Aggravated DUIs in Utah County this Week

You may have seen on the news over the past few days a number of DUI cases involving death or serious injury to others. Two cases in particular stood out, one involved a DUI accident on the west side of Utah Lake, the other occurred in Orem. The Utah Lake incident reportedly involved a women alleged to be under the influence. She was driving a Jeep and lost control on a switchback portion of the road. The Jeep rolled 50 feet down a rocky hill. A passenger in the Jeep was critically injured and life flighted to the ER. The driver suffered only minor cuts and bruises and was life booked in the Utah County Jail.

The Orem incident involved a young man who ran over a young girl sitting on the side walk on Sunday afternoon. The girl was killed in the accident. The man is accused of DUI related charges and could be facing homicide charges. Breath test administered the driver were inconclusive but a blood sample was taken and sent to the labs to determine a more accurate BAC level.

Both of the incidents described above are extremely sad and could have been avoided. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims. While we represent and defend individuals accused of all types of crimes, including aggravated DUIs, we do our best to also educate the public and get the word out on how important it is not to get behind the wheel when you have been drinking. At the same time, everyone is entitled to an attorney and we believe in this constitutionally protected right for all people, no matter what the circumstance.

Utah County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI or related charge, you should speak with a Utah County DUI Defense Lawyer at our Provo Law Firm as soon as possible. We know you may have serious questions and concerns and want help. Our team of drunk driving attorneys in Provo are available by phone or email anytime of the day or week. We look forward to your call.

Utah County JCAT Force Goes On Arrest Spree

Recently the Utah County Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (JCAT) has gone on an arrest spree.  They’ve arrested over 25 people who had outstanding arrest warrants for various crimes.  The JCAT team is comprised of various law enforcement agencies including the United States Marshals, investigators from the Payson City Police Department, Pleasant Grove City Police Department, Lindon City Police Department, Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P), U.S. Immigration, and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

The JCAT team is kind of like a SWAT team.  They typically surround a house en masse, quietly, and quickly.  Some of our clients who have been arrested by the JCATs have reported that they showed up out of nowhere.  They are decked out in military gear, body armor, and lots of fire power.

If you have an outstanding felony warrant in Utah County, chances are you will get a  visit from the JCATS.  Once they pick you up you will be taken to the Utah County jail in Spanish Fork.  There you will be booked and held until you have a court hearing, which should be given within 72 hours of being picked up.  When you are booked into jail you will probably be given an initial bail amount.  If you do not bail out on the initial bail amount you can request a bail hearing with the court.  At your bail hearing the judge will determine what your bail amount should be.

If you have an outstanding warrant in Utah County, you should give us a call.  In most instances it will fair better for you if you take care of the warrant rather than having the JCATs take care of it for you.  The best way for you to take care of the warrant is to get a Provo criminal defense lawyer from our firm on your case.  We may be able to get the warrant recalled or at least stave off the JCATs until we can get into court for a warrant hearing.  Call us at 801.800.8246 for a free consultation.

Theft of Services in Utah | Criminal Defense Attorney

Theft of Services in Utah is defined as obtaining services through use of deception, threats, force, or any other means of avoiding due payment for services provided. There are a number of different scenarios which might arise in which a person might find himself or herself facing such a charge. One of the most common scenarios is the infamous dine and dash. For those who may not be aware, dining and dashing is when a person goes to a restaurant and rather than paying the bill, the person sneaks out. We mostly see this type of charge involving younger individuals typically high school and college students. However, many older adults also are charged with this each year in Utah County and throughout the state. If you are facing a theft related charge, a criminal defense attorney at our firm can help.

Theft of Utility Services

Another common situation which may land a person a theft of services charge in Utah is stealing utilities. If you are stealing a cable or satellite connection, or even tapping into extended channels, you might be charged with theft of services. Since everything has moved into a more digital and technical service, stealing cable or phone services have become a bit more difficult. However, many people are still charged with this crime on a regular basis. What many people do not realize is that just because you may be paying for basic cable, does not mean you can tap into other channels or services provided by your cable company at no cost. Take our word for it, the HBO or HD package you might have figured out how to hack and are not paying for, is not worth the potential charge you may be facing as a result.

Theft Attorney in Provo

We represent numerous individuals every year for theft crimes. We understand the stress you may be facing if you have been charged with one of these crimes. A Theft Attorney in Provo can help you get the peace of mind and defense you need to move on with your life. If you are charged and convicted, you may have to pay restitution as a part of your sentence. We can help ensure your rights regarding restitution are protected and you do not end up owing more than what was actually taken.

Gambling Laws in Utah

Most people realize the Gambling Laws in Utah generally prohibit any and all gambling including lotteries. However, what most people perhaps don’t know is that some forms of internet gambling or gambling among friends may also be illegal. What if you are having a friendly poke game at your house with a couple of friends and you are playing low stokes just a few bucks here and there? Is that type of activity illegal? Whatever you have a fantasy football league going and work and everyone put $20 or so in the pot for the winner? Would this be considered illegal gambling in Utah and could your be prosecuted?  In Utah, a person is guilty of gambling if they:

  • participate in any form of gambling including internet gambling.
  • permit anyone else to gamble on their property.
  • allow video gambling in their business or in a public place.

So the question becomes, what does Utah law define as “gambling?” Under Utah Code 76-10-1101, “gambling” is defined as, “risking anything of value for a return or risking anything of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device when the return or outcome: (1) is based upon an element of chance; and (2) is in accord with an agreement or understanding that someone will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. This is a rather generalized definition but the statute goes on to clarify that any lottery is also considered gambling while any business transactions or device not intended to risk value is not considered gambling under the law.

Penalties for Gambling

A first or second conviction for gambling is a Class B Misdemeanor under the statute. If you are facing your third or higher charge, you could be facing a Class A Misdemeanor. Additionally, individuals who provide internet gambling services to anyone in the state of Utah may be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. Of course, while some states such as Nevada are moving towards legal internet gambling, most providers are located overseas and are therefore difficult to prosecute. Penalties for Gambling can be severe so make sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you are charged.

Possessing Gambling Devices

One area people should be extra cautious about when it comes to gambling in Utah, is possessing a gambling device such as a slot machine or even a black jack table may be illegal under certain circumstances. The key to this section of the law is that such a device must be possessed with the intent to use for illegal gambling.

Consultation if Charged

If you or someone you know has been charged with gambling or a related offense in Provo, Orem, or anywhere else in Utah County or throughout the state, we can help. Call and speak to a Provo Criminal Defense Attorney at our office today. We can be reached anytime day or night at 801.800.8246.

Utah County Jail | Provo Criminal Defense Attorney

The Utah County Jail is located in the south end of the valley in Spanish Fork off the west side of I-15. The jail is located almost as far north in Spanish Fork as possible such that many people think the jail is located in Springville. The contact information for the jail is as follows:

County Security Center
3075 North Main
Spanish Fork,   UT 84660
801-851-4219 (fax)

Understand how the jail operates can be key to getting visitation and help to your loved one who may be incarcerated there. We assistant client’ family member in understanding the jail processes. As an attorney we have more flexibility in visiting our clients who are incarcerated. If someone you know is incarcerated in the Utah County Jail, here is some helpful information to keep in mind:

  • If you want to schedule a visit with an inmate you should call 801-851-4301.
  • Inmates are typically allowed two 30 minute visits per week.
  • The standard release time of the jail is typically 3:15 p.m.
  • The jail accepts credit cards for bail.
  • Inmates may received and send mail
  • Inmates may have reasonable telephone access.
  • Inmates have access to a commissary.
  • Inmates convicted on misdemeanor charges will be charged pay to stay fees.
  • Inmates have regulated access to religious services and clergy.

Provo Criminal Defense Attorney

If you would like to speak with a Provo Criminal Defense Attorney and have questions about the Utah County Jail or an individual’s particular charges, we can help. We offer free consultations to families in need of help throughout the valley. We understand that you may not understand the criminal justice system and may be stressed and afraid to say the least. Having an experienced attorney on board to help your loved one can make all the difference in the world. Contact us today; we look forward to representing you or your loved one

Persons Restricted from Possessing Firearms in Utah

If you live in Utah you are subject to the laws dealing with firearms.  There are a couple of categories of persons who are restricted from using, possessing, selling, or otherwise transferring firearms.

The first category of restricted persons include the following:

  • An individual who has been convicted of any violent felony;
  • Anyone who is on probation or parole for any felony;
  • Anyone who is on parole from a secure facility;
  • An individual who within the last 10 years has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a violent felony; or
  • An alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

The second category of restricted persons include:

  • Those who have been convicted of any felony;
  • Those within the last seven years who have been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a felony;
  • Any unlawful user of a controlled substance;
  • Anyone who is in possession of a dangerous weapon and is knowingly and intentionally in unlawful possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance;
  • Those who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity for a felony offense;
  • Anyone who has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony offense;
  • Anyone who has been adjudicated as mentally defective as provided in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act or has been committed to a mental institution;
  • Anyone who has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces; or
  • Anyone who has renounced his citizenship after having been a citizen of the United States.

A restricted person who intentionally and knowingly possesses, transfers, purchases etc. a firearm can be charged with a felony.  So basically if you are searched by law enforcement and are found to have both cocaine and a gun, you get hit with double felony counts.

Give our Provo criminal defense lawyers a call at 801.800.8246 if you are facing charges purchasing, transferring, possessing, or using a firearm by a restricted person for a free consultation.  Let’s talk about how we can help.

Felony Criminal Defense Lawyer in Utah County

If you have been charged with a felony in Provo you may be extremely nervous and likely have many questions for a Felony Criminal Defense Lawyer in Utah County. At our law firm, we represent individuals charged with all different types of felonies including things like drug distribution, meth or heroine charges, or other felony drug crimes, as well as aggravated assault or other violent felony crimes. Whatever your situation, we provide free consultations and can usually tell your right over the phone what we think about your particular circumstances. Felony crimes are prosecuted in district court. In Utah County, the district courts are located in Provo, American Fork, and Spanish Fork. Most of the felony cases are filed in the Provo District.

Felony DUI Charges in Provo

If you are charged with your third DUI or more, you will likely be facing a felony charge. Felony DUI Charges in Provo come with a real risk of serious jail or prison time so it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. If you are a family member and your loved one is being held in jail after being arrested on a felony DUI, we can help get the bail addressed. Often the bail amount is initially set very high.

Felony Drug Charges

Felony drug charges are one of the most common types of felonies filed in Utah County. Having a large amount of drugs or having paraphernalia such as scales etc., can land you a felony drug charge. Even if you do not have a prior record, if you are charged with a felony drug related crime, you should seek the assistance of counsel. Even the lowest felony charge runs the risk of prison time. To speak with a Felony Drug Defense Attorney at our firm today call 801.800.8246.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes are often charged as felonies. Assault, domestic violence, and other related violent offenses, if felonies, are often aggressively pursued by prosecutors. There is no doubt you will need a lawyer if you are facing one of these types of crimes. We can help.

Appealing from a Justice Court to a District Court

The Justice Court’s Role in Utah’s Legal System

Justice courts were created to handle the less serious offenses committed by individuals such a traffic offenses, first and second DUIs, petty marijuana offenses, simple assaults, and petty thefts.  Justice court judges have many of the same powers as district court judges, but justice court judges do not have to be lawyers before becoming judges, which means they do not have to be law trained. Nonetheless, justice court judges can issue warrants, set bail, issue commitment orders to send individuals to jail, and impose fines.  Justice court judges impose fines more than any other punishment because the fines go to the city coffers or county coffers depending on what type of justice court it is.  Sadly, many justice courts are revenue producers for the city that created them, and little else.

Two Bites at the Apple

The Utah Legislature has made it so that anything that happens in a justice court can be disposed of as though it never happened, by giving defendants in justice courts the ability to appeal any conviction to the district court.  it is called a trial de novo, and essential means a “do over.”

Some justice court judges are more tyrants than judges and for some reason love punishing people severely.  We had a case where our client hired us to a appeal from a justice court because the judge threw him jail for 90 days for breaking a plank on his neighbors fence.  Seriously…that’s all he did.  When justice court judges do crazy things like that, simply appeal the conviction and get out of that court.

Utah court rules also provide a way to stop a justice court judge from sending you to jail in most cases.  If the justice court judge sends you to jail and you appeal, the jail sentence is immediately stayed in most situations.  There are some situations where the jail sentence will remain in place, but those are few and far between and even then you can petition the district court to stop the justice court from sending you to jail.

Don’t get stuck with a bad justice court outcome.  Call our Provo criminal defense lawyers today to get the legal protection you need.

Concealed Carry Law in Utah

HB76 could very soon become the law of the land in Utah. The bill passed both the House and Senate in Utah and waits the governor’s veto or signature. The so called “Constitutional Carry” would allow concealed weapons to be carried without a permit. We have seen charges filed against some individuals in recent years for carrying a gun or other weapon in a concealed manner without being a permit holder. Utah is already an open carry state, meaning anyone who is not a restricted person can carry a weapon in plain view. However, this bill would take that one step further and also allow individuals to carry in the pocket, under a jacket, or in any other concealed manner.

Will the Bill Become Law?

The bill has yet to be signed into law by the governor and it is not yet known if the governor intends to veto the bill or not. In the past, Governor Herbert has explained he believes the gun laws in Utah are not broken and do not require any amendments or change. Therefore, many believe he will veto the bill. However, the bill is greatly favored by his republican party and was passed by slightly more than a 2/3 majority in each house. Even if the bill is rejected by the governor, it would still likely become the law of the land if the house and senate vote to override the veto. All that is required is a 2/3 majority to override the governors veto. Since the bill already passed the legislature with this majority, it seems likely to win out. That is unless at least a few of the elected officials change their minds.

Gun Charges in Utah

Gun law in Utah has changed quite a bit over the last few years in Utah in the direction of lesser state regulations. However, we still speak with many individuals every year who face a gun related charge such as brandishing a weapon, assault related charges, or others. We provide free consultations to those accused with weapon related crimes. For more information, call and speak with a Provo Criminal Defense Lawyer at our office today.

Prefiling Negotiations

Lawyer Up!

We get calls all the time from individuals who are being investigated for various criminal charges throughout Utah.  Sometimes they have already spoken to the police, have made admissions, and otherwise helped law enforcement make a case against them. Other times they haven’t said a word to the law enforcement and want an attorney to protect their rights immediately so the police will stop harassing them with phone calls.

If you are being investigated by law enforcement lawyer up!  It’s seriously the smartest thing you can do.  Law enforcement has a job to do, and that is to gather as much evidence in support of criminal charges against you as possible.  That means you need protection the second you know you are being investigated.

Staving Off More Serious Charges

Let’s say you have committed a crime, you know there is plenty of evidence against you, and law enforcement probably already has that evidence.  You still need legal representation.  We have found that prosecutors, even if they have overwhelming evidence against a defendant, are still willing to work with the defendant’s attorney even before filing charges in hopes of reaching a resolution that everyone can live with and it makes a lot of sense in many cases.  In such cases we have had a lot of success in convincing the prosecutor to file less serious charges than previously planned.

If you are being investigated for a crime, contact our Provo criminal defense law firm and let us know what’s going on.  Depending on the facts of your case we may advise you to keep quiet and lie low.  We may advise you to let us contact the district attorney on your behalf to see whether we can stave off the charges.  If there is already a warrant issued we may advise you to turn yourself in.  Whatever your case you will get the best legal representation from our experience defense lawyers.

Call us anytime so we can get to work on your case.  801.900.3737.