Defendant Ruled Incompetent to Stand Trial in Case of Son’s Death

A Logan, Utah woman has been found incompetent to stand trial for her alleged role in her 2-year-old son’s death.

The woman was declared incompetent by a judge on Monday, following an outburst in court. She later disputed that judgment, but the judge sent her to the state mental hospital for evaluation and treatment anyway.

Legal Definition of Incompetent

A person is considered incompetent to proceed in a legal matter if she is suffering from a mental disorder or mental retardation resulting either in:

* her inability to have a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against her or of the punishment specified for the offense charged; or

* her inability to consult with her counsel and to participate in the proceedings against her with a reasonable degree of rational understanding.

Court’s Ability to Question Competency

The court has the ability to raise the question of competency at any time during a legal proceeding. If the court does raise the issue, both the defendant and the prosecution have the right to express their opinions about the defendant’s competency.

Statute of Limitations in Incompetency Cases

The statute of limitations is suspended during any period of a defendant’s incompetency.

It’s vital that all defendants use their right to legal counsel in any criminal matter, regardless of the charges or the defendant’s mental state. If you know someone who’s in a legal jam, don’t wait to contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. Get them the expert help they need.

Bail Jumping in Utah

Photo: Rupert Ganzer

Photo: Rupert Ganzer

Today we’re going to cover what bail jumping is and what penalties you can receive if you commit the crime. Just for fun, we’ll remind you of the potential jail/prison time penalties for the various levels of offenses.

Bail Jumping

If you’re arrested and released on bail or your own recognizance with the requirement that you appear in court on a later date and you leave the area, failing to show up for your court appointment you’ll be considered guilty of bail jumping.

Bail jumping is a crime in and of itself, so if you do it you’ll be guilty of that crime as well as still be responsible to answer for the crime(s) you were accused of in the first place.

The penalty for bail jumping depends on the level of offense you were originally charged with. If you were charged with a felony, then your bail jumping charge will be a third degree felony. If you were facing a misdemeanor charge, then bail jumping could earn you a class B misdemeanor charge. Lastly, if you were initially charged with an infraction then you’ll be charged with a bail jumping infraction.

Penalties for Felonies

First degree felony–typically 5 years to life in prison

Second degree felony–anywhere from 1-15 years in prison

Third degree felony–0-5 years of incarceration

Penalties for Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanor–up to 1 year behind bars

Class B misdemeanor–up to 6 months in jail

Class C misdemeanor–up to 90 days locked up

Criminal charges don’t have to end up in convictions. Talk to a top Utah criminal defense attorney today if you have questions about any criminal case you’re involved in.

Utah Homeowner Cited for Investigation of Unlawful Detention

A Utah homeowner is being investigated for allegedly committing unlawful detention last week on Halloween night.

Photo: Blake Johnson

Photo: Blake Johnson

No Treats, Just Tricks

The homeowner opened his door after the doorbell rang and supposedly found a teen lying on the floor in front of the door, pretending to be dead. Tired of too many pranks, the man allegedly pulled the teen into his home, locked the door and insisted the youth tell him his phone number.

It’s reported that the man let the boy go 30-60 seconds later, after the teen’s friends knocked on the door. The kids returned home, and the boy who claimed to be detained told his parents what had happened and they called the police. Now the man is facing a class B misdemeanor charge, investigation for unlawful detention.

Unlawful Detention Defined

Unlawful detention can be charged if a person intentionally or knowingly—and without lawful authority and against the victim’s will—detains or restrains the victim in a manner that doesn’t constitute kidnapping, child kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping. If a person is found guilty of unlawful detention, he may be sentenced to up to six months in jail.

Who’s truly the victim in this situation? The kids involved obviously wanted to scare the homeowner but ended up getting frightened instead—some might say the teens who had the tables turned on them got their just desserts. If we want to say that it was a simple Halloween prank and the youth involved are completely innocent of wrongdoing, maybe we’re opening up the opportunity for others to commit thoughtless “pranks,” all in the name of good old Halloween fun—only the next prank might not be so innocent. Of course, since it was Halloween, who’s to say that the homeowner wasn’t just “pranking” too?

Regardless of who is at fault in this situation, it sounds like the homeowner would do well to consult a Utah criminal defense attorney. An unlawful detention charge isn’t something to try and handle on your own. Get the help and legal support you need when facing any criminal charge by contacting a Utah criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.