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.

Utah Drug Dealer Arrested After Calling Police on Someone Else

A Utah drug dealer was arrested last week after calling the police on someone else who assaulted and robbed him.

Raising attention

Photo by: Eelke

Salt Lake Police Department received a credible tip point them toward a local drug dealer after the dealer himself gave officers a call. Trevor Katz of Salt Lake City called police to tell them he was the victim of an assault and robbery. Katz claimed a few people he knew assaulted him and took a laptop. Officers found the suspects and questioned them regarding the assault on Katz. In a tattle for tattle exchange to possibly deflect blame or just to get back at Katz for involving the police, the suspects reacted to the allegations by letting police know that the victim was a known drug dealer.

Online to street drug dealer

It turned out there was evidence supporting the claims surrounding Katz’s criminal entrepreneurship. When Katz was apprehended, he enough Ecstasy on him to warrant intent to distribute charges. Through the investigation, authorities discovered Katz was purchasing drugs such as Ecstasy through a backchannel online platform known as the dark web and having them shipped to his Utah residence. Katz is accused of then taking those illegal drugs and distributing them around the Salt Lake valley. He was arrested and is awaiting charges related to his possession with intent to distribute the pills. Police reports do not state what charges were made for his attackers.

Party pills

Ecstasy is known as a party pill or club drug and is often taken at clubs, raves, and other events with crowds of people, loud music, and flashing lights. Since Ecstasy is so well known across the party scene, many do not understand the legal repercussions that can occur from possessing or distributing Ecstasy to others. Even just a very small dose of Ecstasy could land a person behind bars.

Schedule I drug

Photo by: Chris Breikss

Ecstasy or MDMA is considered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to be a Schedule I drug. The DEA states “Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence.” They also note that schedule I drugs have “ no currently accepted medical use”. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, peyote, LSD and even marijuana, the “drug” now legal to use recreationally in 11 states.

Intent to distribute

According to Utah Code 58-37-8, “it is unlawful for a person to knowingly and intentionally:

  • (i) produce, manufacture, or dispense, or to possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance;
  • (ii) distribute a controlled or counterfeit substance, or to agree, consent, offer, or arrange to distribute a controlled or counterfeit substance;
  • (iii)possess a controlled or counterfeit substance with intent to distribute; or
  • (iv) engage in a continuing criminal enterprise where: the person participates, directs, or engages in conduct that results in a violation of [one of Utah’s drug acts].. .”

That section goes on to note that possession with intent to distribute “ . . . a substance or a counterfeit of a substance classified in Schedule I or II, a controlled substance analog, or gammahydroxybutyric acid as listed in Schedule III is guilty of a second degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years, and upon a second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a first degree felony”.

Contact an attorney

Many individuals facing criminal charges are aware that they should obtain legal counsel prior to police questioning. Those who are engaged in criminal activity and may be thinking of voluntarily inviting officers over, resulting in self-incrimination, should be prepared ahead of time with the number of an attorney.

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.