Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409. We fight to protect your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges


Utah Police Jurisdictional Limits

Can a Utah police officer arrest a person outside the city limits or outside of the county of the officer's normal jurisdiction?

The belief that a police officer has to stop at the county line or at a city boundary is a mistaken belief. A police officer's authority outside of his/her normal jurisdiction can include making a traffic stop, issuing a criminal citation, conducting an investigation, pursuing a suspect, or making a formal arrest.

In general, police officers will exercise their authority within the jurisdiction of the city or county in which they are employed. Certain law enforcement officers (Utah Highway Patrol, SBI, etc.) have statewide jurisdiction. But even local police officers or county sheriff's deputies may exercise their authority beyond their normal jurisdictions under certain circumstances.

The authority to act outside of a police officer's normal jurisdiction is governed by Utah Code 77-9-3. This statute provides a law enforcement officer who is authorized by any governmental entity in the State of Utah (e.g., a city or county), to exercise authority beyond the officer's normal jurisdictional limits in the following circumstances:

  • when the officer is called to assist officers from another jurisdiction;
  • when the officer is participating in a criminal investigation that relates to activity that originated in the officer's normal jurisdiction and the officer is working in cooperation with the local authorities;
  • when a "public offense" (i.e. criminal offense - misdemeanor or felony) is committed in the presence of the officer; and
  • when the officer is engaged in "fresh pursuit" of a suspect, and the purpose of the pursuit is to arrest and hold that person in custody or to return the suspect to the offense where the offense was committed.
Note that this statute does not provide Utah peace officers with jurisdiction outside the State of Utah, but only within the State. Further, this statute requires officers to notify and receive authority from local law enforcement authorities prior to taking action when possible, or to notify local authorities as soon as reasonably possible if it is not feasible to obtain authority prior to taking action under this section.

Choosing a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerIf you have been arrested or cited for a criminal offense in Utah, choosing the right criminal attorney to handle your case can be one of the most important decisions you make. With experience defending cases ranging from capital murder to DUI, and virtually everything in between, we have the knowledge, skills, and tenacity needed to help you get the results you need.

Whether your case involves misdemeanor or felony charges, the consequences of conviction can be serious. Contact us today to see how the right criminal defense attorney can help you.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • 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.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

The right criminal defense lawyer can work with you to develop a defense strategy designed to achieve the best results. Hiring a Utah criminal attorney with real courtroom experience and an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved in defending against a criminal prosecution can help ensure the best...

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Jail time, prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and the lifetime collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction on your record - all of these and more are at stake when you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah. Understanding what is at risk is critical. Even so-called "minor" misdemeanor cases can have serious consequences....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.