Utah County is located 44 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah. The name “Utah” comes from the Native American “Ute” tribe and means ‘people of the mountains’. Its County is the second largest county, in terms of population, in the state of Utah. The population is 622,213 residents. Population density of 234.1 people per square mile. The county seat is the city of Provo. The elevation in the valley ranges between 4,480 – 4,700 feet above sea level. The highest point is Mt. Nebo at 11,928 ft. and the lowest point is at the Jordan River Flood Plain at 4,480 ft. The county is 2,142 square miles, 2.45% of the State of Utah and 16th largest in area in the state. The average winter temperatures are a maximum of 37 degrees and a minimum of 14 degrees. The average summertime temperatures are a maximum of 92 degrees and a minimum of 54 degrees.
Although home to Native Americans for many centuries, the first white men to set foot in what is now known as Utah County were most likely Father Escalante and Father Dominquez and their party of explorers on September 23, 1776. From approximately 1825 to 1847, various trappers and mountain men spent time in the valley, but the first permanent settlers were Mormon pioneers sent south from the Salt Lake Valley by their leader, Brigham Young, in 1849. Provo was apparently the first settlement, getting its name from the Provo River, which in turn took its name from the mountain man, Etienne Provost. Many of the other communities were officially founded the following year, 1850, including Alpine, American Fork, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, Payson and Springville.
Early civic leadership was provided by Mormon Church leaders for the area until the General Assembly of the State of Deseret – as the territory was known at the time – decreed on January 28, 1850 that “Utah Valley shall be called Utah County,” and established Provo as the county seat. That same date, a road eight rods wide was set aside, running from Ogden on the north, past the “Temple Block” in Salt Lake City and culminating in Provo. It was to be called State Road and it became a major thoroughfare for commerce and migration of early settlers from the Salt Lake City gathering point to outlying areas, especially to Utah County. Much of the old road exists today as State Street which runs through several communities. The first library in Provo was opened in 1854 and there has been an official U.S. Post Office in the city since at least 1894. Provo General Hospital opened in 1903 and gave way to Utah Valley Hospital in 1939. The Utah State (Mental) Hospital dates back to 1880 but was formerly known by less politically correct names. Electric service first came to the valley in 1890.
The Provo area is known worldwide as the home of Brigham Young University. Brigham Young issued a deed of trust to establish Brigham Young Academy on October 16, 1875. The fledgling institution went through some rough years and nearly folded on occasion before officially becoming Brigham Young University on October 23, 1903. From humble beginnings with sometimes only a handful of students, it is now a major university with some 30,000 students.
The County population grew slowly and steadily through the years of World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. The official census counted 23,768 citizens in 1890 and that number grew to only 49,021 in 1940. Today, the county has 622,213 residents. For many years, Geneva Steel was one of the few major employers outside of agriculture, government and schools. Geneva was built during World War II to provide steel for the war effort. But starting in the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the valley became one of the entrepreneurial hot spots of the nation and, in particular, has become a Mecca for high-tech, computer-related companies. Now, Utah County boasts a young, healthy, well-educated population, low crime rate, and a solid economy.
In the decades following World War II Utah has continued to grow. Cultural institutions such as the Utah Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Opera Company, Ballet West, and Utah Festival Opera (Logan) to name a few, have a solid reputation both locally and nationally. Utah’s educational and research centers have developed a variety of scientific and medical innovations, including the artificial heart. Utah is also a leader in information technology.
High-tech companies that have resided in Utah include Iomega, Novell, Correll, and WordPerfect. Even after WordPerfect moved to Canada and Novell went through a layoff cycle, programmers, engineers, and executives reinvested their severance money in new companies that have sped the growth of Utah’s high-tech industry. Intel Corp. announced in March of 1998 that it had purchased options on two Salt Lake County properties to possibly build a seven-building campus that may eventually employ 8,000 people.
Cities in Utah County
• Alpine City
• American Fork City
• Cedar Fort Town
• Cedar Hills City
• Draper City
• Eagle Mountain City
• Elk Ridge City
• Highland City
• Lehi City
• Lindon City
• Mapleton City
• Payson City
• Pleasant Grove City
• Provo City
• Salem City
• Santaquin City
• Saratoga Springs City
• Spanish Fork City
• Springville City
• Vineyard Town
• Woodland Hills City
DRUG CRIMES IN UTAH
Utah strictly enforces its drug laws. Many of these laws carry harsh and mandatory penalties, even for simple misdemeanors like a possession. Enhanced penalties may apply, depending upon the circumstances of the initial charge or whether you have a prior drug-related record. What you might believe to be a minor case of marijuana possession could lead to felony charges and significantly related penalties. It is essential to involve an attorney as soon as possible to protect your constitutional rights and freedom.
Drug Crime Penalties in Utah
Drug crime penalties are extremely complicated issues. A mess of drug classifications, amounts, and enhancements make navigating such a case an extremely difficult challenge for anyone other than an experienced lawyer.
• If you have 2 prior drug possession convictions, even for very small amounts, your next charge can be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in the Utah State Prison.
• A conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia, i.e. a small pipe or bong, carries many of the same penalties as marijuana possession.
• Virtually any type of drug crime conviction will result in a 6-month driver’s license suspension.
• Certain controlled substances will immediately escalate drug charges to felonies. MDMA (ecstasy) possession, for example, is a third-degree felony – even for a first offense.
Drug charges can be beaten, but it will take a skilled criminal defense lawyer who understands precisely how to challenge evidence, witness testimony, and other aspects of the prosecuting attorney’s case against you. Your constitutional rights are a crucial part of every defense strategy and many people, even police officers, don’t fully understand them. Meticulous planning and a careful investigation can reveal violations of your rights in Utah that lead to reduced charges, an acquittal, or even a dismissal. The possibility of losing your driver’s license for six months is just the beginning
Utah is tough on drug crimes and drug possession charges in Utah can be severe. Conviction on any drug charge can mean losing your driver license for six months. Drug crimes committed within state-defined “drug-free zones” — 1,000-foot perimeters around schools, churches, parks, shopping malls and the like are subject to “enhanced” penalties. The state’s zero tolerance doctrine can be a problem for drivers —traces of drugs can linger in your bloodstream for days, so any sobriety test that detects those traces could land you a drugged-driving conviction. The bottom line is that Utah statutes are complex and present many pitfalls to avoid, so it pays to retain an experienced criminal law firm to defend your rights.
Drug crimes cover a range of illegal activities
From possession of drug paraphernalia to sales of drugs resulting in death and even the illegal use of prescription drugs, Utah laws take a dim view of drug-related crimes. We defend you if you are charged with such offenses as:
• Drug abuse — Drug abuse includes not only the use of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, but the abuse of prescription drugs as well. Because a large number of drug crimes are committed by people with addictions, to reduce drug abuse and the incidence of drug-related charges, Utah now deploys a series of “drug courts,” which offer detoxification and rehabilitation in lieu of sentencing.
• Possession — Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana can get you a Class B misdemeanor, up to six months in jail and a $1,950 fine, while possession of up to 16 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,875. But possession of other controlled substances and false or forged prescriptions is charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $9,750. Worse, if police or prosecutors believe you intend to distribute drugs you possess, the charge can be enhanced to “possession with the intent to distribute.”
• Distribution — Utah criminal code makes very little distinction between the crimes of possession with the intent to distribute and drug distribution. Both are typically charged as second-degree felonies, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $19,950. And “distribution” includes not just dealers but anyone who shares, gives, or otherwise provides drugs to another person. If distribution (or possession with intent to distribute, for that matter) occurs in a drug-free zone, the charge becomes a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of $19,950.
• Trafficking — Trafficking charges are brought when larger quantities of drugs are involved. Depending on the drug and whether it is a repeat offense, penalties can range from five years in prison to life in prison.
How drug courts work
A criminal defense attorney can tell you whether you may qualify for drug court instead of criminal court. Drug courts focus on eliminating drug addiction as a long-term solution to crime. As such, sentencing relies on participation in rehabilitation programs, frequent testing and court supervision. There are three types of drug court: adult felony drug court, dependency drug court and juvenile dependency drug court. Adult felony drug court availability varies depending on which county you are in. Drug court is not available to those with past convictions for violent crimes, those whose drugs of choice are either alcohol or marijuana, those with pending charges or convictions of operating production facilities or distribution of controlled substances and those with disruptive behaviors or who otherwise cannot manage structured rehabilitation programs.
Drug court is very similar to pretrial diversion, where qualified participants enter a guilty plea for their charges. This “plea in abeyance” puts sentencing on hold while the offender is enrolled in drug court. If the program is completed successfully, the guilty plea is withdrawn and charges are dismissed. Failure to complete treatment results in sentencing and possible imprisonment.
Utah County Utah Lawyers
Here are some of the areas of law that the attorneys at Ascent Law LLC practice for their clients in Utah County:
Warrants In Utah
An arrest warrant or bench warrant can be issued by a judge in the criminal courts in Salt Lake City, Utah. Warrants can be issued for a new misdemeanor or felony charge, or after a person fails to appear in court for a scheduled court date. Warrants can also be issued after a person violates the conditions of their probation. If the warrant was issued in error, your attorney can file a motion to quash or set aside the warrant.
If you believe a warrant has been issued for your arrest in Utah, then seek out the services of an experienced criminal law firm like Ascent Law LLC. Our attorneys can help you address the warrant and the underlying case to help you fight for the best possible result.
A warrant in Utah can be classified as either a “bondable” warrant or a “cash only” warrant. If your warrant is a “bondable” warrant, then you can use a bail bond company to post the bond on your behalf for a charge which is typically set at 10% of the bail amount and is non-refundable. If your warrant is a “cash only” warrant, the full amount of the bail must be paid in cash or with a credit card. The benefit of posting a cash bail is that the money can be refunded to you when the case is resolved. On the other hand, if you fail to appear in court for a scheduled court date, the judge can start the process to forfeit the bail amount paid. In some cases, the person qualifies for Salt Lake County Pretrial Services which can save you money. An attorney can often help you resolve the arrest or bench warrant on the most favorable terms. If the bail is set too high, the attorney can often argue for a lower bail amount.
There are three types of warrants that can come into play in a criminal case:
• Arrest Warrants – Arrest warrants allow police officers to arrest people who are suspected of committing a crime. The police must have probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant. However, some arrests are conducted without getting a warrant from the court in advance. For example, if an officer observes a crime in progress, or sees a person fleeing from the scene of a crime, he or she can intervene to arrest the person then and there. In fact, police do not even necessarily need to see a crime occur. As long as an officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, he or she can make an arrest.
• Bench Warrants – A bench warrant is a type of arrest warrant that is issued “from the bench,” hence the name. A judge can issue a bench warrant if a person does not show up for court, which is called failure to appear (FTA). Failure to appear in court after being released on bail is a crime known as “bail-jumping” or “skipping bail.” Utah’s bail jumping statute, Utah Code § 76-8-312, makes this act a third degree felony or Class B misdemeanor, crimes that are respectively subject to penalties of up to five years in prison or six months in jail.
• Search Warrants – Search warrants allow police officers to conduct searches for specific objects in specific locations. For example, if the police have probable cause to believe that someone is selling methamphetamine from their residence – a drug crime called distribution of controlled substances – an officer could obtain a search warrant allowing them to enter and search the suspect’s home for methamphetamine. However, the police do not always need a search warrant to conduct a search. For example, no search warrant is necessary if the contraband is in plain sight of the officer, or if the person gives their consent to be searched.
Utah County Utah Court Directory
The Utah trial court system consists of District Courts, Juvenile Courts, and Justice Courts. Below is a directory of court locations in Utah County. Links for online court records and other free court resources are provided for each court, where available.
District Courts in Utah County
• 4th District Court – Utah County (American Fork)
75 East 80 North, Suite 202, American Fork, UT 84003
• 4th District Court – Utah County (Provo)
125 North 100 West, Provo, UT 84601
• 4th District Court – Utah County (Salem)
30 West 100 South, PO Box 901, Salem, UT 84653
• 4th District Court – Utah County (Spanish Fork)
775 West Center, Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Juvenile Courts in Utah County
• 4th District Juvenile Court – Utah County (American Fork)
75 East 80 North, Suite 201, American Fork, UT 84003
• 4th District Juvenile Court – Utah County (Orem)
99 East Center Street, Orem, UT 84057
• 4th District Juvenile Court – Utah County (Provo)
2021 South State Street, Provo, UT 84606
• 4th District Juvenile Court – Utah County (Spanish Fork)
775 West Center Street, Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Justice Courts in Utah County
• Alpine Justice Court
5400 West Civic Center Drive, Suite 4, Highland, UT 84003
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer in Utah County State of Utah
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.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506