Having a family member or a friend in jail is scary, and finding the best Utah bail bondsman may not be easy. This is especially true if you know nothing about the criminal justice system. (It’s not necessarily a bad thing that you know nothing about the criminal justice system. It may mean that you’ve never been to jail before!)
Nevertheless, you want or your loved one out of jail as fast as possible. Our suggestion is to contact a bail bondsman that has been in business for decades. Utah Bail Bondsmen will charge you 10% of the bail amount ($2,000 on a $20,000 bail, plus collateral) and this is a standard amount and if you call a dozen Utah bail bondsmen the price to bail someone out should remain the same. As a result, if the price is the same, then you should trust someone who is honest, trustworthy and will provide great service.
As Utah criminal defense attorneys we deal with bondsmen all the time and we know the best Utah bail bondsmen. Additional information on Utah bail bonds can be found at:
A Utah woman who was charged with several counts of fraud this past summer has now been accused of trying to use a bad check to help pay for her wedding dress.
Photo: Cheon Fong Liew
A Bundle of Trouble
The suspect in this case already had 10 counts of communications fraud filed against her when she allegedly attempted to pay her wedding gown bill with a check she supposedly knew would bounce. She’s also since been charged with additional crimes including unlawful use of a credit card, identity fraud and attempted theft by deception. She allegedly forged a U.S. District Court judge’s signature, too.
The bad check charge alone is a third degree felony—and that’s fairly minor compared to all the other criminal charges against her. Still, a third degree felony conviction can send a person to prison for up to five years.
What Does Passing a Bad Check Mean?
You might be charged with issuing a bad check if you issue or pass a check or draft in an attempt to gain services, something of value, etc., and you know that you don’t have the funds to cover the check. The criminal charge for passing a bad check depends on the amount of money the check is made out for and the time period surrounding the check’s issuance. For example, a bad check(s) written totaling under $500 is a class B misdemeanor.
Talk to a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney
Even though the holiday season can be tough on a lot of people financially, don’t make the mistake of writing checks you know aren’t good. However, in case you’ve already made a less-than-perfect choice, don’t hesitate to contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. Let an experienced attorney help you in your moment of need.
A woman has admitted to being the getaway driver for a man who allegedly committed armed robbery at a grocery store in Price.
It’s Okay, I’ll Tell You Everything
During an interview with police, the woman admitted she both took the suspect to the grocery store and drove him away after the alleged armed robbery. She is sitting in jail while she’s being investigated for committing multiple crimes, including aggravated robbery and obstruction of justice.
Police noted that the suspect in the armed robbery is still at large; they have issued a warrant for his arrest and think that he is still armed and potentially dangerous.
You Need to Talk to An Attorney
It’s been a while since we’ve discussed this particular subject on this blog, so it’s a good time to bring it up again. Never talk to police without the advice of a competent Utah criminal defense attorney. If any member of a law enforcement agency asks to talk to you, even if they just say it’s informal, always say “no” and ask to speak to an attorney.
Don’t Forget that You Have Rights
You have rights, and it’s important that you use those rights. Law enforcement will use the Constitution and Utah law to their advantage, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. After all, a person is still considered innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law—that’s not the same as the court of public opinion.
Don’t wait until you should’ve talked to an attorney; make the right decision and call a Utah criminal defense attorney today. Look for an attorney who will support you and give you the strong, determined defense you deserve. It may be the best move you’ll ever make.
Most crimes in Utah occur on and off throughout the year, but some crimes like domestic assault seem to increase in frequency the closer it gets to the holiday season.
Photo: Craig Loftus
A couple started fighting early one morning in Kearns, but the situation kept going until the man ended up barricaded in their West Jordan home and the police were called. Somewhere in the middle of the episode there was an alleged domestic assault when the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at his girlfriend.
Tear Gas Can Do Wonders
The boyfriend did eventually come out of the home on his own, although a little tear gas was used by the SWAT team to help make that exit happen. He’s in jail, having been arrested for aggravated domestic assault.
Domestic Assault Charges
Domestic assault can be charged if a person attempts to commit any type of assault against his or her cohabitant (although this isn’t the only type of domestic assault possible.) Using a weapon or gun generally increases the charge to be “aggravated.” Domestic assault charges usually start at class B misdemeanors and can be greater, depending on the circumstances both during and after the assault.
Our best advice is to be careful of your dealings with family and friends during the sometimes volatile holiday season. The best often comes out in folks during this time of year, but other people don’t get so lucky.
Get Help From an Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re one of the unlucky ones who gets into legal trouble, do yourself a favor and contact a Utah criminal defense attorney today. We’re not here to judge, just to help. Getting the right attorney on your side may make all the difference in the world. Make that important call.
Utah police have had a busy time recently dealing with several auto-pedestrian accidents in the state, including some hit and run incidents.
Photo: Sam Felder
Hit and Run Arrest Made
A 21-year-old woman was arrested earlier this week for her suspected role in a hit and run accident that ended with a child’s death. The woman’s father was also arrested, since he allegedly knew (at some point) that his daughter was responsible for the fatality. Apparently, charges against her mother and another person may follow.
Another hit and run has also ended with the victim’s death; an older man passed away from injuries he sustained when he was struck by a car that didn’t stop. Police are still searching for that driver.
Auto-Pedestrian Accident? Stop.
If you are involved in an auto-pedestrian accident, you are required by Utah law to stop at the scene. If you have reason to believe that an auto accident you’re part of has resulted in the injury or death of another person, you need to:
• Immediately stop as close as possible to the scene of the accident
• Remain at the scene until you have given your name, vehicle registration, insurance info, etc., to the injured person and/or a police officer
It is a third degree felony to leave the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury or death has occurred. You would also be fined a minimum of $750. A person found guilty of committing a third degree felony can be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
Talk to an Attorney for Help
We understand that being involved in an auto-pedestrian accident can be frightening; however, our best advice is to keep your wits about you and stop until you are given permission to leave by a police officer. The penalties for stopping after hitting a person are significantly less—or non-existent—than not stopping.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, whether through direct or indirect participation, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. The prosecution may be tough; you deserve to have equally strong legal representation on your side. Make that call today.
Salt Lake police had a banner day this past Sunday when they not only recovered four stolen vehicles, but also made several arrests in conjunction with the auto thefts.
Law enforcement began Sunday morning by finding one stolen car in a local convenience store parking lot. Three suspects were arrested in connection with that particular auto theft.
The next stolen vehicle was discovered in another parking lot in Salt Lake City. One arrest came with that find.
The last two “finds” came in a pair. Two vehicles that had been reported as stolen were found driving down the street, one behind the other. Both drivers were arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle; one was a minor who was taken to a local juvenile detention facility.
Auto thefts are not especially unusual, although finding four vehicles that had been reported stolen in less than a day’s time is a bit uncommon. The crime, if you’re found guilty though, can carry a stiff sentence.
What Might Happen
Listed as an Offense Against Property in the Utah Code, stealing a working motor vehicle is a second degree felony. If you are found guilty of a second degree felony, you may be spending some quality time in the state penitentiary—to the tune of 1-15 years.
Don’t Compound Your Mistakes–Call a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney
Everyone makes mistakes—some more serious than others. However, if you make a serious legal mistake don’t forget that there are experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys available to help you in your moment of need.
Even minor legal troubles deserve the attention of a top defense attorney. Make the right move today and talk to a reputable, knowledgeable Utah criminal defense attorney.
A Utah man who was convicted of rape has had his sentence for that crime reduced after a judge refused to allow the man to withdraw his guilty plea in the case.
After hearing from both prosecution and defense attorneys, an 8th District Court judge determined that he had improperly sentenced Jesse Anthony Saenz when Saenz pleaded guilty to raping a woman in 2012. The judge initially sentenced Saenz to 15 years to life for aggravated sexual assault with enhanced penalties for crimes Saenz committed as a juvenile.
Although there is a dispute between the prosecution and defense concerning the actual plea bargain, both attorneys agreed that the enhancements should not have been considered. The judge also conceded that point and resented Saenz to a minimum 15 years in prison.
Typically, a person convicted of aggravated sexual assault is guilty of a first degree felony and is sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. However, when a person commits that same crime and has been previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense, he can be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Mandatory Prison Sentences for Some Felonies
An individual can be sentenced to a lower prison term, but the statute requires a mandatory prison sentence for this type of crime. There are several other crimes that require a mandatory prison sentence as well, including:
• Aggravated murder
• Child kidnapping
• Object rape of a child
• Forcible sodomy
• Aggravated sexual abuse of a child
The attempt to commit rape of a child, object rape of a child or sodomy of a child will also earn a person a mandatory prison stay.
Even though the man in this case didn’t get his plea thrown out, at least his attorney went to bat for him and was able to help get his prison time reduced. It’s a great example of why you always want the best attorney available on your side.
Talk to a Utah criminal defense attorney if you’re in legal hot water. Let him or her make sure you get the best defense possible.
The death penalty has long been a controversial issue in the United States; a recent poll shows that while a majority of citizens still support the death penalty, not as many people are in favor of it now as they have been in times past.
Photo: (Mick Baker)rooster
The national average in support of the death penalty is currently approximately 60%. It seems that political opinions make a difference in how people feel about the death penalty. Eighty-one percent of Republicans favor the death penalty, while only 47% of Democrats agree with the policy. Independents seem to be in line with the national numbers; 60% say they support the practice.
Not All States Have the Death Penalty
Utah currently supports the death penalty, along with 31 other states in the union. However, of the dozens of aggravated murder charges filed in Utah in the past few years, only seven of those charges were followed with notices of intent to seek the death penalty.
In June 2010, Ronnie Lee Gardner was put to death by firing squad for his role in multiple murders. At that time he was only the 3rd person in the U.S. who died by firing squad since 1977. In 2004, the firing squad was eliminated as an option for inmates who are sentenced to die in Utah. There are currently nine men on Utah’s Death Row.
The death penalty will likely always be controversial. Some people argue the Biblical adage “an eye for an eye” while others don’t believe in retaliation killing. Fortunately, as Americans and Utahns, everyone is still allowed to have their own opinions.
As noted, most criminal cases—even those centered on serious crimes—won’t end with a person being put to death. However, no matter what crime a person is charged with, he needs and deserves to have top legal representation.
Contact a Utah criminal defense attorney today if you are facing any criminal charges.
In January 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that when law enforcement uses GPS tracking they are doing a police search. The ruling by the Court didn’t specifically determine whether this type of search requires a search warrant.
Photo: Francis Storr
Appeals Court Decision
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court recently went one step further and ruled that if police want to use GPS tracking, they must get a search warrant first. This particular decision affects the states which are within the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court’s jurisdiction, but other agencies in the United States have already adopted policies assuming that search warrants are required in GPS tracking cases.
The Fourth Amendment is on the People’s Side
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, requiring any warrant to be authorized by the appropriate judge and supported by probable cause. The police do not make the decision on whether there is probable cause for a warrant. Their job is to present the situation to a judge who will then make the determination on issuance of a warrant.
Except for very narrow exigent circumstances, a warrant must be obtained before someone’s property can be searched. Two of those exigent circumstances are:
• If someone is about to be harmed or
• If evidence is in immediate danger of being destroyed
Your Case Deserves the Right Representation
A good Utah criminal defense attorney will know when to argue the issue of unreasonable search and seizure, whether the case involves GPS tracking by police or not. As a general rule, and supported by the Fourth Amendment, citizens of the United States should not worry that police will barge into their homes at any moment.
If you are facing any criminal charges, you need to talk to an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Don’t let anyone convince you to talk to the police or prosecution until you’ve had a chance to discuss your case with an attorney. It may be the best move you’ll ever make.
Just when you think crime can’t get any stranger, a new story comes along—this time one in which the burglar asks the homeowners he’s allegedly trying to rob for help.
I Hurt Myself
A Utah man was taken to a local Salt Lake hospital in critical condition after he was found sitting on the floor in someone’s home. The residents of the home awoke when they heard a window breaking and went to investigate. They discovered an intruder who was bleeding profusely from one arm. He allegedly was holding some of the residents’ possessions in his uninjured hand.
Naturally, the homeowners called 911. It’s expected that the suspected burglar will be arrested and charged after he’s released from the hospital.
Burglary is a Felony
Burglary is a third degree felony unless it’s committed in a dwelling—under those circumstances it’s a second degree felony. That level of crime can send a person to prison for 1-15 years if he’s found guilty.
Committing a crime, burglary or otherwise, is never a good idea. Beside the fact that you can go to prison, you never know when you might sever an artery and have to get help from your victim, thus compounding your troubles.
Contact a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney
However, there are Utah criminal defense attorneys who are available to help people who’ve made mistakes. If you’re charged with a crime, you need and deserve to have expert legal help. Don’t pre-judge yourself or your situation: talk to a Utah criminal defense attorney today.