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!

Utah Man Arrested for Several Sexual Crimes Against Children

A Grantsville, Utah man was arrested for several felony charges of sexual crimes against children.

Trusted neighbor

Sexual Crimes against Children

Photo by: Keith Allison

48 year old Mark A. Swan was arrested for 37 sexual crimes against children after three children in his neighborhood came forward alerting their parents and authorities to the incidents. Two of the children stated Swain had tried to force them to touch his genitals while another child described multiple occasions of rape and sodomy. That child, who is said to have been on the autism spectrum, also told police he had viewed pornography with Swan and that Swan had created his own pornographic videos while abusing the child. Since Swan’s arrest, several other families with children in the same neighborhood have reached out to police regarding other potential incidents of sexual abuse by Swan.

Sexual crimes against children

Swan was booked into the Tooele County Jail where he is being held without bail as he is seen as a high risk to the community. He is currently facing 37 crimes against children, most of which are felonies. Swan was charged with:

  • 10 counts of rape of a child, first degree felonies as stated in Utah Code 76-5-402.1;
  • 10 counts of sodomy of a child, also first degree felonies (76-5-403.1);
  • 10 counts of object rape of a child, more first degree felonies (76-5-402.3);
  • 3 counts of lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor (76-9-702.5);
  • 2 counts of sexual abuse of a child, second degree felonies (76-5-404.1);
  • 1 count of unlawful detention of a minor, a class B misdemeanor (76-5-304); and
  • 1 count of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second degree felony for as section 76-5b-201 states is ‘when the person knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or intentionally distributes or views child pornography” or the charge could be a first degree felony “if the person produces original child pornography depicting a first degree felony that involves . . . the person engaging in [felony sexual crimes against children].”

Treatment while incarcerated

If Swan is found guilty of any of the felony sexual crimes against children, he could be facing many years behind bars. If incarcerated, hopefully he will be able to attend a sex offender treatment program offered by the Department of Corrections. Such programs help offenders make “lasting changes” such as:
“• Acceptance of responsibility
• General empathy
• Empathy for victim(s)
• Pro–social attitudes
• Adequate coping skills/styles
• Adequate social skills
• Positive self-esteem
• Control over impulses
• Good emotional regulation
• Control over anger/aggression
• Control over substance abuse
• Normative sexual views/interests
• Understanding of risk factors
• Quality of self-management plans
• Quality of supports
• Quality of release plans
• Commitment to maintenance”

Waiting for treatment

According to the Department of Corrections, Nearly one-third of the inmates in Utah’s prison system are serving time for a sexual offense.” While there are quality programs in place to help these inmates, it can be difficult for an inmate seeking treatment to find an opening in the program. On their website the DOC states “Due to a demand coupled with a lack of resources, the Department has to be selective and work only with offenders who are adequately committed to genuine change through a process of investment, observation, assessment and confrontation that helps them build accountability while developing respect for everyone — including themselves.” Once someone is approved for the program, they still must wait for an available spot to open in the program. Some inmates have waited years to begin their treatment.

Legal counsel plus education and treatment

Anyone facing sexual crimes against children is encouraged to seek all educational resources available. While those who are incarcerated must wait for the Sex Offender Treatment Program through the Utah State Prison, those on the outside can find help through other resources as listed by the Department of Corrections here.

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.