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Sandy Justice Court - Criminal Defense Attorney Utah

The Sandy City Justice Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor crimes that occur within the borders of Sandy City, Utah. A criminal conviction in the Sandy Justice Court can have serious consequences. If you are facing prosecution for a crime in Sandy, Utah, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be critical.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal lawyer Stephen Howard has assisted clients in the Sandy Justice Court and throughout Utah. He has successfully protected his clients' rights in cases ranging from homicide to DUI, and virtually everything in between.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential attorney consultation.

Defending Criminal Charges in the Sandy City Justice Court

The first hearing in a Sandy Justice Court case is called the arraignment. At an arraignment hearing, you are asked to enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty. Almost without exception, your plea at this stage of the case should be "not guilty."

Even if you do not want to take your case to trial, or if you anticipate reaching a negotiated resolution in your case, a plea of "not guilty" at the initial arraignment will usually be your best choice. It provides you (or your attorney) an opportunity to obtain discovery in the case, to perform the necessary legal and factual analysis of the case, to engage the prosecutor in negotiations, and to determine the best strategy for obtaining the case results you need.

Entering a guilty plea or a no contest plea leaves only one important issue for the court to decide - the severity of your punishment. A guilty plea at arraignment can deprive you of the opportunity to negotiate, to arrange a plea in abeyance agreement, to secure a probation recommendation, or to obtain any other favorable benefits from the prosecutor. A guilty plea at the arraignment stage deprives you of option of having your case decided by a jury.

Before you appear for your arraignment hearing, you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. In many cases, the formal arraignment hearing can be waived when your attorney files a not guilty plea on your behalf and requests that the court instead schedule a pre-trial conference. This strategy can make more efficient use of your time and can make court appearances more productive.

A formal discovery request filed with the court and prosecutor obliges the prosecution to turn over police reports and other discovery information to your attorney. After making a careful analysis of the case, you and your attorney can begin making strategy decisions designed to achieve the best outcome for your case.

Jurisdiction for Criminal Charges in the Sandy Justice Court

The Sandy City Justice Court has jurisdiction over class C and class B misdemeanor charges, as well as infractions, that are alleged to have occurred within the borders of Sandy City, Utah. Misdemeanor charges typically handled in the Sandy City Justice Court can include DUI, theft, shoplifting, domestic violence, assault, marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, public intoxication, trespass, disorderly conduct, minor in possession (MIP), and traffic violations.

More serious charges, including class A misdemeanors and all felony charges, are beyond the jurisdiction of the justice court. Such crimes occurring in Sandy City must be handled in the district court. "De novo" appeals from the Sandy Justice Court are also heard in the district court.

Penalties for Criminal Convictions in the Sandy City Justice Court

While the jurisdiction of the Sandy City Justice Court is limited to "lower level" misdemeanor offenses, the penalties can still be substantial. A single class B misdemeanor carries a potential punishment of up to 180 days in jail and a fine (including surcharge) of up to $1,900. A class C misdemeanor conviction can be punished by up to 90 days in jail and a fine (including surcharge) of more than $1,000.

While many judges may impose the maximum sentence in jail time and fines, the court may also suspend such a sentence and instead place a defendant on probation. Probation may be supervised or unsupervised (sometimes called "court probation"). Conditions of probation can include community service, electronic monitoring, substance abuse, mental health counseling, domestic violence counseling, or other conditions determined by the court to be appropriate.

Beyond the courtroom, a criminal conviction can also have other consequences not directly imposed by the judge. Some criminal convictions can cause a defendant's driver license to be suspended. Other criminal convictions can affect professional licensing, the ability to get a job, the right to carry a firearm, and much more.

While the jurisdiction of the Sandy Justice Court is limited to class B misdemeanor and lower-level charges, a misdemeanor conviction can sometimes serve as the basis for enhancing subsequent charges to the felony level. DUI and retail theft are two common examples of justice court misdemeanors that can be enhanced to the felony level in subsequence criminal cases.

Finding a Utah Criminal Lawyer to Defend a Sandy Justice Court Case

Utah Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you are facing criminal prosecution, choosing the best criminal attorney for your case can be one of the most important decisions you make. Having an experienced attorney with the knowledge, skill, and determination to help you achieve the results you need can make all the difference.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients facing criminal prosecution in the Sandy City Justice Court and throughout Utah. He has successfully protected his clients' rights in cases ranging from felony homicide to misdemeanor shoplifting, and virtually everything in between.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential attorney consultation.

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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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