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Utah Court Rules Amended to Require Preliminary Hearings for Class A Misdemeanors

Effective April 1, 2012, the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure will be amended to conform with the requirements of the Utah Supreme Court's decision in the case of State of Utah v. Hernandez, 2011 UT 70. In Hernandez, the Utah Supreme Court held that the Utah State Constitution provides for the right to a preliminary hearing for both felony charges and class A misdemeanors (in cases where the charges are not filed based on a grand jury indictment).

Historically, preliminary hearings had been held in class A misdemeanors. But as certain procedural changes were made in the way criminal cases were handled in the Utah court system, preliminary hearings for class A misdemeanors came to an end. The Utah Supreme Court in Hernandez essentially held that, while the procedural rules had changed, the state's constitution had not changed. Thus, although the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure no longer required preliminary hearings for class A misdemeanors, the state constitution still did.

Upon the issuance of the Utah Supreme Court's opinion, Utah criminal defense attorneys immediately began demanding that preliminary hearings be held for class A misdemeanor cases. The Utah court rules will now conform to the constitutional requirement of a preliminary hearing for class A misdemeanor charges.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges in Utah, you deserve to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. As a Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer, Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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