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Ogden District Courts and Justice Courts

Criminal LawyerOgden's district courts have jurisdiction over both felony and misdemeanor criminal charges. The jurisdiction of the Ogden City Justice Court is restricted to class B and C misdemeanors and infractions. Because the consequences from any criminal case are serious, it is critical that you have an experienced criminal lawyer by your side. With criminal defense experience ranging from murder to shoplifting, and virtually everything in between, Stephen Howard offers defense services to clients in Ogden and throughout the State of Utah. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

What determines whether a case is heard in a district court or a justice court?

Both geography and the level of a criminal offense determine whether a case is heard in the Ogden District Court or in the Ogden City Justice Court.

Most infractions, class C misdemeanors, and class B misdemeanors that occur within the city limits of Ogden City will be filed in the justice court. Felony and class A misdemeanor crimes that occur anywhere within Weber County will be heard in Ogden's district court. If a higher level charge (class A or felony) is filed along with a class B or lower charge as part of a single criminal case, then all of the charges will be heard in the district court. Offenses occurring outside of Ogden City would not be handled through the Ogden City Justice Court, regardless of level.

District courts in Utah have exclusive jurisdiction over felony and class A misdemeanor cases. In some cities, prosecutor's have tried to retain jurisdiction in the city's justice court for class A misdemeanor cases by engaging in a "legal fiction" by filing the charge as a class B misdemeanor. But in 2016, the Utah Court of Appeals issued a ruling indicating that such practices were not appropriate.

Consequences for Convictions in Ogden's Courts

Ogden City Justice Court - Although Utah's justice courts have jurisdiction only over lower-level offenses, the penalties imposed a justice court can still be severe. One class B misdemeanor can by punishable by up to 180 days jail. Jail sentences for multiple charges can be imposed consecutively (back-to-back), resulting in a year or more in jail. Other consequences of a justice court conviction can include thousands of dollars in fines, a suspension of driving privileges, losing the right to carry a firearm, and more.

Ogden's District Courts - All district court criminal cases are filed in the Second District's Ogden Department on Grant Avenue in downtown Ogden. Potential penalties for felony convictions in Utah courts are serious. A conviction for a first degree felony carries the potential of up to life in prison. A second degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A third degree felony can carry up to 5 years in prison. Misdemeanor convictions can be punished by up to a maximum of one year in jail (for a class A misdemeanor).

Some felony convictions will require a mandatory prison sentence. But in most felony convictions, the court will have discretion to suspend the prison sentence and place the defendant on probation. Conditions of probation can include up to a year jail time, fines, counseling, community service, drug testing, or a number of other relevant conditions.

Criminal Appeals from Ogden District and Justice Courts

Appeals from the District Court - Because the district courts are considered "courts of record," an appeal from a district court order or conviction will be heard either by the Utah Court of Appeals or the Utah Supreme Court. A successful appeal requires a detailed review of the evidence, legal holdings, and procedures followed by the district court. In addition to extensive briefing of the legal issues involved in the appeal, the appellate court will usually hear oral arguments from both sides before rendering a decision. If reversible error is found, then remedies can exclude a dismissal of the case, a new trial, or other appropriate court action.

Appeals from Justice Court - The Ogden City Justice Court (like all justice courts in Utah) is not a "court of record." An appeal from the justice court is therefore in the form of a "de novo" proceeding. Most often this will be a new trial or a new hearing. No showing of error is required. Instead, the defendant gets a second chance to make his or her case to the judge or jury.

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Ogden

If you are facing criminal charges in the Ogden District Court or Ogden City Justice Court, it is important to have a skilled and experienced Utah criminal defense attorney working on your side. Stephen Howard has a record of obtaining real results for his clients. Call us today to see how we can help you.

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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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