Revoked Bail or Bond in Utah

Posting bail or bond is not a one way ticket out of jail as there are issues that may arise causing bail or bond to be revoked and the defendant being brought back into custody prior to any court proceedings.

Posting bail

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When someone is arrested in Utah, they are often given the option to post bail. Bail is financial collateral given to the courts to ensure that the defendant will show up for all required legal proceedings. The defendant can take care of the bail amount on their own or they may pay a nonrefundable percentage of the amount to a surety. A surety is someone such as a bail bond agency who agrees to be responsible for the bail amount on behalf of the defendant. Once bail or a bond from a bail bondsman is posted, the defendant is then allowed the freedom to return home and carry on with their employment and other daily activities while they await their day in court. There are rules pertinent to the bail that must be followed while the person is free and awaiting court however. Failure to follow these rules could result in the bail being revoked.

Failure to appear

There are several reasons why bail could be revoked. The most common cause is the individual not showing up for their court date. This is known as failure to appear or jumping bail. When the person arrested does not comply with the agreement to attend all court dates, their bail is then revoked and a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. Not only will law enforcement officers be on the lookout for bail jumpers, but if a bail bond agency was used, a bondsman will make an effort to personally find and bring a defendant back into custody as well. Once the person is re-arrested, their bail is either set higher or the judge may not let bail be an option at all.

Revoked bail or bond

Photo by: Ken Teegardin

While failure to appear is the most common cause of revoked bail or bond, there are other reasons why bail could be revoked, even if the individual attends all their scheduled court dates. These reasons include:

• Being arrested on another charge. If someone gets caught breaking the law while out on bail, they could then face an entirely separate arrest. Not only may they face more criminal charges and the accompanying fines but their bail from the previous arrest will typically be revoked and those funds could be lost.

• Failure to obey court orders. When a judge issues a bail amount, he or she may also attach stipulations to the bail agreement such as obeying a protective order, not traveling out of state, passing drug tests, or refraining from contacting witnesses. If the individual out on bail fails to obey those orders, the judge may revoke the bond and the person may be brought back to jail.

• Motion to revoke bond. There are times when bail or bond is revoked even though the arrested individual has abided to all the terms of the bail agreement. If new information arises in a case or if the prosecution petitions the courts with a valid issue why the person on bail should be brought back into custody, the judge may then revoke the bail or bond and have the person return to jail.

Consult an attorney

Having bail revoked can result in the complete loss of bail monies, the return to police custody, and even additional criminal charges for failure to appear or going against court orders. For anyone facing a revoked bail or additional charges accrued from bail jumping, it is best they consult with a criminal defense attorney.

Increased Charges for Repeated Violation of a Protective Order

A Spanish Fork, Utah man was arrested multiple times on a single day for repeated violations of a protective order.

Violation of a protective order

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35 year old Dustin Larsen of Spanish Fork was arrested for contacting a woman who had filed a protective order against him. Not only did Larsen disobey the command for no contact listed in the protective order, he violated that order more than 150 times. Police arrested Larsen, who later bailed out and continued to go against the court issued no-contact orders. He was arrested again that day on increased penalties.

Repeated violations

The woman on the other end of the protective order reported to police that Larsen had contacted her by phone, text, and even through social media. Each time Larsen tried to contact the woman was a violation of the protective order against him. Since he violated that order multiple times, he could face multiple counts of the same charge. According to Utah code 76-5-108, “Any person who is the respondent or defendant subject to a protective order . . . under [the Cohabitant Abuse Act, Juvenile Court Act or Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act]. . . who intentionally or knowingly violates that order after having been properly served, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor “.

Increased penalties

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That section of Utah Code goes on the note that violation of one of the described orders “is a domestic violence offense . . . and subject to increased penalties in accordance with Section 77-36-1.1.” The aforementioned section explains that since Larsen was arrested for violation of a [domestic or cohabitant] protective order punishable as a class A misdemeanor, any subsequent arrest made within five years of that would have an increased charge of a third degree felony. Larsen went on to violate the protective order again the same day of his arrest and ended up being charged with the increased charges on his second trip of the day to the county jail.

Understanding court orders

Anyone who receives a court-issued protective order should read it carefully, perhaps with the help of an attorney to ensure they understand the document completely as well as what penalties they could face for violating that order. It is recommended that individuals facing criminal charges for violation of a protective order and other charges related to domestic violence seek counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Jury Selection Process

When a case is to be tried by a jury, there are different steps of jury selection that must be completed before the trial will begin.

Juror pool

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The first step in selecting a jury is the random pull of potential jurors from a pool of local residents. If someone has registered to vote, filed state taxes, or obtained a local driver’s license they are automatically added to this juror pool. The potential juror is then sent a qualification form to ensure they are eligible to serve on a jury. Once qualified, they are then scheduled to be on-call during a set period of time. If a defendant’s case is to be tried during that time, those on-call may be asked to appear at the courthouse for further jury selection.

Voir dire

The next step in jury selection is called voir dire which translates loosely to “speak the truth”. A panel of potential jurors that are on-call will come to the courthouse to be questioned by the trial judge or the attorneys handling the case. These questions could include:

• Does the juror know anyone involved in the case?
• Has the juror or a family member ever been involved in a similar type of case?
• What does the juror do for employment?
• What kind of hobbies does the juror have?
• Is there any reason why the juror shouldn’t be selected for the jury, such as personal biases?

Photo by: Beinecke Library

Through these questions, both sides have the opportunity to challenge for cause or ask a juror to be removed if they feel they are not qualified for that specific case. After challenges for cause are complete, the attorneys are also peremptory challenges. According to Utah Courts Rule 47, “Each party shall be entitled to three peremptory challenges.” Peremptory challenges allow each side to dismiss a juror without giving a reason. Perhaps they feel the juror would side too much with the opposing side.

Trial begins

Once the jury selection is complete, the trial can then begin. While it may be intimidating for a defendant to be judged by other people in the community, there are times when the defendant’s legal counsel feels a jury of peers is the best option to ensure a fair trial. For more information on what cases are best tried by a jury, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.