The Holladay Municipal Justice Court has jurisdiction over class B and C misdemeanor crimes that occur within the borders of Holladay City, Utah. By agreement with the City of Cottonwood Heights, the Holladay Justice Court also handles misdemeanor crimes that occur in Cottonwood Heights.
Even a misdemeanor criminal conviction can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with a crime in Holladay or Cottonwood Heights, contact Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard now to arrange for a confidential attorney consultation. Mr. Howard has successfully protected his clients rights in thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor cases.
Defending Criminal Charges in the Holladay City Justice Court
The first hearing for a misdemeanor criminal case in the Holladay Justice Court misdemeanor is typically an arraignment. The court will ask you to enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty at the arraignment hearing. As a general rule, you should not enter a guilty plea or a no contest plea in any criminal case without first consulting with a criminal defense lawyer.
The Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that you cannot be required to enter a plea until you have had an opportunity to consult with an attorney. Seeking counsel and advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney can be the most important step you take in defending against criminal charges. If you have not obtained the assistance of an attorney, it is almost always best to enter a not guilty plea. This preserves your right to a trial, the right to obtain discovery, the opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor for a potential resolution, and other important constitutional and procedural rights that are associated with a criminal charge.
Even if you do not intend to take your case all the way to a jury trial, entering a not guilty plea and making a formal jury demand will put you in a stronger position to negotiate the best offer for your case. It preserves your opportunity to obtain full discovery and do the necessary case analysis, both legal and factual. It ensures that you will have the best opportunity to engage in negotiations and determine the best strategy for defending your case.
By entering a guilty plea at the arraignment hearing, you lose any opportunity to negotiate or otherwise defend your rights in the case. The only decision left for the court is punishment.
Prior to appearing at an arraignment or any other court hearing, you should secure the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Once your attorney has obtained full discovery from the prosecutor and conducted a full legal and factual analysis of the case, you and your attorney can then develop a strategy designed to obtain the best results for your case.
Criminal Jurisdiction in the Holladay Municipal Justice Court
The Holladay Justice Court has jurisdiction to hear criminal misdemeanor and infraction charges that occur within the borders of the City of Holladay. By agreement with the City of Cottonwood Heights, the Holladay Municipal Justice Court also handles misdemeanor criminal cases for Cottonwood Heights.
The jurisdiction of the Holladay Municipal Justice Court is limited to class C and class B misdemeanor charges. Felony charges and class A misdemeanor cases must be handled in the district court system.
“De novo” appeals from the justice court are also heard in the district court.
Common misdemeanor charges handled in the Holladay Justice Court include domestic violence, DUI, shoplifting, theft, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, minor in possession (MIP), trespass, and traffic violations.
Penalties for Criminal Convictions in the Holladay Justice Court
While class C and class B misdemeanors are often considered to be low-level criminal offenses, the penalties can still be serious. The Holladay Justice Court can impose penalties of up to 180 days in jail for each class B misdemeanor offense and 90 days in jail for each class C misdemeanor. The court also has discretion to impose jail sentences either consecutively (running back-to-back) or concurrently (running at the same time).
A class B misdemeanor also carries a potential fine (including surcharge) of up to $1,900. For a class C misdemeanor, the court can impose a fine (including surcharge) of more than $1,000.
In many cases, the court will suspend all or part of the jail time and fine, and instead place the defendant on probation. Probation can be supervised by a probation agency or may be directly supervised by the court (sometimes referred to as “unsupervised” probation). Conditions of probation can include treatment or counseling, community service, electronic monitoring, alcohol monitoring, drug testing, or other conditions deemed appropriate by the court.
Consequences of a criminal conviction can also extend beyond the courtroom. Some charges will result in a driver license suspension. Other charges can cause a loss of the right to carry a gun. Even relatively minor criminal convictions can affect professional licensing or the ability to get a job.
In addition to the immediate consequences of a conviction, some justice court convictions can also serve as the basis for an enhancement of later charges. Convictions can also affect a person’s expungement eligibility.
Finding a Utah Criminal Lawyer for the Holladay Justice Court
Even a minor criminal charge can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with a crime in the Holladay Justice Court or elsewhere in Utah, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Choosing the best criminal attorney can be a difficult process. But making the right choice is worth the effort.
Criminal attorney Stephen Howard has successfully defended his clients’ rights in thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor cases. He offers legal services to clients facing prosecution in the Holladay Justice Court and throughout all of Utah.
Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential attorney consultation.