Avoid Dead Time – Receive Credit for Time Served

When a defendant spends time in a Utah jail prior to conviction, they will want to avoid this duration becoming dead time and ensure they receive credit for time served.

Waiting game

Photo by: Santi Villamarín

Photo by: Santi Villamarín

Sometimes the time between being arrested and being convicted can drag on, leaving the defendant waiting in jail for their time in court. Sometimes this is due to the defendant either not being allowed out on bail or being unable to afford it. Although the state has to file charges within a determined amount of time, things may take longer especially if the case goes to trial. Additionally, if the right to a speedy trial has been waived, this can add more time to the wait.

Credit for time served

Whatever the reason is for having an extended wait time in jail before sentencing, that time spent behind bars should count for something. Credit for time served is time that is taken off of a sentence because of time spent in jail prior to the hearing. For instance, if someone spends three months in jail prior to their hearing and is then sentenced to a year in jail, they can receive the three month credit for time served, reducing their jail time down to nine months from that point.

Make sure it counts

Time Served

Photo by: Neil Conway

If a defendant finds themselves spending time in jail while awaiting a sentencing hearing, they need to confirm that their attorney requests the judge to issue credit for time served. While this should be a given, occasionally this topic can be missed, especially by an overworked court appointed public defender or by a Utah judge who may simply overlook signing off on it. A qualified criminal defense attorney will ensure that credit for time served is received and that no time behind bars is wasted.

Why a Warrant is issued

According to Utah courts, a warrant is “a written order issued and signed by a judge or magistrate which allows the police to search a place and seize specified items found there […] or to arrest or detain a specified person […]. There are different types of warrants issued by a judge and not all will result in an individual being arrested.

Bench Warrant

Photo by: West Midlands Police

Photo by: West Midlands Police

A bench warrant a type of warrant that is issued by the judge so that the individual can be located, arrested, and appear before the judge and explain why they:

• Didn’t show up to court. When someone is facing charges, they are required to show up to court on a set date to discuss the charges in front of a judge. If they aren’t put in jail initially or if they are out on bail, they may take the temporary freedom too lightly and either forget or choose not to show up when that date comes. When this happens, a bench warrant will be issued for failure to appear in court.

• Violated a court order. If an individual violates an order issued by the court or violates their probation, then a bench warrant can be issued for their arrest.

• Failed to pay their fines. Any fine related to a charge or ticket must be paid by the required date. If a person fails to pay their fines on time, this is another reason why a bench warrant will be issued for their arrest.

Arrest warrant

Just like a bench warrant, an arrest warrant gives law enforcement the right to detain a person and take them to jail until they can be seen by a judge. This is usually the case for individuals who are suspects in a crime.

Search Warrant

A search warrant is very different from a bench or arrest warrant as it doesn’t always end in an individual being arrested. A search warrant merely gives law enforcement the right to search a certain location.

Defense counsel

If a warrant is issued for a person’s arrest, it is wise to immediately seek a criminal defense attorney to represent the individual in court. Likewise, if a search warrant turns up anything that would result in criminal charges, defensive counsel is recommended.

Department Of Justice Cracking Down on White-Collar Crime

A new policy set forth by the U.S. Department of Justice states that cracking down on white-collar crime is vital.  According to the document signed by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, “fighting corporate fraud and other misconduct is a top priority of the Department of Justice.”

The Department of Justice’s 6 steps to end white-collar crime

Photo by: Jonathan Mueller

Photo by: Jonathan Mueller

The new policy with the subject Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing lists 6 ways in which the Department of Justice plans on cracking down on white-collar crime.

1. Cooperation credit only to those who cooperate fully.
There are companies who put on a charade of cooperation to help find and prosecute those guilty of white-collar crimes in their corporations, without disclosing all the known information.  Now they must cooperate fully in order to get any cooperation credit.  Additionally, the Department of Justice must fully investigate, and not rely on all the information being handed to them on a silver platter.

2. Go after the individuals, not just the company as a whole.
Blaming the company for the conduct on one or more individuals is pointless and wastes valuable time.  By focusing on those who guilty of white-collar crime, investigations can finish quickly while the company is able to save face.

3. All attorneys- both criminal and civil- should communicate fully with one another.
If everyone shares information, it’s easier for cases to move forward. Additionally, the sooner another party is privy to knowledge or circumstances in a case, the smoother the proceedings will be.

4. No resolving individual’s charges along with the corporation’s.
If a company is let off the hook, the individual guilty of a white-collar crime can’t be protected or shielded by the company’s resolution.  Any criminal or civil charges related to the guilty individual will not be buried beneath corporate red tape.

5. No delays in charges against an individual once the corporation case is complete.
When cases against a corporation are resolved, there is a time limit as to when charges can be made against an individual for a white-collar crime.  Before the corporation can come to a resolution, the charges of the individuals believed guilty of a white-color crime must be acknowledged.

6. Prosecute all who are guilty of white-collar crime, regardless of their paycheck.
Prosecuting attorneys are always eager to collect hefty fines from those guilty of a white-collar crime, but if the individual makes paltry wages compared to the company as a whole, settling for less or nothing is expected.  This is no longer acceptable behavior, as everyone guilty of a white-collar crime will be projected to face charges and fines.

Problems with the new policy

Everyone cooperates and communicates while saving time and money.  This sounds great, and looks even better in writing; however there are problems with these so called solutions to white-collar crime.

• The likelihood of complete compliance is a big issue, and hard to prove.  Although company officials are expected to disclose all information regarding criminal or civil proceedings, there is no guarantee that they will follow through with those expectations.

• Going after specific individuals instead of the larger corporation leaves it wide open for a company scapegoat.  Who’s going to take the fall for the company?  That will be up to the high level execs to decide.
• Open communication?  Enough said.

• Someone lower on the corporate food chain may not find protection from the company, but shielding of their hierarchy should be anticipated.

• While there may be no “intentional” delay in a case against a company individual, it wouldn’t take long for the case to get lost in the shuffle.

• Although all found guilty of white collar crime may face charges, it wouldn’t be surprising to see fines tailored to the individual or the prediction of financial fallout for the company.

Former Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. argued that when big corporations are taken down, the fallout for the common citizen could be colossal.  Arresting the big fish or executives of large corporations might give the impression of a win for common folk of America, however the consequences of white-collar crime convictions affect everyone.  From the stability of the stock market to the prices handed down to customers, eventually everyone will pay for those convictions.  As a whole, this new policy could prove that Holder was either wrong in his assumptions or unfortunately, he may have been right.