Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney - Clayton Simms

new_clayton_about A criminal charge, whether it is a felony or misdemeanor, can be a life changing event. Clayton Simms is a fierce advocate for people who have been charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. He represents clients who are facing charges in Salt Lake City and Greater Salt Lake County. In addition, he also represents clients along the Wasatch front. Clayton Simms represents defendants in other crimes Clayton has represented athletes, doctors, lawyers, and other notable people and has been featured on the news. Do you have a legal question? Contact Clayton Simms today!

Burglary of a Dwelling Charges for Intoxicated Utah Man Who Broke into Motorhome

A very intoxicated Utah man was arrested for burglary of a dwelling after he broke into a motorhome which was being occupied by two minors.

No vacancy

A glass of cold beer macro photography

28 year old Arsenio Lorenzo Azule of Parowan, Utah had been heavily drinking when he stumbled upon a motorhome on someone’s property. Azule let himself inside only to be discovered by two teenage girls who were camping in the vehicle. Azule left the motorhome and was spotted nearby by police officers attending to the burglary of a dwelling call. Azule attempted to run from police but was Tased and quickly apprehended by the attending officer. Azule was booked into the Iron County Jail on multiple charges including burglary of a dwelling.

Burglary of a dwelling

Utah Code 76-6-202 states “An actor is guilty of burglary who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or any portion of a building with intent to commit:

  1. a felony;
  2. Theft;
  3. an assault on any person;
  4. Lewdness. . . ;
  5. sexual battery . . . ;
  6. lewdness involving a child . . . ; or
  7. Voyeurism . . .

Burglary is a third degree felony unless it was committed in a dwelling, in which event it is a second degree felony.”

Sleep it off somewhere else

Police do not know why Azule broke into the motorhome. He may have known the girls were in there and had bad intentions or he may have just been extremely drunk and looking for somewhere to sleep it off. A reputable attorney could help someone arrested for burglary by ensuring their intentions are fairly represented in court.

Animal Welfare Laws to Protect Dogs from Extreme Weather in Utah

As summer temperatures around the country continue to rise, some states outside of Utah are creating or updating their animal welfare laws that will hopefully protect dogs left outside from the extreme weather.

Increase in temperatures

Photo by: Les Haines

After what could be called a pleasant and mild spring, summer is in full force in the Beehive State. Southern Utah has been experiencing triple digits for several weeks while the Salt Lake Valley has been seeing steady 90’s, with many days reaching 100 degrees. As residents take shelter indoors with air conditioners blasting, many dogs are left outdoors without adequate ways for keeping cool.

Getting specific

Indianapolis, Indiana just put  amended animal welfare laws into effect that requires pet owners to bring dogs inside if the temperatures reach 90 degrees and above. Their law also defines specifically what is considered adequate shelter and enclosures for dogs, especially when temperatures are rising (or falling). Some local representatives attempted to amend Utah Animal Welfare laws to protect dogs last year to specify a set degree when the pet needed to be brought inside along with other definitions. That bill failed to pass.

Animal Welfare Laws – up for interpretation

Photo by: barockschloss

Instead of setting a degree when a pet cannot be lawfully left outside to bake (or freeze), Utah animal welfare laws to protect dogs require owners to provide “adequate protection, including appropriate shelter, against extreme weather conditions;” that :[takes] into account the species, age, and physical condition of the animal’. While some dog owners may feel this is less lenient than states such as Indiana, what it does instead is allows law enforcement define what they feel is “adequate protection” and what would be considered “extreme weather conditions”. This could go both ways for Utah residents. Some Utahns may be allowed to let their pup scorch in the summer heat while others face charges for outdoor dog arrangements that would be more humane.

Working with gray areas

When charges occur due to a gray area law subject to interpretation, it is important that the person charged contacts an attorney. Proper representation could bring these gray areas to light to ensure the defendant’s actions are viewed from a majority’s moral compass and not that of a select few.

New Motorcycle Lane Filtering Laws in Utah

Laws regarding motorcycles have changed in Utah, now allowing lane filtering which is different than what is known as lane splitting.

Lane filtering

Lane Filtering

Photo by: Paul Sableman

A new law was put into effect in May, allowing motorcycle riders to perform an action that is known as lane filtering. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, “Lane filtering” means, when operating a motorcycle other than an autocycle, the act of overtaking and passing another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel in the same lane. In other words – lane filtering refers to the process of a motorcyclist moving between two lanes to the front of traffic stopped at an intersection.”

Law specifics

Many drivers of motor vehicles are concerned with the new law, perhaps worried a motorcycle will come whizzing by them while they are stopped in traffic or attempting to switch lanes. Fortunately, the new law ensures the new action by motorcycles is done carefully, keeping other drivers’ safety in mind. Utah Department of Public Safety advises motorcycle drivers that:

  1. Lane filtering is only allowed when the road being traveled has speeds of 45 miles per hour or lower;
  2. Lane filtering can only be done on roads with at least two adjacent lanes of travel going in the same direction;
  3. Motorcycles can only filter between traffic when other vehicles are stopped;
  4. While lane filtering, motorcycle speeds may not exceed 15 miles per hour; and
  5. The motorcycle driver is responsible for making sure the action is done safely.

Utah laws vs other states

While all Utah drivers should be excited about any law that alleviates traffic while keeping motorcycle drivers safer, Utah motorcycle laws still differ from those in nearby states. California is currently the only state to allow an action known as lane splitting, which Utah motorcycle drivers should know is different from lane filtering. While lane filtering allows a motorcycle to travel individually between stopped vehicles, lane splitting is the act of multiple motorcycles sharing a lane of travel, otherwise known as riding side by side. Lane splitting is not currently allowed in Utah, and motorcycle riders could receive a traffic violation for doing so. Drivers of all vehicles on the road are encouraged to drive safely and consult with an attorney for any driving infractions that could end in criminal charges.