The most common criminal cases we handle are DUI and drug possession cases.

How And When Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play When Someone Interacts With Police?

There are three levels of police stops. A level three stop is where an individual is actually under arrest and those words are used. It is very clear that the person is no longer free to leave. A level one stop is where an officer approaches a person and that person is free to leave at any time. You have no duty to engage with the police and you could choose to simply walk away from a police officer during a level one stop. A level two stop is somewhere in the middle where an individual is not free to leave but has not officially been put under arrest.

A police officer is completely motivated to keep a person believing that they are in a level one stop when it is actually a level two stop. As soon as there is a level two stop, police have to inform the person of their constitutional rights. If they don’t, then whatever is said can be excluded and suppressed at trial. The police will try to do everything they can to not have to read a person their rights, and keep the person talking, by making them believe you are free to leave. A suppression hearing deals very frequently with the issue of what type of stop it was and whether it was required for the police to read the defendant their rights at that point.

What Are The Main Differences Between Misdemeanor And Felony Charges And Convictions?

In Utah, there are three levels of felonies, three levels of misdemeanors, and a level lower than both, an infraction. Each one of those tiers has a different maximum penalty that can be imposed on those convicted of violating them. with a class C misdemeanor has 90 days in jail as a maximum penalty. A first-degree felony carries life in prison as the maximum penalty. An infraction does not carry any jail time. If you are convicted of a crime, you would much prefer a misdemeanor than a felony.

Misdemeanors are generally considered to be less serious and are punished less severely; they also carry fewer long-term ramifications. Being a convicted felon carries with it certain connotations. Most job applications and rental applications inquire about a person’s potential felony convictions. Voting rights and the ability to run for a public office can be affected by a felony conviction. Additionally, a person’s ability to get their record expunged is affected by the degree of crime they’ve been convicted of. The eligibility for expungement on a Class B misdemeanor is only four years, whereas certain felonies are never eligible to be expunged. An individual may have to carry a felony on their record for 10 years before even being eligible to begin the expungement process, the success of which not guaranteed.

A large part of criminal defense is getting a pathway to not having a felony on your record. Sometimes, that happens through negotiation. Often, the state will offer the defendant the opportunity to plead to a misdemeanor instead of taking the felony charge to trial. Many people are motivated to take that just because the risk of having a felony on their record is something that they prefer to avoid entirely, even if it means pleading to a misdemeanor. Another pathway out of a felony conviction is called a 402 reduction. This is where a defendant pleads to a felony and then completes probation. At the completion of the probation, the charge is reduced retroactively to a misdemeanor. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony can have wide ranging and long-term implications in someone’s life.

For more information on Common Criminal Cases Handled In UT, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 923-6565 today.