What Must A Prosecutor Prove In Order to Convict Me Of An Assault Charge?

In order to convict someone of assault, a prosecutor needs to prove one of three situations beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant intentionally gave someone else a reasonable expectation of imminent harm or offensive contact. No physical injury or intent to cause physical injury needs to exist in this case.
  • The defendant had the intent to cause physical injury, giving someone else the reasonable expectation of harm or offensive contact, but no actual harm was caused, as with attempted battery.
  • The defendant had both the intent to cause physical injury and actually caused physical injury in another person.

The experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers understand that many assault cases can be more complicated than the evidence may suggest. Oftentimes, in a moment of passion, a person simply wanting to vent or blow off some steam could be accused of assault—even without causing any physical harm.

If you have been accused of assault, contact us immediately! We will examine the facts of your case, and build a solid defense that will keep you from experiencing unnecessary punishments.

How Can I Defend Against An Assault Charge?

While you are entitled to defend yourself against charges laid against you in court, simply saying you didn’t do it may not always be enough. Your case will be better served by having an attorney prepare a defense for you. An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers will advise you of the best defense for your circumstances:

The Defendant Didn’t Do It:

  • The Presumption of Innocence: All defendants accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The burden then falls on the prosecution to convince the judge or jury of the defendant’s guilt. If the prosecution is unable to do so, the defendant will be pronounced innocent.
  • Reasonable Doubt: Accusations of assault must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning the evidence in favor of the prosecution must be clear and convincing to a reasonable person. If the evidence is insufficient, the case may be dismissed.
  • The Alibi Defense: If you can present convincing evidence that you were somewhere else during the time of the alleged assault, it will likely be enough to convince a judge or jury of your innocence.

The Defend Committed Assault, But . . .

  • Self-Defense: A common defense against an assault charge is the self-defense claim. In this situation, the defendant will admit that he or she has committed the assault, but will be required to show convincing evidence that (1) the victim in question was actually the aggressor, (2) that self-defense was necessary, and (3) that the force used by the defendant was reasonable.
  • Insanity: Pleading insanity in an assault case is an incredibly complex topic. Generally, people suffering from a mental/emotional disorder, who are unable to control their own actions, or cannot understand the difference between right and wrong can likely use the insanity plea; however, given the complicated nature of this type of defense, the court must take several nuancing factors into consideration, including how the court defines insanity, whether the defendant can be rehabilitated in a mental institution, the testimony of a psychiatrist, and the results of possible psychological tests.
  • Under the Influence: A defendant may claim impaired judgment as a result of the use of alcohol or drugs as a possible defense, however, this is only a partial defense as the defendant will still be held accountable for crimes committed as the result of voluntary use of drugs or alcohol.
What Is Aggravated Assault, and How Does It Differ From A Simple Assault Charge?

Aggravated assault has many definitions which suggest a more serious offense than simple assault. Consequently, aggravated assaults often qualify as felonies, as opposed to simple assault, which is often considered misdemeanor offenses. Several factors can influence whether the assault charge will be upgraded to aggravated assault:

  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon: Regardless of whether or not the defendant caused physical harm if the defendant was using a deadly weapon (e.g. a gun, knife, or another lethal object) in the assault, the court will likely upgrade the charge to aggravated assault.
  • The Identity of the Victim: Sometimes the profession, ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation of the victim could increase the severity of an assault charge. However, in order to secure an aggravated assault charge, the prosecution needs to prove that (1) the victim was performing his or her duty during the assault (e.g. if the victim was a police officer or school teacher), and (2) the defendant knew of the victim’s status.
  • The intent of the Defendant: If the defendant had the intent to cause severe harm or even the fear of severe harm, a court may assign him or her an aggravated assault charge. The charge may also become more severe if the prosecution can show intentional reckless endangerment of or indifference to human life on the part of the defendant.
  • Severity of the Victim’s Injuries: If the victim has sustained serious bodily harm from the assault can sometimes yield an aggravated assault charge, but the ruling will vary between cases. The court will examine relevant factors such as disfigurement or disability in determining whether the crime must be charged more severely.

If you are facing assault charges, it is important to consult an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers. We understand that some aggravated assaults are more complicated than they appear, and we will work aggressively to make sure you are not being charged unfairly.

What Is A No-Contact Order?

A No-Contact Order is a temporary order issued by the court that prohibits one person from contacting another person. It is usually issued in conjunction with a criminal case (often domestic violence/abuse) and expressly requires the alleged offender to have no contact with the victim (or victims if the domestic violence case involved children). This includes entering the premises of the victim’s residence, stalking or harassing the victim, or contacting the victim via phone, internet, or third parties.

Utah law requires a No-Contact order to be set in place when the person allegedly guilty of domestic violence has either been arrested and put in jail or has been released from jail. The court may even require a No-Contact Order to be issued at the request of a prosecutor—even if the perpetrator has not been taken to jail. The No-Contact Order can be issued to not only protect the victim but to also prevent the alleged offender from trying to influence the victim against testifying in court.

What Is A Domestic Violence Enhancement?

Under Utah law, there is no such crime with the title “domestic violence”; however, a criminal charge can be given a domestic violence enhancement if the offender and the victim have a relationship (spouses, ex-spouses, common law spouses, roommates, parents of the same child, or individuals related by blood or marriage).

A domestic violence enhancement can be added to such crimes as assault, criminal mischief, protective or no-contact order violations, stalking, and harassment.

What Happens If A Domestic Violence Enhancement Has Been Added To My Charge?

Even if the victim drops charges laid against you, the Utah prosecutor’s office may still choose to prosecute the crime. Having a domestic violence enhancement added to your charges can have serious consequences:

  • Counseling: Domestic violence-related crimes carry certain minimum mandatory penalties, such as completing at least 16 hours of domestic violence counseling.
  • Employment: Given the public stigma surrounding domestic violence, having a domestic violence enhancement show up on your criminal record could interfere with future employment opportunities.
  • Legal Issues: Being charged with a domestic violence-related crime can be sufficient grounds for having a Protective or No-Contact Order filed against you. If you are in a custody battle, it may also put you at risk for losing visitation and custody rights.
  • Right to Bear Arms: Individuals who are charged with a domestic violence-related crime automatically lose certain rights, including the right to possess a firearm and ammunition.
  • Deportation: Non-U.S. citizens convicted of a domestic violence-related crime could be denied a citizenship renewal, and even face deportation.

If you are facing a domestic violence-related charge, contact the Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers immediately! Here at Anderson & Rogers, we understand that while the crime may technically qualify for a domestic violence enhancement, the circumstances of the crime tend to be much more complicated.

Remember, a person can still be charged with assault even if no physical harm takes place. Call us for a free initial consultation, and we will make sure you are not being charged unfairly.

What Is A Controlled Substance?

A controlled substance is generally defined as a drug or chemical whose manufacture, possession, or use is regulated by the government. They are substances that are subject to legislative control, and may include illegal drugs and prescription medications.

What Must A Police Officer Show In Order To Prove I am In Possession of a Controlled Substance?

In order to secure a conviction, police officers and prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of a controlled substance. More specifically, they must prove the following:

  • The suspect had control over an illegal substance or narcotic.
  • The suspect had knowledge, or knew, that the drug in question was an illegal or controlled substance.
  • The suspect possessed the controlled substance or narcotic with the specific intent to use or sell it.
  • The quantity of the unlawful substance in the suspect’s possession was enough to use or sell.

Police officers can also prove a person had what is known as “constructive” possession of a controlled substance. Constructive possession means that a defendant had access to and control over the place where the illegal substance was found, even if he did not have the illegal substance on his person (in a pocket, for example). In other words, even if a police officer finds drugs—regardless of whether or not they belong to you—in your car or home, you can still be charged with possession of a controlled substance. Even if police find drug paraphernalia, but no drugs, you can still be charged for possession.

If you feel you have been wrongly accused of illegal drug possession, an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can help defend your case. We recognize how police officers can be sometimes overzealous in their efforts to crack down on illegal drug use and distribution, and will occasionally make incorrect assumptions with regard to your case. If there are any weaknesses or inconsistencies in the state’s case against you, we will work vigorously to find them.

How Do I Know When An Officer Has Conducted an Illegal Search Of My Home/Car/Person?

search occurs when police will infringe upon someone’s reasonable expectation of privacy. A seizure of property takes place when there is some meaningful interference with a person’s possessory interest in that property. An illegal or unreasonable search and seizure, as defined by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, is when a law enforcement official conducts a search or obtains evidence either without a search warrant (though exigent circumstances requiring immediate police action may negate the need for a warrant) or without probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is present.

A search and seizure is also illegal if the police officer oversteps the bounds of a search warrant. For example, if a police officer procures a warrant to search someone’s house, but also searches and removes evidence from a person’s car the search and seizure is illegal and that evidence may not be used in court.

An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can help you understand your Fourth Amendment rights, and work with the Court to keep illegally obtained evidence from being admitted in court.

What Can Be Done If A Police Officer Has Conducted an Illegal Search of My Home/Car/Person?

If you feel you have been the victim of illegal search or seizure, contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney immediately! Here at Anderson & Rogers, we understand that police officers can sometimes be overzealous in their efforts to crack down on drug-related crimes. Consequently, they can make mistakes or incorrect assumptions with regard to your case. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and advise you on how to avoid self-incrimination. We will also cross-examine police officers in a court hearing to determine whether any evidence was obtained illegally.

Are There Ways To Keep A Drug Charge Off My Permanent Record?

A Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can possibly keep a drug charge off your permanent record in one of three ways:

  • Having the State Dismiss Your Case: While no attorney can guarantee a dismissal in a criminal case, the prosecutor will typically dismiss a case when he or she feels the evidence against the defendant does not support the charge, or a dismissal serves the interest of justice.
  • Receiving a “Not Guilty” Verdict: A judge or jury may find the defense case compelling enough to award a “Not Guilty” verdict.
  • Receiving a Deferred Adjudication: Deferred Adjudication is a type of temporary probation. When the defendant successfully completes the probation period, the case is essentially dismissed, and the conviction is erased from the defendant’s permanent record.
If I Am Found In Possession of Illegal Drugs, Will I Serve Jail Time?

Not necessarily. If we accept your case, our experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys will aggressively defend your rights to keep you from serving unnecessary jail time. We will cross-examine police officers, and seek to get your case dismissed should we discover they have made any mistakes or conducted an illegal search of your home, car, or person.

Here at Anderson & Rogers, we have developed a functional professional relationship with both prosecutors and judges and may be able to work out a deal with them that would keep you out of jail, and possibly even avoid any convictions involved with your case. Give us a call for a free initial consultation!

Can The State Take Away My Driving Privileges For A Drug Possession Charge?

If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor drug possession charge, a state attorney may request that your driving privileges be suspended or revoked. On the other hand, if you are convicted of a felony drug possession charge—involving possession of cocaine, Ecstasy, heroin, or prescription drugs—the State can move to suspend your license automatically.

What Is Considered Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia can be categorized into user- and dealer-specific items, and each type could potentially be considered in your drug possession or drug distribution charge:

  • User-Specific: Among other items, user-specific drug paraphernalia can include glass hashish pipes, crack cocaine pipes, smoking masks, hashish bongs, cocaine freebase kits, syringes, and roach clips used for holding marijuana joints. Tools and supplies required for growing marijuana, cash, or ordinary objects used to store or conceal illegal drugs may also be considered.
  • Dealer-Specific: Drug dealers and traffickers use specific products for drug distribution, such as digital scales, vials, small Ziplock, and cash.

Given the wide variety of items that could be considered drug paraphernalia, it can be easy for police officers to file charges in addition to the drug possession charge. Even a single dollar or empty Ziplock bag can be used as evidence against you in court. An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers will make sure that your rights are upheld, and work to dismiss evidence that is not related to your case.

Are There Any Special Considerations If A Firearm is Associated With A Drug Charge?

The Court may increase the severity of the possession charge if a firearm is found near the controlled substance or paraphernalia. This is because law enforcement officials generally consider firearms to be used to assist in drug trafficking. The Court does not care whether or not a defendant had any intention of using the firearm or whether the firearm was actually related to the drug charge. In cases like these, it’s important to consult an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers. If the firearm had no link to the crime, or if it was obtained through an illegal search by police, we will work to ensure that these facts are presented at the hearing, and that your rights are being defended.

What Types Of Penalties Are Associated With Possessing Drug Paraphernalia (pipes, scales, etc?)

Possession of drug paraphernalia is generally considered a misdemeanor offense. However, while sentences for simple possession of drug paraphernalia (i.e., drug paraphernalia for personal use) tend to be lighter, drug paraphernalia sentences associated with the manufacture and distribution of illegal substances may be more severe. Depending on the nature of the drug paraphernalia, the sentence can include probation, fines, or even jail time.

If you have been accused of possessing drug paraphernalia, the experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers can argue your case on your behalf. We will study the facts of the case, cross-examine police officers, and assemble a sound defense that will make sure your rights and best interests are being aggressively defended. We will also seek to dismiss any irrelevant or illegally obtained evidence found against you, or dismiss your case altogether.

What Penalties Are Associated With Possession/Distribution Of Marijuana?

While some states have legalized the recreational and medical use of marijuana, the State of Utah closely regulates and penalizes the possession, sale, and manufacture of marijuana. Penalties associated with marijuana possession and/or distribution can vary depending on the amount of the drug or drug paraphernalia found at the scene.

In addition to community service and court-ordered participation in a drug offender education program, defendants may also face heavy fines or jail time:

  • 1 oz. or Less: Up to $1,000 in fines, and/or up to six months in jail
  • 1 oz. to 1 lb.: Up to $2,500 in fines, and/or up to one year in jail
  • More 1 lb., Less than 100 lbs.: Up to $5,000 in fines, and/or up to five years in prison
  • More than 100 lbs.: Up to $10,000 in fines, and/or up to 15 years in prison
  • Drug Paraphernalia: Possessing items either for the use or distribution of marijuana can be penalized with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail, depending on the circumstances of the case.

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, do not hesitate to consult an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers understand that drug possession charges are often more complex than the evidence may suggest. We also understand how your specific case might be handled by prosecutors and judges, and we will provide you with the wise legal counsel you need to uphold your rights in court.

Can I Be Charged With Drug Distribution Even If I Had No Intent to Distribute?

Police officers and prosecutors need very little evidence to prove someone’s intent to distribute illegal drugs. For example, if law enforcement discovers large quantities of the controlled substance—obviously exceeding the amount necessary for personal use—they may have grounds to accuse someone of having the intent to sell. The prosecution may also charge a person with the intent to sell even if no drugs are found on the premises; drug paraphernalia such as digital scales, baggies, and large amounts of cash may be admitted in court as evidence of the intent to sell.

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers understand the complex nature of some drug-related cases. We recognize that the evidence presented in court may not sufficiently explain the situation or circumstances involved in the case. If you feel you have been wrongly accused with the intent to sell controlled substances, call us for a free initial consultation.

What Should I Do If A Police Officer Stops Me For A DUI/DWI?

Be Polite, but Volunteer Nothing: Many people believe that they are legally required to answer all of a police officer’s questions; however, this is not the case. The Fifth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution allows citizens the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. What this means, is that if you are stopped for a DUI/DWI, you have no obligation whatsoever to volunteer any personal information except your driver’s license. Police officers are instructed to ask confusing or distracting questions as a means of determining a person’s sobriety. Answering the police officer’s questions will put you at risk of arrest, and will only help build the officer’s case against you.

Know Your Rights Concerning Field Sobriety Tests: Like many of the questions you will likely be asked during a DUI/DWI stop, roadside sobriety tests are designed to build a case against you and are not required by law to perform. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that results from only three field sobriety tests can be admissible in court: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test, Walk-and-Turn Test, and One-Leg-Stand Test. Other roadside tests, such as the portable Breathalyzer test, or reciting the alphabet backward are not admissible in court.

Consult an Attorney: Even if you are taken into police custody, you still have the right to legal representation. And while it is in your best interests to be as polite and courteous as possible, be sure to inform the police officer that you will not answer any questions or perform any tests without first consulting a lawyer. An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can advise you on how best to avoid incriminating yourself and will build a defense case on your behalf.

Am I Legally Obliged To Preform Field Sobriety Tests If The Officer Requests Them?

No.  If a police officer requests that you perform a field sobriety test, you may politely decline and consult an attorney.

Which Field Sobriety Tests Are Admissible In Court?

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test: This test measures the participant’s ability to visually and fluidly track an object (usually a pen or a finger) across his or her horizontal gaze. Officers look for signs of nystagmus, or the sudden, irregular jerking of the eyes in their attempt to follow the object, as evidence of the participant’s inebriation.

Walk-and-Turn Test: This is one of two “divided attention” tests that a police officer may administer The participant is asked to walk nine steps, heel-to-toe, along a straight line. After the ninth step, the participant is then required to turn on one foot and repeat the process in the opposite direction. Police officers will take note of how well the participant follows instructions (taking the correct number of steps, walking heel-to-toe, walking a straight line, etc.) as well as his or her ability to balance and successfully complete the test.

One-Leg-Stand Test: The second “divided attention” test, the one-leg-stand test measures both the participant’s ability to respond to instruction, as well as his or her physical balance. The participant is required to raise one foot off the ground approximately six inches and count aloud by thousands (i.e., one thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) until instructed otherwise. Should the participant demonstrate difficulty balancing or counting, this will be considered sufficient evidence of impairment.

Am I Required To Take a Portable Breathalyzer Test (PBT) If I Am Pulled Over For A DUI/DWI?

You are not legally obligated to take a PBT if you are pulled over. Due to their inaccuracy and unreliability, results from a PBT are inadmissible in court, and can only be used to establish probable cause for a DUI/DWI charge, or to confirm the results from the field sobriety tests. However, if a suspect refuses to take a PBT, he or she may be taken into police custody or asked to perform the in-house Intoxilyzer test, whose results are considered accurate enough to be used in court. If you are brought into custody for an Intoxilyzer test, be sure to consult an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney first. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers will analyze the facts of your case, and work to suppress the results from the tests and keep them from being used against you in court.

Are There Consequences For Refusing to Take An Intoxilyzer Test?

Yes.  By refusing to take the in-house Intoxilyzer test, you will likely be required to attend a hearing with the Driver’s License Division to retain your driving privileges. This suspension can last up to two years on the first offense, and up to three years for subsequent offenses. On the other hand, simply pleading guilty to a DUI/DWI charge will almost certainly bring on unwanted consequences as well. Working with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can help you reduce these penalties.

What Is The Difference Between A PBT & An Intoxilyzer Test?

While both tests are used to confirm the presence of alcohol in a person’s system, the nature, use, and implications of the portable Breathalyzer test (PBT) and the Intoxilyzer vary greatly:

  • Portable Breathalyzer Test (PBT): This handheld device is often used by police officers during roadside stops to determine whether a person has been drinking alcohol. And while a police officer may request a suspect to blow into the PBT, the suspect has no legal requirement to do so. Like the Intoxilyzer, the PBT does produce a numeric figure in relation to the suspect’s blood-alcohol content (BAC), however, this number cannot be used as evidence in court, as it is not as reliable or accurate as the Intoxilyzer.
  • Intoxilyzer: The Intoxilyzer test will often produce some of the strongest evidence either for or against your DUI/DWI charge. It is a large, in-house machine, often administered after a person has been arrested and brought in on suspicion of a DUI/DWI. The Intoxilyzer is much more accurate and precise than the PBT and can, therefore, be admitted as evidence in your DUI/DWI case.
If I Am Stopped For DUI/DWI, Can A Police Officer Question Me Without Reading Me My Rights?

Yes.  If you have been stopped, but not arrested, a police officer is allowed to question you without informing you of your Miranda rights (e.g., the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.). However, if the police officer has arrested or detained you, he or she is then required to read you your rights. What’s unfortunate is that many people don’t realize what their rights are until after the police officer has read them—and by then it is often too late, as the person has provided the officer with probable cause for an arrest. The experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers will make sure your rights are being upheld.

What Is An "Alcohol Restricted" Driving Privilege?

If a person has been convicted with a DUI/DWI charge, or has had his or her license suspended as a result of a DUI/DWI charge, that person will be assigned an “alcohol restricted driver” status. Alcohol restricted status means that a person is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any trace of alcohol in their system—regardless of whether or not they exceed the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. Consequently, if an alcohol restricted driver is pulled over and found with any amount of alcohol in his or her system exceeding .0000, that person can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense.

Penalties associated with violating the alcohol restricted status include a 12-month driving suspension, a minimum $750 fine, and up to 180 days in jail. Even if you have been charged with an alcohol restriction violation, you are still entitled to legal representation. An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers will work with you to minimize the penalties of your conviction.

Will An Alcohol Restriction Show Up On My Driver's License?

Yes.  If you are pulled over for whatever reason (traffic violations, registration issues, etc.), a police officer can run your license and be made aware of your alcohol restricted status. If you are pulled over and the officer suspects you of drinking, you may be arrested and charged with violating your alcohol restricted status.

What If I Am Charged With DUI/DWI In Another State?

If you are charged with a DUI/DWI in another state, contact a lawyer immediately! Punishments for interstate drunk driving offenses are incredibly complicated, and without legal representation, you may be facing twice the punishment. When you are charged with a DUI/DWI outside of your state of residence, not only will the police of your own state be notified of the offense, but you may also be subject to the laws of the state in which you were charged. This can involve fines, jail time, suspension of driving privileges, and being prohibited from driving in that state.

An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers understands the complex nature of being charged across state lines. We will work with law enforcement and the court in both states to make sure that you are not being tried unfairly.

Can I Legally Drive After I Have Been Charged With a DUI/DWI?

Yes, but the process can be tricky. If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, police officers will confiscate your driver’s license and you could potentially be subject to a six-month driver’s license suspension. You will be given 10 days from the date of your arrest to challenge your driver’s license suspension and submit for a review to the Department of Motor Vehicles; however, if nothing is done during that 10-day window, your six-month suspension will automatically go into effect.

If you have been arrested on a DUI/DWI charge, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers. We will act quickly to make sure that you do not face an unnecessary suspension, and get you back on the road as soon as possible.

What Is A DMV Hearing? Why Is It Important In A DUI/DWI Case?

After receiving a DUI/DWI conviction, you are given 10 days to challenge your license suspension at the Driver’s License Division of the DMV. This is referred to as an administrative DMV hearing, which determines whether your license will be reinstated/suspended, whether you are put on probation, or if you have to complete a defensive driver course. Failing to attend this hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for six months.

An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can prepare a sound argument for your DMV hearing, prepare the necessary hearing request form, and filing that form with the DMV. We will act quickly to make sure you are back on the road before that 10-day window has closed.

What is SR-22 Insurance? Will I Need It If I Am Convicted of A DUI/DWI?

In context of a DUI/DWI conviction, an SR-22 is a document stating a driver’s responsibility to remain violation-free for a period of three years. If your driving privileges have been revoked or suspended as a result of a DUI/DWI conviction, your state’s DMV will likely require you to file an SR-22 with your car insurance provider to reinstate those privileges.

Because an SR-22 document is often associated with serious traffic violations (such as a DUI/DWI), most insurance companies consider SR-22 drivers to be “high risk.” In addition to the costly filing fee, a driver may experience a dramatic increase in car insurance premiums, or may even find it difficult to secure an SR-22 document at all. An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers can help fight your SR-22 filing requirement and get your license reinstated.

What Makes A DUI/DWI a Felony As Opposed to A Misdemeanor?

A DUI/DWI is classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the severity of the crime and whether it was a repeat offense. For example, first-time offenders are usually charged with a misdemeanor, while somebody convicted of a third DUI/DWI within a 10-year period is charged with a felony. The court will also consider certain aggravating factors (e.g. whether the victims received serious bodily injury or death as a result of the offender’s drunk driving, or whether a child was a passenger in the offender’s car, etc.) in its sentencing.

Felonies also differ from misdemeanors in the severity of their penalties. For example, while misdemeanor offenders are sentenced with up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines, a felony DUI/DWI can carry up to a five-year prison sentence and up to $5,000 in fines.

Given Utah’s high DUI/DWI conviction rates, it is extremely important to contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney to argue your case in court. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers are dedicated to defending those charged with DUI/DWI. We will work alongside you and seek to get your charges dismissed or at least diminish the severity of your penalties.

Should I Hire A Lawyer For A DUI/DWI?

Even if you have a basic understanding of the laws and consequences associated with your DUI/DWI charge, having an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can be an incredibly useful resource throughout the entire DUI/DWI process. Here at Anderson & Rogers, we can help you with a number of issues that you will likely encounter with a DUI/DWI charge:

  • If You Need a Knowledgeable Opinion: When it comes to legal matters, your situation will almost always improve when you consult an expert. If you have questions about your case, or simply want to double-check your own findings, feel free to give us a call for a free initial consultation. Here at Anderson & Rogers, you will have the opportunity to speak directly to one of our criminal defense attorneys; we won’t pass you off to an inexperienced legal assistant or secretary as is often the case with other Utah law firms.
  • If You Need a Plea/Sentence Bargain: If the details and evidence of your DUI/DWI case are somewhat unclear, you may have the opportunity for a plea bargain, meaning you can seek to reduce, dismiss, or diminish the penalties you were originally charged with. In these cases, it is extremely important to have legal representation on your side. For example, working with an attorney from Anderson & Rogers can increase your likelihood of having your DUI/DWI reduced to a reckless driving charge—a much less severe charge.
  • If You Go to Trial: While you are entitled the right to represent yourself at trial, it is strongly recommended that you hire an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney to represent your best interests. Trial law is a complex and difficult-to-follow process, and the learning curve for trial practice is quite steep. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers are well-versed in legal proceedings and can take out much of the stress and confusion that often accompany an appearance at court.
  • If You Are a Repeat Offender: If this is not your first DUI/DWI offense, you will most likely need an attorney to represent you in court. Multiple DUI/DWI convictions will likely lead to more severe penalties and sentences; three DUI/DWI convictions within a 10-year period will land you with a felony charge, meaning hefty fines, substantial jail time, and other penalties. Having an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side is your best chance at avoiding severe or unfair sentencing.
  • If You Simply Aren’t Sure: Most DUI/DWI cases are filled with uncertainty: how will you plead? What are your rights? What consequences will you face? Can your charges be reduced or dropped, and if so, how? Even if you are convinced that you should plead guilty in your DUI/DWI case, it is always possible for an attorney to offer advice that could alter the severity of your sentence.
Can I Obtain A Limited License?

Under Utah law, there is no provision for a limited license that will allow you to drive to work or school during a suspension period.

What Are The Differences Between Juvenile Court & Adult Criminal Court?

While Juvenile Court is somewhat similar to Adult Criminal Court (e.g. the right to an attorney, the privilege against self-incrimination, the need for proof beyond a reasonable doubt, etc.), there remain a few significant differences between the two court systems:

  • Purpose: The overall aim of Juvenile Court is very different from its adult counterpart. In the adult system, the goal is to punish criminals for their crimes, but the juvenile system aims to rehabilitate young offenders and help them resume appropriate behavior in society, and avoid future run-ins with the adult criminal court system. This does not mean, however, that juvenile offenses are treated lightly; juvenile offenders can be sentenced to a juvenile detention center, work crews, fines, community service, and drug or violence rehabilitation classes. For more serious crimes such as sex-related offenses, the Court may even order the State to take custody of the juvenile defendant for several months, even years.
  • Sentencing: Unlike criminal court, Juvenile Court does not allow for trial by jury. The juvenile defendant must instead appear before a judge who will make the end determination as to whether the juvenile defendant violated a criminal law or not. If the juvenile is convicted of the offense, the judge is responsible for imposing sentencing on the juvenile, usually considering recommendations from the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the probation officer before the sentence is imposed.
  • Access: In juvenile court, charges and convictions are typically not available for public view; however, juvenile court convictions may be accessed by probation officers should the juvenile defendant reach the age of majority and be charged with a crime in adult criminal court. These past convictions may be considered by an adult court judge and result in harsher sentencing in the adult case.

Consequently, juvenile court charges can be very serious. If your child or teenager is facing a criminal charge, it is important to seek a qualified Utah criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers have extensive experience working with children, teenagers, and the juvenile court system. We will work with your child and the court to secure the best possible outcome. Call us for a free initial consultation. We will talk with you for free over the phone or in person, and answer any questions you might have.

What Should I Do If My Child Has Been Accused Of A Crime?

The first thing to do is to consult an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers. Our attorneys are experienced in working with children and teenagers, and have a record of success in juvenile criminal matters. This is crucial to your child’s case for a number of reasons:

  • Avoiding Self-Incrimination: As police gather evidence in your child’s case, they will often want to speak to your child, and can attempt to pressure him or her into agreeing to an interview or giving a statement. This can be potentially damaging to your child’s defense case and could even lead to an arrest. Police are trained to use pressure, intimidation, coaxing, and even dishonesty to get a child or teenager to unknowingly say things that can incriminate them. It is important to remember that children have the constitutional rights as adults, including the right to legal representation, and are in no way obligated to speak to law enforcement without first consulting an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers can give you advice on how the juvenile system works, and how to handle yourselves throughout the case.
  • Preventing False Confessions: Children and teenagers accused of a crime are often more impressionable than adult suspects. Sometimes, police officers, counselors, and other adults may manipulate this impressionability, and a child simply seeking to be compliant with law enforcement or appease an adult figure may end up confessing to a crime he or she did not commit. You may request to have a lawyer present during your child’s interactions with law enforcement to help prevent any false confessions. Keep in mind, police may not be required to seek a parent’s permission before speaking to a juvenile suspect about a potential crime; however, the juvenile does have the constitutional right to remain silent, and a right to seek advice from a lawyer before saying anything to law enforcement.
  • Earning Your Child’s Trust: When children or teenagers are accused of a crime, they often feel confusion towards the accusation, fear of the consequences, and an uncertainty as to who they can trust. These negative feelings can often lead children or teenagers to be dishonest with their parents about their situation, reluctant to reveal all the facts of the case, or avoid saying anything about the accusation altogether. Children and teenagers often do not recognize the importance of certain facts, and failure to be completely honest about the facts following an accusation can lead to serious problems down the road. The Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers have years of experience and training in working with youth accused of committing serious crimes. We know how to talk to adolescents and obtain the information necessary to effectively represent them in juvenile defense matters. We have found that by providing accurate information to our juvenile clients, they are less afraid and more willing to seek proper treatment if necessary. Children and teenagers will come to understand that with the right legal representation, the allegations against them do not have to ruin their lives.
Should We Talk To The Probation Officer Before We Talk To A Lawyer?

In Utah, shortly after your child or teenager is arrested or cited for a criminal offense, you and your child will often receive a letter in the mail instructing you to have your child meet with a probation officer from the officer of Adult Probation and Parole to discuss your child’s case. However, your child is not legally required to meet with or speak to a probation officer, and still has the right to speak with a lawyer first. Many parents and adolescents believe they have no choice but to submit to the probation officer’s questions.

At Anderson & Rogers, when we are fortunate enough to have parents contact us before having their child meet with Adult Probation and Parole, we generally advise them to not attend the appointment should they plan to retain us. In such cases, if our experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys are retained, they will contact the probation officer and notify him/her that they have advised the client not to attend the appointment. This is to help our clients avoid saying something that could be misunderstood or used as evidence against them when speaking to law enforcement outside of our presence.

Should I Talk To A Lawyer If My Child Is Accused Of A Crime?

Yes.  Speaking with a lawyer does not mean you think your child is guilty of any crime or that you want to fight the system, avoid help and treatment for the child accused, or excuse the child from the consequences of any wrongdoing. Asking for a lawyer’s help in your child’s defense case is the best way to protect your child from being over-charged and over-prosecuted in a juvenile criminal defense case. Law enforcement officials, including probation officers, are responsible for making a case against juveniles they suspect have been involved in illegal acts; it is the job of the prosecutor to convict the juvenile of these illegal acts. The judge will then weigh the evidence in order to determine whether a conviction is warranted. Without an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers representing your child, your child will have nobody in the court looking out for his/her best interests.

What Happens To My Child's Driver's License If S/He Is Convicted Of A DUI/DWI Or Other Drug Or Alcohol-related Crime - Prior to his/her 21st Birthday?

Utah Juvenile Drug Offenses: In Utah, a minor convicted of any drug-related offense may automatically lose his or her driving privileges for a minimum of 120 days for a first offense, and up to 3 years or more for any subsequent offenses.

Utah Juvenile DUI/DWI Offenses: If a minor is convicted of a DUI/DWI, he or she may lose driving privileges for 3 years, or until the minor reaches the age of 21 (whichever is longer).

Utah is a “Not a Drop” State: The reason for such strict driving penalties for minors convicted of drug- or alcohol-related offenses is because Utah is a “not a drop” state. This means that juvenile offenders do not even need to exceed the legal drug or alcohol limits in order to lose their driving privileges. If the police and prosecutor can prove that even the slightest detectable amount of drugs or alcohol was in the minor’s system at the time he or she was in physical control of a motor vehicle, the State may suspend or deny the minors driving privileges until they are at least 21 years of age.

  • What is considered “physical control”: In Utah, courts have found that if a minor (1) seated in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle, and (2) with the keys in the ignition, he or she is in physical control of the vehicle and can be convicted of a DUI.

Driver’s License Hearing: Similar to adult DUI charges, juveniles who are charged with a DUI only have a limited number of days in order to request a hearing in front of a Hearings Officer with the Driver’s License Division. If this request is not made (1) within a certain number of days, (2) in writing, and (3) in the correct language, the minor may not be afforded a driver’s license hearing and may lose their driving privileges for 12 months or more—even if the minor is totally innocent of the DUI charges.

  • Preparing for the hearing: Even if a driver’s license hearing is scheduled, it will be necessary to question the police officer regarding the legality of his or her stop, as well as the ensuing search and investigation of the minor cited for the drug- or alcohol-related offense. If the correct questions are not submitted to the police officer, or the proper arguments are not made to the Hearings Officer, the minor will likely have little chance at success in the Driver’s License Hearing.
  • Consequences of a failed hearing: A minor who either fails to attend or has a negative showing at the Driver’s License Hearing may lose their driver’s license for a minimum of 12 months. Lost driving privileges can result in a minor’s inability to find or maintain employment, transport his or herself to or from school and other activities, or run household errands.

The Need for an Attorney: In these hearings, it is important to have a Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers on your side. We have extensive experience and knowledge concerning Utah’s DUI laws and procedures. We understand the negative impacts that a driver’s license suspension can have on juveniles and others who rely upon them to provide transportation. Our attorneys are experienced in working with the Juvenile Justice system and the Utah Driver’s License Division, and now the many laws pertaining to stops, searches and seizures, arrests, and DUI/DWI testing that overzealous police officers tend to overlook. We can provide you with sound advice and help your son or daughter receive the best and most fair results in any drug or alcohol case. We charge nothing to talk with you on the phone or meet with you for an initial consultation as to your juvenile criminal defense case.

What Should I Do If My Child Has Been Accused Of A Sex Crime, Or I Think They May Have Committed a Sex Crime?

Protect Your Child from Additional Accusations: If your child has been accused of committing, or you suspect your child of having committed a sex crime, the first thing to do is to remove your child from any potentially problematic situations. More specifically, you should do all you can to prevent your child from being alone with other minors, including siblings. This will help to protect your child from being accused of additional sex crimes in the future.

Have Your Child Speak with a Lawyer FIRST: If your child has been accused of a sex crime, it is very important that they do NOT speak to an adult about their situation until after they have spoken with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. While it is important for children to receive professional help and advice to assist them through such a difficult ordeal, there are a number of reasons why is it not wise to let them speak to counseling professionals, law enforcement, or religious leaders before consulting an attorney:

  • They may lose the right to confidentiality: Counselors, psychologists, and even religious leaders have a legal responsibility to inform police and the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) if they suspect that any sexual abuse has taken place. They will likely need to report anything you or your child has said to them, and this information can be used against your child during a court proceeding.
  • They may be pressured into a false confession: Through many years of handling juvenile defense cases, we at Anderson & Rogers have learned that some minors have felt pressure to admit to things that are not true or did not happen in order to appease counselors, psychologists, DCFS caseworkers, police officers, or religious leaders. This will likely create problems down the line for both the child as well as the attorney defending the child against incorrect charges.
  • Children tend to exaggerate: Even the slightest exaggeration of the events or facts surrounding your child’s sex crime case may cause what would otherwise be a simple misdemeanor charge to become a felony conviction. Police and prosecutors take sex crime accusations very seriously; hence, when facts become distorted and appear more serious, your child could end up facing lengthy incarceration, and years of juvenile court supervision and hearings. Parents, on the other hand, could lose their custody rights towards their child.

Immediately Consult an Experienced Utah Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney: Given the serious treatment prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and courts affix to sex crimes, increasingly strict punishments are likely to follow a sex crime accusation. Consequently, juveniles convicted of a sex crime may face severe punishments that last for years and a blemish on their permanent records. An experienced Utah juvenile criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers will work with prosecutors and the court to ensure that your child (1) does not get punished for a crime that he or she did not commit or (2) does not receive a harsher punishment than he or she deserves for a crime that may have been committed. We work one-on-one with juvenile clients and help them through what can be a very stressful and intimidating situation.

Will My Child Be Required To Register As A Sex Offender If S/He is convicted Of A Sex Crime?

A juvenile offender who is found guilty of a sex crime will be required to register as a sex offender; however, the Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers understand that this punishment is often more severe than the circumstances of your child’s case may require. For example, a 14-year-old engaging in consensual sexual activity with another 14-year-old may be accused of sexual assault by the consenting juvenile or his or her parents. If this accusation results in a conviction, the juvenile defendant will be required to register as a sex offender and could face several undue consequences including job or scholarship loss, and damage to his or her social reputation.

The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers understand the serious impact of a sexual assault charge against a juvenile. If your child has been accused of a sex crime, contact us immediately for a free initial consultation. Police and prosecutors take accusations of sexual assault very seriously and may continue to prosecute your child even if the charges have been dropped. Our Utah criminal defense attorneys will aggressively defend your child in court, and seek to get his or her case dismissed, or reduce the sentence and avoid Utah’s Sex Offender Registry altogether.

Can A Police Officer Speak With My Child Without My Knowledge Or Permission?

Yes.  Police officers are allowed to question anyone—adult or juvenile—they suspect to have witnessed or participated in a crime. This does not mean, however, that your child is required to answer all their questions. Children have the same rights as adults when it comes to police interrogations. This includes their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination. If the police have probable cause to take your child into custody for questioning, the arresting officer is required to Mirandize your child (i.e. inform your child of the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.).

Police have an incentive to Mirandize a suspect in a timely manner, as failure to do so may prevent the suspect’s statements admitted in court. However, if law enforcement questions your child before having probable cause, they may not have a duty to read your child’s Miranda rights, and your child’s statements may be admitted in court as evidence.

Miranda rights and the constitutional requirements that govern them are very complicated. Consequently, children facing a criminal charge will require an experienced Utah juvenile criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers to argue their rights to the court and protect them from the unconstitutional acts of overzealous law enforcement officials.

Does A Juvenile Who Has Been Charged With A Crime Have The Same Constitutional Rights As An Adult?

In Utah, children are considered fully formed human beings, and therefore have all the same basic constitutional rights as adults, with some minor exceptions. These rights include the right to due process, the right to legal counsel, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination, and the right against cruel and unusual punishment, etc. Unlike adults, however, children who are charged with a crime in juvenile court do not have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers; the trial and sentence are rather executed by a juvenile court judge.

Will I, As The Parent, Be Financially Responsible For My Child's Illegal Acts Or Court Fees?

In Utah, children are considered fully formed human beings, and therefore have all the same basic constitutional rights as adults, with some minor exceptions. These rights include the right to due process, the right to legal counsel, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination, and the right against cruel and unusual punishment, etc. Unlike adults, however, children who are charged with a crime in juvenile court do not have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers; the trial and sentence are rather executed by a juvenile court judge.

What Do I Do If I Have Been Accused Of A Sex Crime?

The first thing to do is to contact an attorney immediately! Sex crimes are treated more seriously and punished more severely than most other crimes. People accused of sex crimes are often law-abiding citizens who are either ignorant of the laws surrounding sex crimes or are simply in the wrong place with the wrong person. Police officers and prosecutors have little interest as to whether you actually committed a sex crime, and without representation, you will likely be facing serious criminal charges that could affect you the rest of your life.

A person can be accused of sexual misconduct in a wide variety of situations:

  • In a romantic or consensual sexual relationship that ended poorly
  • When a child or stepchild claims sexual abuse as a result of resentment toward a parent or step-parent
  • When large sums of money are involved in a relationship
  • When a person is suspected of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution
  • When law enforcement officials set up sting operations in an effort to trap potential sex offenders

Given the serious nature of most sex crimes, police officers and prosecutors tend not to ask too many questions when an accusation is brought to their attention. Having an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers on your side will ensure that you are not being falsely accused or charged unfairly.

Should I Talk To The Police If I Have Been Accused Of A Sex Crime?

If you have been accused of a sex crime, DO NOT talk to police without a lawyer present. Police officers take sex crime accusations very seriously; their priority is to secure a “confession,” or a statement that could be used as evidence of guilt. Consequently, it can be hard to explain your side of the story without incriminating yourself—even if you are innocent. Your best chance at clearing your name and avoiding major legal consequences is to work with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers.

When Should I Talk To A Lawyer If I Have Been Accused Of A Sex Crime?

If you have been accused of a sex crime, it is important to contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney immediately! Law enforcement officials and prosecutors take sex crime accusations very seriously, and rarely will such charges just blow over—even if the accuser has dropped the charges. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers have extensive experience defending clients accused of aggravated sexual assault, child molestation, indecent exposure, lewd conduct, prostitution, rape, solicitation, and violent sex crimes. We will work quickly and aggressively towards getting the charges against you dropped, reducing or eliminating your prison sentence, or modifying the terms of your punishment. Call us for a free initial consultation!

What Are My Defenses In A Sex Crime Case?

When you are accused of and investigated for a sex crime, it is crucial for you to consult with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney before speaking with police or investigators. Speaking to police officers before receiving wise legal counsel could jeopardize your case, and it can be easier for them to convict you.

The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers can prepare a solid defense for your sex crime case that will hold up in court. We will investigate the background of the alleged victims, search for hidden motives, and bring in expert witnesses to challenge the evidence laid against you.

How Can I Avoid Being Registered As A Sex Offender?

Being registered as a sex offender can have a devastating effect on your future relationships, employment opportunities, and living situations. Utah’s Sex Offender Registry was originally intended to publicize the identity of serial rapists and molesters; however, the government has expanded the type of offenses that qualify for the Sex Offender Registry. Even a simple, one-time offense could have lifelong consequences.

If you are facing the possibility of being registered as a sex offender, it is crucial that you have an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers have extensive experience in helping clients avoid the Sex Offender Registry. We understand that there are many people who do not belong on the registry, and we can employ a number of strategies to help them avoid such a life-altering sentence:

  • Investigation of Accuser Credibility: A sex crime accusation often rests on the believability of the accuser. Unfortunately, child accusers can sometimes be unreliable in court and more easily influenced by the leading questions of parents, prosecutors, and judges. Ex-boyfriends/girlfriends may also have hidden agendas in their sex crime accusations. If you have been accused of a sex crime, we will investigate the potential motivations, mental disabilities, and/or parental influences of the accuser.
  • Reduction of Offender Level: Depending on the severity of the crime, a person convicted of a sex offense can be registered as a Level 3, 2, or 1 sex offender. For example, a Level 3 offender faces the most restrictions, may have his information sent to an entire neighborhood, and must register every 90 days. Level 2 offenders have online profiles, while Level 1 offenders have no internet profiles, but schools will receive their information. Even if a defendant has lost a criminal case and must register as a sex offender, the Utah criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Rogers may be able to help reduce or even eliminate the offender level. We can file a petition with the Court and carefully argue the offender’s status.
What Is The Difference Between Rape and Sexual Assault?

The terms “rape” and “sexual assault” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, rape and sexual assault are two separate crimes. Sexual assault is a general term applied to any unlawful sexual act, exploitation, or contact with another person (male or female) without consent. Rape, on the other hand, specifically involves forcible sexual intercourse. Both crimes can receive either a first or a second-degree charge:

  • 1st Degree Charge: Rape or sexual assault with a victim who is a child under the age of 13, and when the defendant is at least 12 years old and at least 4 years older than the victim; rape or sexual assault with another person by force and against the will of that person; use of a dangerous or deadly weapon or object to accomplish the intercourse; infliction of bodily harm or intimidation of the victim to accomplish the rape or sexual assault.
  • 2nd Degree Charge: Forcible rape or sexual assault against the will of a person who is mentally defective or incapacitated, physically helpless or disabled, and the person performing the act is aware of the other person’s mental or physical state.
  • Statutory Rape: Statutory rape involves the manipulation of a minor to engage in sexual intercourse or a sexual act with someone older. Statutory rape may also consist of an adult having consensual sex with a minor while the couple is not married. More specifically, a person is guilty of statutory rape when the victim is between 13 and 15 years old and the defendant is at least six years older than the victim (unless the defendant and victim are lawfully married).

Penalties for rape and sexual assault include jail time and potential lifelong status as a registered sex offender. If you have been accused of sexual assault or rape, contact a lawyer immediately! The Utah criminal defense attorneys from Anderson & Rogers understand that rape and sexual assault cases are often more complicated than they may appear. If we take your case, we will examine the prosecution’s case against you and help develop defenses that may help you avoid serving time in jail or registering as a sex offender.

How Old Does a Person Have To Be In Order To Consent To Sexual Relations?

The State of Utah sets different age of consent restrictions for men and for women; the age of consent for women is 16 and the age of consent for men is 18. However, Utah has set additional stipulations to its consent laws:

  • No person under the age of 18 (male or female) can legally consent to sexual intercourse with a person who is more than 10 years older than the minor.
  • Minors of 14 or 15 years of age may legally consent to sexual relations with a peer who is less than four years older than the minor.
  • No person under the age of 14 may legally consent to sexual intercourse—regardless of the age of the partner.

Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who cannot legally give consent is considered statutory rape, and violation of consent laws could result in a five-year prison sentence. The experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys from Anderson & Rogers understand that many of these violations result from an ignorance of the law. If you have questions about Utah’s consent laws, or have been accused of statutory rape, call us for a free initial consultation!

How Is Burglary Different From Theft?

Theft: Involves taking someone else’s property or services without the owner’s consent, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession or use of that property or service.

Burglary: Involves unlawfully entering onto the property of another with the intent to commit a crime therein. This means that a person can be charged with burglary even if no crime—other than the unlawful entry—has taken place.

Can I Be Charged With Burglary, Even If I Haven't Stolen Anything?

Yes.  Burglary involves the unlawful entry onto the property of another with the intent to commit a crime. IN other words, a person may be charged with burglary simply and for entering another’s premises only with the intent to commit a crime of any type—even if nothing has been stolen. This broad definition of burglary can be especially problematic for many people, including those who are simply trying to retrieve their own possessions which have been left behind, or have not been timely claimed from a place of business. Burglary charges are most often charged as felonies, and can be very damaging to your acquiring a job, getting a loan, or owning a firearm.

Burglary charges can include numerous and more complex fact patterns than the ones mentioned here. If you are charged with burglary, it is imperative that you immediately contact an experienced and aggressive Utah criminal defense attorney to help you. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers understand that what may look like a burglary on the surface may be more complicated than the police report might suggest. Call us for a free initial consultation. We will gather the evidence in your case and work to have the prosecutor dismiss the chargers, or at the very least, give you a fair deal.

What Is Automobile or Vehicle Burglary?

Automobile or vehicle burglary takes place when any person unlawfully enters any vehicle with the intent to commit a crime. As with a standard burglary charge, you may be charged even if no actual crime—other than the unlawful entry into a vehicle—takes place. Also, even reaching a hand, arm, or foreign object into an already open vehicle window is considered “unlawful entry” into the vehicle and could be grounds for vehicle burglary.

Punishments for vehicle burglary could include up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines, fees, sanctions, and completion of life skills classes. Automobile or vehicle burglary is a Class A misdemeanor under Utah law, and can often be accompanied with the additional charges of theft, criminal mischief, or possession of burglary tools. Having multiple charges assessed to an automobile or vehicle burglary charge could result in even harsher penalties. In these situations, it is important to consult an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers will mount a solid defense to keep you out of jail or help to lessen the negative impact of this serious charge on your life.

What Do I Need To Know If I Am Charged With Theft?

Theft involves the unlawful taking of someone else’s property or services without the owner’s consent, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the possession or use of the property or compensation for the service.

In Utah, theft, including retail theft, is an “enhanceable” crime. What this means is, if you are convicted of, say, two counts of retail theft as Class B misdemeanors, and you are subsequently charged with an additional count of retail theft within ten years of the first two charges, the third charge would automatically be a third-degree felony. For this reason, theft convictions may not be expunged for at least ten years from your criminal background.

Utah courts take theft charges very seriously, even if the item taken was relatively inexpensive. Class B misdemeanors such as retail theft can carry penalties of up to six months in jail, $1,875 in fines and surcharges, completion of life skills classes, and more. Many employers can easily run criminal background checks on job applicants before making employment decisions. Consequently, if they see theft convictions on your criminal background, receiving a job offer may prove difficult.

Utah has a shopkeeper’s statute that allows certain retailers to file a civil lawsuit against anyone who has been convicted of committing retail theft against their stores. This statute may actually allow the retailer to file suit against the defendant for up to three times the value of the merchandise that was taken, plus the pay the retailer’s attorney fees and court costs involved. The shopkeeper’s statute can still apply even if the stolen merchandise has been returned to the retailer in perfect condition.

The most important thing you can do if you are charged with theft is to contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Anderson & Rogers will fight for you and protect your future. They understand the seriousness of a theft charge, and the long-term effects this can have on your life. They will work hard on your behalf to limit or eliminate the effects of the charges against you. You can call them today for a free initial consultation in person or over the phone.

Can Burglary Or Theft Charges Be Dropped Or Reduced?

A skilled Utah criminal defense attorney may possibly find success in arguing for a burglary or theft charge to be dropped or reduced. In addition to weighing the prosecution’s evidence in the case, the attorneys from Anderson & Rogers can also ask the court to consider the defendant’s intent and any witness statements supporting the defendant’s good character. Evidence of duress, coercion, mental or emotional illness, and lack of evidence may also lead to the dismissal or reduction of burglary or theft charges.

Even when a burglary or theft charge cannot be dropped, an experienced attorney may also help to reduce the charge or sentence. This can include downgrading the charge to a lesser offense, working out a probationary type of agreement (such as a plea in abeyance agreement), or pursuing an alternate sentence such as community service.

Should I Talk To A Lawyer If I Have Been Accused Of Burglary?

Yes.  If you have been accused of burglary, you should contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney from Anderson & Rogers immediately! Simply facing the charges yourself, or trying to represent yourself could worsen your situation and damage your defense case. We understand that not all burglary charges as the police report may make them appear. Sometimes a person may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. An attorney from Anderson & Rogers can build a proper defense strategy for your case. We will study the prosecution’s case against you, collect evidence that supports your case, work to get evidence against you thrown out, and bring in expert witnesses to help mount a proper defense.

Not Finding The Answers You're Looking For?

Call and We'll Clear Up Any Questions You Have.