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Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

Our Salt Lake City attorneys defends clients in cases including DUI, domestic violence, theft, gun possession, narcotics, assault, sexual assault, murder, and battery related charges.

If you are being arrested or a target of an investigation, contact us today at 801-883-8204.  Dealing with Utah’s complex legal system can be difficult and consuming.  We help guide you through the processes and give distinct answers to your questions.

DUI in Utah

Driving under the influence (DUI) – Utah is specified as driving with using alcohol, drugs or a combination of both or with specified or unsafe blood alcohol concentration. DUI may face jail time, fines and penalties, license suspension, and Ignition Interlock Device. Each offense of a DUI will become more severe in regards to penalties an individual might face.

What if I refuse to take a chemical test in Utah?

On your first offense the offender might face 18 month license suspension, second offense a 3 year license suspension, and third offense a 3 year license suspension. We work to keep information provided up to date, however laws do change as do their interpretation and application. For this reason we recommend discussing your situation with a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in Utah.

A first-time DUI charge wreaks havoc with your life even before being convicted of this. Your license is immediately confiscated by the arresting officer and replaced with a temporary license. The Driver License Division may suspend your license after this temporary period for 120 days. You may appeal the suspension by submitting a Hearing Request Form.

If you are convicted of a DUI the court will typically impose the following penalties:

  • Jail Time
  • Community Service
  • A series of fines plus court costs
  • The suspension of your driver’s license
  • Treatment for alcohol and drug abuse
  • Possible installation of an interlock device that checks your breath for alcohol prior to being able to start a car.

Domestic Violence in Utah

Domestic violence is considered a violent crime. When an individual is convicted of a domestic violence crime, the individual can expect to be impacted socially. That person may experience decreased trust by those around him, and have less appeal for job opportunities. Unlike jail or prison these can have a serious impact on a person’s life and freedom long-term. The secondary penalties, in conjunction with those penalties imposed by the court, can have long term effects.

Theft Defense Attorney in Utah

Theft related crimes are one of the most common criminal offenses in the US. There were over six million cases in 2009 alone. Common cases in Utah include shoplifting and retail theft, larceny, receiving stolen property, robbery and extortion.

It is important to remember that being arrested does not mean you are automatically guilty of the crime. We fight hard for the rights guaranteed by the constitution. We will fight hard for anyone charged with a theft offense in Utah. We will make sure that your rights are protected.

 Gun Possession

Illegal gun possession, which is referred to as criminal possession of a weapon, carries increasingly strict penalties. Many communities, including Utah, have taken steps to reduce gun violence by enacting harsh penalties, not only for using a gun in a crime, but for possession of an illegal firearm.

 

What qualifies as illegal gun possession?

  • A gun holder not a legally licensed– this includes those without a valid permit, or other restriction prohibiting the individual from possessing a gun.
  • The gun does not need to be loaded but is capable of discharging ammunition.
  • Different rules can apply for those that have the gun in a public setting vs. having the firearm at a home.

Criminal Records Utah

In Utah your criminal record might be expunged (or sealed) under certain circumstances. If your record is expunged it will not be open to the public. When your record is expunged you may lawfully state that you were never arrested or convicted of a crime.

Cleaning up criminal record history can be complicated in Utah. If you are not sure whether your records can be expunged or have other questions about criminal defense or need advice we are available to help, every step of the way. Give JLJ Law Group a call for additional information. (801) 883-8204

Expunging Records in Utah

In Utah a person qualifies to expunge records of an arrest, investigation and detention for a crime if there is no conviction if:

  • At least 30 days have passed since the arrest
  • There is no criminal cases pending and
  • One of the following occurred:
    • No charges were filed
    • Charges were filed, but the case was dismissed with prejudice
    • Charges were filed, but the person was acquitted at trial; or
    • The statute of limitations has expired

To expunge records of crimes that have a conviction, the petitioner must first pay all fines associated, fees, restitution and interest due. Unless the individual was pardoned for the offense, records for the following crimes can’t be expunged:

  • A capital felony, first degree felony or violent felony
  • Automotive Homicide
  • Felony driving under the influence
  • Registered Sex Offender

An individual can’t expunge records of a conviction if:

  • The petitioner provides false or misleading information on the application for the certificate of eligibility; (It is also a criminal offense to provide false or misleading information on the application for petition for expungement.)
  • There is a criminal case pending;
  • The petitioner has been convicted in separate criminal episodes of:
    • Two or more felonies;
    • Three or more crimes of which two are class A misdemeanors;
    • Four or more crimes of which three are class B misdemeanors; or
    • Five or more crimes of any degree other than infractions and the traffic offenses

Is The Criminal Record Correct?

Sometimes people that may qualify to have their record expunged, but because of a mistake on the reporting of their criminal record they become ineligible. This mistake can be cured. An attorney can request the judgement from the conviction that was incorrectly reported and file a petition on your behalf to have the record changed.

An attorney with the experience and knowledge to find all the opportunities to help the client is essential to provide the best outcome possible. Many attorneys fail to request and assure the client that the criminal record reflected on the state’s records is correct. Just a simple error in reporting the level of seriousness of the charged offense can cause someone to become ineligible to have their record expunged. Make sure the criminal record is correct. Have JLJ Law group help and we assure people we will help get them the best outcome possible.

Can the Conviction on the Criminal Record be Reduced?

Occasionally there are people who may not qualify for expungement, but have a conviction that may be reduced allowing them to become eligible for expungement. Utah law allows for come crimes that are charged as felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors. For example, a 3rd degree felony may be reduced to a class A misdemeanor, or a class A misdemeanor may be reduced to a class B misdemeanor.

Sometimes when people are convicted of multiple felonies or misdemeanors, have the seriousness of the conviction reduced may allow someone to become eligible for expungement when they otherwise, without a reduction in the level of seriousness, would be ineligible.

Savvy and experienced attorneys can find these opportunities to help their clients. Make sure you call JLJ Law Group and talk to an experienced attorney to help you expunge your record.

Certificate of Eligibility

Before filing a petition to expunge a record in Utah the petition must obtain a certificate of eligibility which is issued by the Bureau of Criminal identification of the Utah Department of Public Safety. There is a fee associated with the certificate. This form can take quite a bit of time to issue from the Bureau of Criminal Identification.

This process checks to determine whether the individual is eligible to expunge criminal records. The records may include those that have been previously expunged. If all criteria is met for eligibility then a certificate will be mailed out. Certificates are valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

Petition to Expunge Records in Utah

The original certificate from the Bureau of Criminal Identification must be included with the Petition to expunge records. The petition should be filed immediately after receiving the certificate of eligibility since the certificate is only valid for 90 days. There is a fee to file this petition unless it is waived by the court.

Serving the Petition in Utah

The petition to expunge records and the certificate of eligibility must be served by the petitioner to the office of the prosecutor who handled the criminal case. If no criminal case was filed then the documents must be filed with the county attorney or district attorney of the county in which the petitioner was arrested.

Objection or Recommendation from the Prosecutor or Victim in Utah

The prosecutor notifies the victim of the crime that a petition of Expunge Records has been filed. The prosecutor and the victim may file a statement objecting the petition or make a recommendation within 30 days after they have received the petition. If the prosecutor or victim files a statement they must serve the documents to the petitioner.

The Order of Expungement Does Not Automatically Seal or Erase Your Records

After someone is successful in expunging their record and the court orders the criminal records to be expunged, the order must be communicated to every agency or government office that might have records that the order authorizes to be expunged.

Hiring an experienced attorney can assure that the order to communicated to all the necessary agencies and government offices to make sure that the criminal record is completely expunged.