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Electing Utah Judges

This past week I have had several people reach out to me regarding retention of Utah Judges and I have also seen some alarming Facebook posts about people who just vote a blanket “no.” Here is my two cents: I am in court for 5-10 appearances per week and have appeared in front of 90% of Read More→

Your First Appearance in Criminal Court


From my experience it definitely matters how you present yourself to the court. Your first impression to the court is your foundation to a positive outcome. The judge, jury and everyone in the courtroom will take notice of how you choose to present yourself. Your appearance and conduct shows that you respect the courtroom and that you are taking the matter seriously.


Below is my advice to clients who are appearing in criminal court.

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Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged or suspected of a crime in the State of Utah, it is important that you choose the right criminal defense attorney to represent you and defend your rights. In order to help you select the best defense attorney, I have compiled a list of questions that are important to ask before you hire a criminal defense attorney. Read More→

Justice Reform

At times, being a criminal defense attorney or doing public defender work can be emotionally difficult. Often, we get to know our clients and despite their poor choices, we have hope for them. Read More→

Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Fundraiser

The Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (UACDL) is have their Annual Fundraiser Saturday, June 20, 2015, 7:00 pm, at The State Room, 638 South State Street in Salt Lake City, Utah.


The event features live music by the band J. Smith, food, drinks, and dancing. The food includes wood-fired pizzas from a local food truck service.


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Utah Firing Squad Proposal

In a landmark decision handed down by the Utah House of Representatives, a 39-34 vote has decided to resurrect the firing squad as a method of execution. The proposal is due to be voted on in the senate soon, where many believe the voting will be just as close. The proposal is controversial to say the least.


Republican Representative Paul Ray, from Clearfield, is a sponsor of the proposal. He argues that an execution done by trained marksmen is cheaper, easier, and due to the instantaneous nature of a death by firing squad, more humane than other forms of execution. He also argues that a death by firing squad has a lower margin for error than, for instance, a botched lethal injection, which can draw out an execution. Others have criticized the bill, saying that it is a gruesome tradition and a relic of Utah’s “Wild West” past.


Firing squad executions have not been issued as a sentence since 2004. However, because some managed to be sentenced before the law came into effect, the last firing squad execution occurred in 2010. Read More→

Drug Court Policy Change

The Federal Government just announced a new change in policy surrounding federally assisted drug courts, this change guarantees drug court defendants the ability to receive medication based treatments for opioid addiction. Across the country many drug courts, which give defendants the opportunity to defer and reduce sentences and get treatment, have refused to allow defendants access to medications that can treat addiction. Specifically a medication called suboxone, a semi-synthetic opioid which prevents overdosing, neutralizes cravings, and, when used properly is not intoxicating.


This action by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy guarantees that defendants in drug courts that are federally supported have access to these medications, and will not be required to go off of them until instructed to do so by a physician treating them. Meaning that a judge cannot order a drug court defendant to discontinue their use of treatment medications. Read More→

Death Penalty

Tensions and displeasure’s rise as trials continue to be delayed for alleged Boston marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev, and infamous 2012 gunmen, James Holmes, who has admitted responsibility for a shooting that resulted in many dead and wounded in Aurora Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Both of these incidents shocked the nation, and even now, years later, still conjure up senses of loss and tragedy, and the fact that neither Tsarnaev nor Holmes have made it to trial, and that both cases have been slow and costly, has led to many across the country being upset. Read More→

Jameis Winston Sexual Assault Case

Florida State University’s all-star quarterback is no stranger to the limelight. In the last year Jameis Winston has gone has gone from a relative unknown to a household name. With his fame, though, the talented young athlete has received an equal part of infamy. It seems for every story about Heisman trophies and touchdown passes, there is another story that follows about off the field antics. Off the field antics aside, the star quarterback has also reached a level of infamy for being accused of sexual assault.  It is important to note that there has been a lot of media attention surrounding the accusation.  The complainant is clearly frustrated by the process. Read More→

Civil Asset Forfeiture Law

Frequent readers of this blog will remember an earlier post about asset forfeiture. For those that do not, asset forfeiture is a government program that allows for the seizure of personal property of those suspected of drug crimes. These properties are later sold at auction and the funds are returned to the pockets of the police to continue the war on drugs.

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