or corrections officials to conduct a warrantless inventory search to make a list of the arrestee’s belongings in order to protect the officials against later claims of theft of property)
• border and airport searches (allowing police and customs officials to make warrantless searches, including limited searches without any probable cause)
• exigent circumstances (allowing the police to search without a warrant when confronted with an emergency such as evidence about to be destroyed)

These exceptions are judicially created categories designed to accommodate the legitimate needs of law enforcement as balanced against the individual’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Searches falling into these categories are deemed reasonable, even though warrantless. However, the increase in violent crime and the parallel response of law enforcement in the last quarter of this century has made it very difficult to fit search and seizure cases into a neat analytic model. That would mean requiring a valid warrant unless the search clearly fits into one of the recognized exceptions.

Search And Seizure Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help defending against criminal charges in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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What Happens When You Go To Court For A DUI In Utah?

What Happens When You Go To Court For A DUI

When you appear for Court the first time that is called your initial appearance or Arraignment. You will likely be in a courtroom full of other people who have been arrested as well and are doing the same thing you are. Take some time to watch what the judge is saying to the other people when they talk – as you will probably get the same questions.

The procedure at an Arraignment is this:

• The judge calls your name, and you will walk to a podium right in front of the judge.
• The judge verifies that you are the person they called and that your name and address are correct in their file.
• The judge will read you the charges against you as well as the maximum possible sentence you could receive from those charges.
• The judge will ask if you have an attorney at that time or if you need some time to obtain one.
• The judge will then ask you for your plea – Guilty or Not Guilty to the charges.
• The judge will go over your bail conditions. Your monetary bail amount will likely stay the same, but the judge could add or remove any conditions of bail.

The above list of items is covered by the judge at the arraignment. Different judges may add a few other minor issues, but overall that is what you can expect.

Here’s the tip that will significantly increase your chances of getting a reduced plea. Always, always plead ‘Not Guilty’ to your charges. If you plead Guilty at the Arraignment – that is it. You will be sentence by the judge right there. You will not have any opportunity to weigh the evidence against you or put on a defense to the charges. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to withdraw that guilty plea at a later time. If you plead guilty at Arraignment, you may be sent to jail right there, as a first time DUI charge carries a mandatory minimum 24 hour jail sentence. Depending on your criminal and substance abuse history, you could receive more jail time than the minimum 24 hours. Pleading ‘Not Guilty’ gives you time to discuss your case with an attorney. A good attorney will help you weigh the evidence to see if you can fight the charge or receive a plea agreement to a lesser charge. You can always decide to plead guilty later, but pleading Not Guilty at the Arraignment is the only way to buy yourself some time. If you plead Not Guilty, you will be released to go home after court. Your actual court time in front of the judge will range from 2-10 minutes. Having an attorney by your side will help ensure your protection. An attorney can make sure that the only thing you have to say at your Arraignment is, “Not guilty.”

DUI Court Procedure

Given the large number of DUI cases most court systems handle, many have a dedicated section of the criminal court system with separate court procedures for dispensing with DUI cases quickly and easily. This means that your DUI case will likely finish up more quickly, but it could also make it more difficult to know what to expect.

Court After a DUI Arrest

After your DUI arrest you’re probably worried about going to court. Being worried about going to court for your DUI case is normal. However, you have nothing to worry about with the right DUI attorney. In a misdemeanor DUI case the next stage is typically referred to as a “status conference”. A status conference is a chance for your DUI attorney to meet with the prosecutor and the judge. This is when they discuss your case. If there are any outstanding discovery issues these are typically discussed at this point. However, if discovery (meaning all of the evidence) is finished, then the prosecutor, the DUI attorney, and the judge will discuss a potential resolution of your case. This is what many people referred to as “working out a plea deal”. Many misdemeanor DUI cases are resolved a status conference. This is important to know because some lawyers in Tulsa will charge a very high fee, but claim that the fee includes a trial. This makes sense only if your case goes to trial. However, these attorneys are typically charging you for something they won’t give you. If an attorney quotes you a price that includes a “trial”, ask them to list their last five trials. Chances are they haven’t been to trial in a long time, but charge all their clients for the trial.

Preliminary Hearing

The next stage in a felony DUI case is the preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a hearing where the prosecutor must prove that probable cause exists in your case. If they can’t do this, your case is over. If they do, your case is set for trial. Only the prosecutor is required to call witnesses and present evidence at the preliminary hearing. Like a misdemeanor DUI, a preliminary hearing is also a chance for the DUI attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge to discuss a possible resolution of the case without going to trial.

Allen Hearing

An Allen hearing is a formal discovery hearing. Both sides inquire and disclose whether or not they have completely turned over all evidence to each other as required in discovery. Not all cases require Allen hearings. In our client’s cases we request all evidence through the prosecutor by discovery, as well as Open Records Act requests and by issuing subpoenas. This may seem repetitive, but it’s the best way to make sure that we have all of the evidence in your case. It also helps us make sure the prosecutor isn’t trying to hide something.

Suppression Hearing

A suppression hearing is when the defense files a motion asking the judge to throw out evidence obtained by the police. There are a number of reasons why evidence is suppressed. The most common reasons are that the evidence was illegally obtained in violation of the Constitution.


The final stage of the initial criminal case is a trial. A trial can have a judge or a jury determines the outcome. You are entitled to a jury trial; however, sometimes both sides will agree to have a judge conduct the trial. A jury trial in a DUI case can be extremely complicated. Typically, there are law enforcement witnesses, civilian witnesses, and scientific evidence witnesses. The science in the DUI case can be extremely complicated and requires a thorough understanding in order to present and defend the case clearly to a jury. A confused jury is dangerous. As a result, you need a DUI attorney who can explain the complicated law and scientific evidence of the DUI to a jury. In the end the most important thing to have when you go to court is an experienced DUI attorney who knows how to get the best possible outcome for you in your case. Without a good lawyer, your case will not be thoroughly analyzed and have the right issues brought up in court to help you get your life back on track as soon as possible.

If you are arrested for drunken driving in any county in Utah. There are several things that are going to happen that will cost you money. If you are convicted of driving under the influence and you want to get your driving privileges back, things are going to get very expensive.

Court appearances, fines, and fees are just the beginning for convicted drunk drivers. There is also the expense of going to DUI School, getting evaluated for a drinking problem, getting treatment if you have a problem, paying higher insurance premiums and having an interlock device installed on your vehicle, in many states. The following sections outline in detail some of the things that will happen if you get a DUI. None of them are fun, and most are expensive.

Arrested and Booked

If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the first thing that will happen is you will be placed into a police vehicle and taken to the nearest police station or jail. There your photograph (mug shot) will be taken and you will be fingerprinted. In some states, you can be released immediately if someone comes to the jail and pays your bail and drives you home. Several states now have laws requiring you to be held for a period of time until you sober up.

Lose Your Driver’s License

In all states, even for a first-time conviction, your sentence will include the loss of driving privileges for a period of time. Even in states that offer a hardship license that allows you to drive to work or school during the time your license is revoked or suspended, your driving privileges are drastically curtailed. In some states, if you refused to take the field sobriety test or submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, your driver’s license is suspended immediately, even before you go to court.

Pay a Fine

If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, part of your sentence will definitely include paying a fine. All states have laws setting minimum and maximum fines for drunk driving, but those penalties can be enhanced by other circumstances. For example, if the property was damaged, someone was injured or a child was endangered as a result of your driving while drunk, the fines can be increased. In most states, you will also have to pay the court costs associated with your case.

Go to Jail

In a growing number of states, jail terms have become mandatory even for first-time drunk driving offenders. Typically, first-offender jail terms are only one or two days that can be served on a weekend, but it is still jail time. For repeat offenders, jail is mandatory in most states and the terms are longer than a couple of days. And again, if there are aggravating circumstances connected with your DUI case, the penalties can be increased.

Complete the Terms of Probation

Even if you are not sentenced to any jail time for your DUI conviction, you will probably be given a probation sentence, the terms of which are determined by the sentencing judge. If you fail to meet the terms of probation, you can be sent to jail, even if you are a high-profile Hollywood celebrity. Regardless of the terms, the probation sentence itself is another expense you will have to pay. Typically, this is a monthly fee you must pay for the cost of administering and supervising your probated sentence.

Go to Driving School

In almost all jurisdictions, if you want your driving privileges returned after a drunk driving conviction, you will have to complete an alcohol and drug education program, usually referred to as drunk driving school. These classes include hours of drunk driving prevention education and an assessment of your drinking habits. And there is a fee for attending these classes, another expense you must pay to get your driver’s license back.

Undergo Alcohol Evaluation

As part of the court-ordered alcohol education and assessment program mentioned above, a trained counselor will also evaluate your pattern of alcohol consumption to determine if you have an alcohol abuse disorder. Typically, the evaluator will ask you a series of questions about how alcohol affects your life. If the evaluation finds that your drinking rises to the level of alcohol abuse or dependence, you may also have to undergo a court-approved alcohol treatment program before you can get your driving privileges back.

Pay Higher Auto Insurance

In most states, if you get a drunk driving conviction, you will have to get a special insurance policy, known as SR-22 insurance, before you can drive a vehicle. The cost of SR-22 insurance, in states where it is required, can double or even triple your premiums. Usually, you will be required to carry this most expensive auto insurance for a period of three years.

Utah DUI Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a DUI Charge in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 For Your Free Consultation. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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What Happens If You Get A 3rd Degree Felony In Utah?

What Happens If You Get A 3rd Degree Felony In Utah

A felony is characterized as a wrongdoing that is viewed as progressively genuine in nature. In criminal law, a felony is a classification of wrongdoings that are frequently delegated the most genuine sort of offenses. Crimes can be either fierce or peaceful. Each state has their own, various disciplines for these wrongdoings, yet crimes are commonly deserving of detainment for over one year, in a government office instead of a nearby or region prison. Felony allegations, be that as it may, allude to the start of formal lawful procedures against the individual blamed for the felony; or, it is the point at which the lead prosecutor brings formal allegations against the litigant under the watchful eye of the court. Felony conviction happens when the respondent is really discovered liable of the felony they were accused of. Along these lines, it is conceivable to be liable to a felony capture yet not get felony allegations, or a felony conviction.

This is significant on the grounds that a record of a felony capture is, by and large, a lot simpler to cancel than a record of felony allegations or feelings. Also, if an individual has been liable to a felony capture, this may be shown in their criminal record, yet the open probably won’t most likely access the little subtleties encompassing the capture. Hence, it may not influence the individual on a bigger scale. The Serious Youth Offender Law, which can be found at Utah Code § 78A-6-702, recognizes nine felony offenses for which adolescent respondents are liable to grown-up criminal equity techniques:

• Aggravated Arson
• Aggravated Assault
• Aggravated Burglary
• Aggravated Kidnapping
• Aggravated Robbery
• Aggravated Sexual Assault
• Endeavored Murder
• Endeavored Aggravated Murder
• Felony Discharge of a Firearm

Under Utah Code § 78A-6-702(3)(b), an adolescent might be “held to reply in the area court in a similar way as a grown-up” if both of coming up next are valid:

• The adolescent is 16 or 17 years of age.
• The adolescent is accused of:
• Any of the SYOL offenses on the rundown above.

Some other felony including a hazardous weapon, if the adolescent additionally has earlier feelings including weapons violations. As characterized under Utah Code § 76-10-501(6)(a), a “perilous weapon” is any firearm or some other item “fit for causing passing or genuine real damage.” At the end of the day, your tyke will be attempted like a grown-up: not in a common, adolescent court, yet a grown-up, criminal court, where he or she will face the same punishments that a grown-up would confront whenever indicted for a similar wrongdoing. Crimes are constantly heard in Utah’s locale courts (as are Class An offenses), while equity courts are saved for hearing grown-up cases identified with Class B and Class C wrongdoings. Utah Code § 78A-6-702(3)(b) grants youthful respondents to be attempted in locale court like grown-ups in certain circumstances. Be that as it may, there are additionally numerous circumstances where this isn’t proper for the case, regardless of whether the charge identifies with a felony. As a similar rule explains, adolescent cases ought not be moved (“bound over”) to region court if “the adolescent court judge finds that it is in opposition to the best enthusiasm of the minor and to the general population.” as it were, a 16-or 17-year-old might almost certainly evade a grown-up criminal preliminary if such procedures would neither be to their greatest advantage, nor the best advantages of the overall population. This raises a significant inquiry for guardians and relatives: how does the judge determine whether a case ought to be heard in grown-up or adolescent court?

Once more, the resolution gives the appropriate response. Under Utah Code § 78A-6-702(3)(c), the judge will think about the accompanying — and only the following — factors when figuring out which Utah court scene is most suitable for your child or girl’s case:

• Has the minor at any point been mediated reprobate for a crime which both (1) included a perilous weapon, and (2) would have been a felony on the off chance that it was carried out by a grown-up? (The expression “mediated reprobate” just methods being discovered blameworthy of a reprobate demonstration, or a demonstration which would have been considered an offense or felony had it been submitted by a grown-up.) In the event that the wrongdoing was submitted by a gathering of individuals, to what degree was the juvenile involved? Were they less required than different members? An individual who latently takes an interest in a wrongdoing for the most part has less criminal risk (issue) than an individual who was a functioning instigator or member.

• Was the offense considered “brutal, forceful, or planned?” A planned offense is an offense that was arranged out ahead of time. Intention is one of the components that recognizes murder from homicide.
• What kind of earlier record does the adolescent have, assuming any? Does the person in question have a not insignificant rundown of “reprobate acts,” or is this their first offense? Courts are bound to be tolerant with adolescents (or grown-ups) who have a perfect criminal record when contrasted with somebody who has a broad record of captures or feelings.
Would it be more secure and increasingly productive for the overall population if the adolescent’s case were heard in a grown-up area court? On the off chance that the case were to be attempted in adolescent court, would it pose any danger to, or cause any hardship for, the more noteworthy network? Regardless of whether the minor is attempted in grown-up or adolescent court depends intensely on the responses to these inquiries. Notwithstanding, there are sadly a couple of conditions where a grown-up preliminary can’t be stayed away from. For instance, a 16-or 17-year-old’s case will consequently be bound over to region court on the off chance that the individual:
• Is accused of submitting murder.
• Is accused of submitting another felony, of any sort, subsequent to being recently condemned to a “safe office,” which is what might be compared to prison or jail.

While 16 is the typical age threshold for grown-up preliminary procedures, minors as youthful as 14 years old can attempted like a grown-up if the investigator can persuade the judge that region court would be the most proper setting for the case. In particular, the examiner must have a convincing contention with respect to why it is in the province of Utah’s best advantages that the case be heard in grown-up court as opposed to adolescent court. Your kid’s guard lawyer in Utah will counter the examiner’s contention by stressing the hardships and downsides of sending the case to locale court. Locale courts are progressively formal, less private, and force far harsher punishments than adolescent courts. In Utah, lawful offenses are violations deserving of terms in state jail. Utah legislators group lawful offenses as capital crimes or first, second, or third degree lawful offenses. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-103.) In Utah, the most genuine violations are capital lawful offenses, deserving of death, life in jail without any chance to appeal, or 25 years’ to life detainment. Murder is a case of a capital felony. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-206.) A third degree felony is deserving of as long as five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Third degree lawful offenses are the least genuine crimes in Utah. (Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-203, 76-3-301.)

Theft of property (or administrations) with an estimation of more than $1,500 however under $5,000 is a third degree felony. Under Utah law, “an individual submits robbery on the off chance that he gets or practices unapproved command over the property of another with a reason to deny him thereof.” (Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-404.) Basically, you submit burglary in Utah by unlawfully taking another person’s property with the goal to keep it, or if nothing else not return it to its proprietor. Utah criminal rules likewise recognize various other explicit burglary offenses, including:

• burglary of engine vehicle fuel ( § 404.7.)
• burglary by duplicity ( § 405.)
• burglary by coercion ( § 406.)
• burglary of lost, misplaced, or erroneously conveyed property ( § 407.)
• accepting stolen property ( § 408.)
• burglary of administrations ( § 409.)
• burglary of utility or digital TV administrations ( § 409.3.)
• burglary by individual having guardianship of property according to fix or tenant contract ( § 410.)
• burglary of a rental vehicle ( § 410.5.)
Burglary of property or administrations esteemed at more than $1,500 however under $5,000 is a third degree felony in Utah. ( § 76-6-412(b).) Additionally, robbery is a third degree felony in Utah if, inside the previous 10 years, the guilty party has twice been indicted for any sort of genuine or endeavored burglary, burglary, misrepresentation, or thievery with goal to submit burglary. ( § 76-6-412(b)(ii).) The discipline for a third degree felony in Utah incorporates detainment for a term of close to five years and a fine not to surpass $5,000. As noted above, burglary is a third degree felony in Utah if, inside the previous 10 years, the guilty party has twice been indicted for any sort of genuine or endeavored burglary, theft, extortion, or robbery with plan to submit robbery. ( § 76-6-412. On the off chance that you’ve been captured for or accuse of a robbery wrongdoing, remember that this data depends on your states statutory law. The manner in which the charge is arraigned and the punishments connected can change significantly among regions and even courts and judges. Continuously look for lawful guidance from a lawyer that practices criminal law in your general vicinity.

A legal time limit is a period limit after which the state can never again start criminal arraignment. At the point when the wrongdoing is perpetrated, the legal time limit starts to “run.” In Utah, the most genuine violations, for example, murder, seizing, and sex violations, have no legal time limit and the state can start criminal arraignment whenever. A felony conviction can have very genuine results, incorporating time in jail and a huge fine. Indeed, even after individuals have served their time, felony feelings can make it hard to acquire (or keep) an occupation, meet all requirements for an expert permit, or go to class. On the off chance that you are accused of a genuine wrongdoing, working with an accomplished criminal safeguard lawyer is your best trust in maintaining a strategic distance from a felony conviction. A neighborhood Utah lawyer can disclose to you what’s in store in court and how to ensure your rights.
In Utah, when a respondent is indicted, they have two alternatives for when a judge sentences on a felony conviction:

• The respondent can be condemned inside 2 to 45 days after their conviction.
• The respondent can postpone the 2-to 45-day and be condemned promptly upon the arrival of conviction.

The judge will approach Adult Probation and Parole for a pre-sentence report. This report incorporates the first police report, the respondent’s criminal record and proclamation, the litigant’s close to home and criminal, foundation, and a rundown of the effect of the wrongdoing on the person in question. The report likewise suggests a sentence for the judge. In Utah, judges by and large pursue Adult Probation and Parole’s proposal and Utah’s condemning rules. In specific conditions, a felony conviction can be diminished to a crime. This happens after the fruitful culmination of probation. For instance “Endeavored Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute: Cocaine” is a third Degree Felony in Utah, however with a 402 decrease, Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute can be diminished to a Class A Misdemeanor. There are two wide sorts of ambush charges in Utah: “basic” strike, which is a wrongdoing, and the more genuine wrongdoing of “bothered” attack, which is a felony. This area will concentrate on straightforward strike, so in case you’re searching for a clarification of condemning for bothered attack, look down to the following segment. Straightforward ambush is indicted under Utah Code § 76-5-102. This rule gives two definitions for straightforward strike: Harming somebody, or notwithstanding making a noteworthy danger of damage to somebody, by utilizing power or brutality. Endeavoring to harm somebody by acting with power or savagery. In contrast to basic attack, which is a wrongdoing, disturbed strike is dependably a felony. Not exclusively are the disciplines more awful – so is the harm to the litigant’s notoriety. While a few managers might be eager to ignore wrongdoing offenses, having a rough felony joined to your name can present difficult issues when you’re attempting to get a new line of work or move upward in your vocation. State law likewise denies previous criminals from owning or purchasing firearms under punishment of extra criminal allegations.

There are a few circumstances where straightforward strike transforms into exasperated attack – for instance, if the litigant utilizes a risky weapon (like a blade or gun), or uses enough power that passing or genuine damage become “likely.” Depending on how severely the unfortunate casualty is harmed, irritated ambush is either a moment degree felony or third degree felony. The sentence for third degree felony disturbed strike goes anyplace from no jail time by any means (probation) to five years in jail, with a conceivable fine of $5,000. There is a base sentence of one year in jail for second degree felony bothered strike, however the greatest sentence can be up to 15 years. The respondent can likewise be requested to pay fines as high as $10,000.

Felony Criminal Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a criminal case in Utah, please call Ascent Law (801) 676-5506 For Your Free Consultation. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
itemprop=”addressLocality”>West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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