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Archive for utah defense attorney

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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Rocky Mountain Innocence Center

Rocky Mountain Innocence Center

Earlier this week, I attended a fundraiser for the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center.  For those of you who do not know about this non profit organization, they work tirelessly on cases of convicted individuals that they have some reason to believe have been wrongfully convicted.  It is an amazing organization.  It is humbling to know that our system does not always get it right and that there are people in prison or even on death row who are innocent. Our speaker for the event was Debra Brown. Read More→

Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Board 2014 Annual Fundraiser

2014 Annual UACDL Fundraiser

In 2014 I was elected to the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Board (UACDL) and became Chair of the Development Committee.  The UACDL is a diverse group of attorneys, which spans the state of Utah.  We are made up of both public defenders and private attorneys.

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Utah Marijuana Laws: Pot and Medical Card Issues

Most people know, Utah marijuana laws do not allow marijuana use under any circumstances. For those that are not aware, marijuana (THC) or its metabolite can stay in a person’s system for as long as 30 days. This depends on use and other factors such as weight and activity level.

With Utah flanked by States that have medical marijuana cards, this is creating some interesting legal issues. If you are in Colorado and legally smoke marijuana and then drive through Utah two weeks later, you could possibly get a DUI for having a measurable amount of marijuana metabolite in your system.

A prosecutor does not need to prove that you smoked marijuana or possessed marijuana in Utah. They only need to prove via a urine or blood test that you have marijuana (THC) or its metabolite in your system.

Similarly, you cannot drive through Utah with any marijuana Read More→

Utah Defense Attorney, How and Why I Defend Those Accused of Heinous Crimes

How can I defend people accused of heinous crimes? It is the question that is most often asked of me. Or, what if I KNOW they are guilty?

Often times, I realize that if someone is asking this question, they may not “get it.” I was a prosecutor for seven years and some people are often shocked that I switched sides and that I zealously defend men, women and juveniles accused of horrific crimes. Which side do I prefer? I prefer defense for all sorts of reasons.

As this article points out, I often get to know the “person” behind the accusation. Surprising to most, there has always been some redeeming quality to the people I defend. People commit crimes for all sorts of reasons, the most common being drug abuse and mental illness.

And, there are clients that have been wrongfully accused. I used to screen special victims cases for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office and I was shocked that I had so much decision making power and that decision making power hinged on my life experience. Read More→

Salt Lake City Police Department Sets Video Policy

Salt Lake City police department will be increasing the use of body video cameras officers are using in the field.  80 new cameras will be put into use in July of 2013.

A new policy for the camera usage and storage has also been put into place. The policy includes how long videos will be stored and how they will be used.

In my opinion, every police department should have audio and video.  In today’s digitized age, there is no excuse to not have it.

camera glassesI personally met with Salt Lake City Chief, Burbank and discussed these cameras.  They are attached to the police officer’s glasses. When the police officer turns to look at something, it will all be filmed.  This protects everyone involved.

This technology can assist in all types of cases from homicides to officer-involved shootings. Read More→

Important New Utah Case Law Related to Sexual Crimes

New important Utah case law related to sexual crimes may relate to how we would set up your Utah defense.

In Utah, if you are found to occupy a “position of special trust” in relation to the alleged victim of the crime, consent is negated and you will be facing charges as if consent was never given.

This distinction has huge consequences on the severity and level of crime that a person may face.  For instance, if you were a teacher of the alleged victim or even a manager and you engage in “consensual” sexual activity with a person under the age of 18, a prosecutor can charge you with 1st degree felonies, which carry extensive mandatory minimum prison sentences and lifetime sexual offender registry.

http://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/supopin/watkins0458051013.pdf

This most recent case clarifies that it is not simply enough that the defendant occupies Read More→