Criminal Law

  • Are lawyers available for defendants who can’t afford to pay for one? 
    Yes, a public Defender is always an option, they are attorneys just like private attorneys, but are paid by the State to represent indigent clients.

  • How can I get a court to appoint a lawyer for me? 
    Usually, you fill out an affidavit of indigency showing what you earn and what resources you have to hire your own attorney.

  • Do I need a lawyer at my arraignment?
    It depends, as an attorney I appear with my clients at every hearing, there are times when an attorney has a time conflict, on those occasions I call to get a case continued to a more available date or move items on my calendar if at all possible, a last option is to have another private attorney stand in for me.

  • How can I find a private defense lawyer?
    Yellow pages are full of them, but to find a good one go to the court and look at the calendar, if you find the same names appearing on their again and again, they are probably a good attorney.

  • What is a private lawyer likely to cost?
    It depends on the case, I have charged $150,000.00 for a murder, but I have charged as little as $500 for city misdemeanor cases, DUI cases can range from $1,500-3,500 depending on if it is a fist time offense or a multiple time felony.

  • Should I represent myself in a criminal case?
    Barbers don’t cut their own hair and I don’t change my own oil, The simple answer is no, unless you know the nuances of the law you should never represent your self.

  • Can I change lawyers if I’m unhappy with the one representing me?
    More often than not yes, but it may depend upon whether or not you have a good reason or are you just stalling for time.

  • Wouldn’t longer sentences mean less overall crime?
    No, in my opinion all it does is further limits that persons options, the end result is if they feel that they have not other options then they will go back to the life they know best.

  • Is there a way to punish a criminal before he actually commits the crime he is planning?
    No, our system is set up to protect us from government intrusion by thought police, besides, unless someone has taken certain actions in furtherance of a crime there is no crime to prosecute.

  • Are all illegal drugs treated equally when it comes to punishing drug dealers?
    No, marijuana is treated far less harshly than the others, but even the other drugs are not treated equally.

  • Can a person be guilty of drunk driving if he only had one drink?
    In Utah, YES. All that is necessary is for you to fail the field sobriety tests and you can be deemed legally intoxicated, usually in this situation we have someone who has taken a medication that does not mix well with alcohol.

  • What is the role of the federal government in criminal law? To get the biggest and baddest, the crime syndicates, those whose crime effects interstate commerce.

  • Are grand jury proceedings secret?
    Not generally, they can be if the victim is of a particularly vulnerable age.

  • Are there special crimes to control children’s behavior?
    No, the Children’s crimes are just treated less severely.

  • What is the difference between probation and parole?
    Probation is for those who have been convicted of any crime with less than one year of possible incarceration or who, instead of being sent to prison, they either go to jail and then on probation or straight on probation in the court. Parole requires someone to go to prison for more than one year and then be paroled to the community.

  • How does a prosecuting attorney decide which criminals to go after?
    They review the evidence for sufficiency of the elements of a crime, if it meets the elements, then they charge a crime.

  • What is the difference between rape and sexual assault?
    Rape is generally the forcible penetration of one person by another, sexual assault is generally something less than that.