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!

Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act

Utah has loosened restrictions on residents who make and sell food directly from their home with the Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act that was put into effect this week.

Home food preparation and sales

Photo by: Didriks

Many Utahns look for ways they can make money from the comfort of their own homes. Some do this through online work, phone sales, and even childcare or pet sitting. Others choose to use their talent in the kitchen to make some extra cash. Within a single week, one local online yard sale page produced several home grown chefs selling privately made food items such as pupusas, tamales, jams and jellies, baby food, desserts and even full meals meant for busy families. Unfortunately, sale of these items that are typically surging in popularity with other members on those yard sale sites are often shut down due to lack of licensing and inspections of the kitchen areas used to create the homemade meals. H.B. 181 that was put into effect this week protects those smaller home producers who don’t want to jump through the same hoops larger businesses do.

How to qualify for exemption from regulation

While home producers are being given more freedom to cook and share, there are still rules that must be followed to protect consumers. H.B. 181 states: “ A producer is exempt from state, county, or city licensing, permitting, certification, inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements, except as described in this section, related to the preparation, serving, use, consumption, or storage of food and food products if:

a) the producer complies with the requirements of this chapter; and
b) The homemade food or homemade food product is:
i. produced and sold within the state;
ii. sold directly to an informed final consumer;
iii. for home consumption; and
iv. not exempted under Subsection 4-5a-105 [raw dairy, meat products, poultry products from producers that slaughter more than 1,000 birds annually]”

The bill goes on to explain how just as smaller farmers must alert consumers of the lack of regulation, “food or food products sold under this section shall be labeled with:

(a) the producer’s name and address;
(b) a disclosure statement indicating that the product is:
(i) nor for resale; and
(ii) processed and prepared without state or local inspection; and
(c) a statement listing whether the food or food product contains, or was prepared in a location that also handles common allergens including milk, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts or tree nuts, fish or shellfish.”

Home consumption only

Photo by: Paisley Scotland

S.B, 181 warns home producers that the homemade food sold is “not to be sold to or used by, a restaurant or commercial establishment [unless the item being sold is] a raw, unprocessed fruit or vegetable”. Additionally, if the unregulated food is taken to a farmers market, it must be accompanied by proper signage informing potential consumers “that the homemade food and food products sold by producers at the market have not been certified, licensed, regulated, or inspected by state or local authorities”. If some of their food is regulated and some isn’t, separation and distinction informing consumers of the regulations differences between two or more different items is needed.

Food safety and education still suggested

Although any individual who follows the Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act can sell the food they produce, it is still recommended for home producers to have knowledge regarding proper food preparation and safety to reduce food borne illnesses such as E. Coli and Salmonella. A food Handler Permit issued by the Utah Department of Health can be obtained after attending a simple class and paying a small fee. For more information on obtaining a food handler permit prior to producing food from home, contact Utah Department of Health at 1-888-538-6191.

Napping Burglar Arrested for Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Restricted Person

A Utah burglar caught napping on the job was arrested for multiple charges including possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

Napping burglar

Photo by: Ken

37 year old Thomas Luke Shupe was arrested after a woman found Shupe sleeping in her Huntsville Utah cabin after he pilfered it of beer and prescription drugs. Shupe left the scene but was later apprehended by police. While being arrested for the burglary, Shupe was also found to be in possession of a handgun that had been stolen from another cabin. Shupe was on probation following a previous arrest and as a Category I restricted person, should not have been in possession of a firearm. Shupe was arrested for several misdemeanors and second degree felonies including possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person

When someone is convicted of certain crimes, they may temporarily or permanently lose their right to possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon. This is known as being a restricted person. There are several reasons as to why someone would be considered a restricted person and there are varying degrees of severity related to those restrictions. According to Utah Code 76-10-503, “A Category I restricted person is a person who:

• Has been convicted of any violent felony . . . ;
• Is on probation or parole for any felony;
• is on parole from a secure facility . . .;
• [was charged for a violent felony as a minor within the last 10 years];
• is on probation for a conviction of possessing:
(A) a substance classified . . . as a Schedule I or II controlled substance;
(B) a controlled substance analog; or
(C) [their synthetic equivalents]”

Possession of a dangerous weapon by a Category I restricted person is a second degree felony if the weapon is a firearm or a third degree felony for other weapons. “A Category II restricted person is a person who:

• has ever been convicted of a felony; . . .
• [was charged for a felony as a minor within the last 7 years];
• . . . is in possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance [while being in possession of a weapon];
• Has been found not guilty by reason of insanity . . . or mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony offense; . . .
• Has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces;
• Has renounced [their] citizenship . . . ;
• Is a respondent or defendant subject to a protective order or child protective order . . . ;
• Has been convicted of the commission or attempted commission of [domestic violence].”

Possession of a dangerous weapon by a Category II restricted person is a third degree felony if the weapon is a firearm or a class A misdemeanor if another weapon is used.

Know your restrictions

It is important for anyone previously charged with a crime to know their restrictions when it comes to weapons. When purchasing a firearm, a background check is usually performed that will alert gun sellers to anyone who is considered a restricted person. Unfortunately, sometimes there are flaws in the system such as what happened recently regarding the files of those found mentally incompetent not being received by the system that categorizes restricted persons. While these systems usually catch restricted persons attempting to purchase weapons, mistakes can happen which does not excuse a restricted person found in possession of a dangerous weapon. They can still face charges for possession of a weapon by a restricted person. The same goes to anyone who buys, borrows, or steals a weapon from a private party non vendor. Anyone who has been convicted of a crime should be responsible for carefully researching the terms of their probation or release to determine whether or not they will ever be allowed to own a firearm or other dangerous weapon. Restricted persons caught unlawfully with a weapon are encouraged to seek legal counsel immediately.

Multiple Charges of DUI with Serious Bodily Injury from Single Crash in Logan Utah

A Logan, Utah man was arrested for automobile homicide and multiple charges of DUI with serious bodily injury after a single crash that killed one man and injured two others.

DUI with fatality

Photo by: Alan Cleaver

25 year old Bradley Matthew Thompkins was under the influence of alcohol and traveling at a high rate of speed when he crashed into another vehicle, killing one person and injuring two others. Thompkins was arrested for automobile homicide as well as three counts of DUI with serious bodily injury.

DUI penalties

Until the new BAC law takes place at the end of December that lowers the limit to .05, anyone caught driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher may be charged with a DUI. According to Utah Code 41-6a-503, penalties for driving under the influence for a first or second offender are a “class B misdemeanor; or class A misdemeanor if the person . . . inflicted bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of having operated the vehicle”. When injuries sustained by others during the course of a DUI are serious in nature, the charges would be enhanced to a third degree felony.

DUI with serious bodily injury X3

While Thompkins is facing charges for the death of the man in the other vehicle, he is also facing penalties for the serious injuries that lead to the other man’s death and additional penalties for each other person injured. 41-6a-503 states “A person is guilty of a separate offense for each victim suffering bodily injury or serious bodily injury as a result of the person’s violation of [a DUI] or death as a result of [DUI] whether or not the injuries arise from the same episode of driving.” For more information on DUI laws and the penalties that may arise if injuries occur while driving under the influence, contact a criminal defense attorney.