Utah Criminal Defense Blog
What Does the Law say about Marijuana in Utah

What Does the Law say about Marijuana in Utah

Over the past 20 years, regulations on marijuana possession have been decreasing. Today, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana in one way or another. Although neighboring Colorado became one of those states, and Utah governor has said he is open to decriminalizing marijuana possession, this substance remains illegal in Utah. Here are some of the specific punishments and circumstances which may apply to you or a loved one who is found guilty of this violation. Penalties for Marijuana Possession Marijuana has been classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in accordance with the Utah Controlled Substances Act embedded in the Utah Criminal Code. If a person is found with an ounce or less of marijuana, they could face charges of simple possession. This Class B misdemeanor can mean fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months of prison, as stated in Utah Code § 58-37-8. If larger amounts of this substance are found on a person, vehicle or residence, steeper penalties may be imposed. For an amount ranging from one ounce to one pound, the sentence can span between a $2,500 fine and up to one year of imprisonment, with a bump up in the charges to a Class A misdemeanor. Any amount larger than one pound but under 100 pounds is established in the law as a third degree felony, and punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison The charge is no longer referred to as “simple possession” and becomes “possession with intent to distribute”. After 100 pounds, the crime is upgraded to a...
How to Contact an Inmate at the Tooele County Jail

How to Contact an Inmate at the Tooele County Jail

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you may have already seen our article about visiting the Tooele County Jail.  In this article, we’ll be covering another aspect of the jail: its rules for corresponding with inmates, as well as sending money or loading commissary accounts.  If you violate these rules by mailing your loved one contraband, or talking about prohibited topics during your phone conversations, your loved one could lose some of their privileges. Rules for Talking to Inmates on the Phone Unfortunately, you cannot place calls to inmates at the Tooele County Jail, no matter what your relationship to the inmate may be.  The jail’s rules could not be clearer with these five words: “Inmates cannot receive incoming calls.”  You will have to wait until an inmate contacts you. When your loved one does call you, it will be via collect call, so be prepared to spend a little money on your conversation.  Fortunately, thanks to new rate caps recently introduced by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), calls are now much cheaper than they used to be: as much as 25% to 50% less.  The FCC issued a press release in August of 2013 explaining the new limits and the reasoning behind them. Cell phones are capable of receiving collect calls, just like landlines.  However, since calls from the jail are collect calls, you could run into problems if there’s a block on your phone.  Make sure to remove any blocks that could interfere with your loved one’s ability to reach you. If you have any questions about how calls from the jail work, you’ll need...
Wasatch County Jail Information for Families

Wasatch County Jail Information for Families

It’s always stressful when a relative or romantic partner is incarcerated.  If your loved one has been brought into custody at the Wasatch County Jail in Utah, there are probably lots of questions on your mind.  This article will cover some helpful information for spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and relatives, including visiting hours, how to load a commissary account, contacting an inmate, and getting in touch with jail personnel.  If your loved one needs legal help, our criminal defense attorneys are here to assist your family and provide you with the answers you need. Visiting the Wasatch County Jail Unless there are unusual circumstances like a lockdown, inmates are typically allowed to have one visit per visiting day.  Each visit may be up to 30 minutes long. Wasatch County jail visitation hours are based on gender and day of the week, as described below: Male Inmates Wednesday – 5:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Saturday – 12:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. Female Inmates Thursday – 5:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Sunday – 12:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. You cannot show up for a spontaneous visit.  You must arrive early, ideally by at least 15 to 20 minutes, so that you have enough time to sign in and go through security screenings.  If you have any metal piercings, jewelry, keys, belts buckles, or other metal items, leave them in your car to make the security screening faster and simpler. To schedule a visit or ask questions about the jail’s rules and policies for visitors, call the jail at (435) 657-1619 or the Wasatch County Sheriff at (435) 654-1411.  It will help to...
Will I Lose Custody if I’m Charged with a Sex Offense?

Will I Lose Custody if I’m Charged with a Sex Offense?

Every parent wants to spend as much time as possible with their children – that’s why you went through a custody battle in the first place.  However, if you’re charged with a sex crime, you could potentially lose your parental rights.  In this article, we’ll explain what happens when a divorced parent is accused of child abuse or sex offenses in Utah, and how being criminal charges could impact your custody arrangement. What if a Divorced Parent is Charged with Child Abuse? Title 30 of the Utah Code deals with legal matters relating to marriage and divorce.  Utah Code § 30-3-5.2, which took effect on May 13, 2014, makes specific provisions for situations where divorced or divorcing parents are investigated for the physical or sexual abuse of a child.   This law gives Utah’s courts the authority to order an investigation (after making an inquiry) in cases where “an allegation of child abuse or child sexual abuse is made” against either party.  This applies regardless of whether divorce proceedings are currently underway, or a divorce decree has already been granted and one party is requesting modification.   If an investigation is ordered, it will be conducted by the Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS).  Utah Code § 62A-4a-409 gives the DCFS the authority to “make a thorough preremoval investigation upon receiving either an oral or written report of alleged abuse, neglect, fetal alcohol syndrome, or fetal drug dependency,” provided that reasonable cause (such as a criminal charge) exists.   However, it is also possible to challenge the findings of a DCFS investigation by...
How to Send Money to an Inmate at the Summit County Jail

How to Send Money to an Inmate at the Summit County Jail

A commissary is a store inside of a jail where inmates can purchase goods like candy, snacks, socks, hygienic items, and writing supplies.  However, because inmates are not allowed to possess their own money, you’ll need to load your loved one’s commissary account with money in advance.  There are usually a few different methods of loading a commissary account, with varying policies from one correctional facility to another.  This article will explain how to send funds to inmates in custody at the Summit County Jail in Utah. Steps to Load an Inmate’s Account with Funds Online Before you can load your loved one’s commissary account, you’ll need to have a few basic pieces of information ready: The “Pay Location Code,” which is 5500. The name and state where the facility is located, which would be the Summit County Jail in Utah. The inmate’s name and inmate number. Once you’ve determined your loved one’s inmate number, you’re ready to send money.  Here are the steps to load a commissary account for inmates at the Summit County Jail: Go online and navigate to GovPayNet (govpaynow.com).  This is the web portal the Summit County Jail uses to process payments. Enter your Pay Location Code.  Use the 5500 number listed above. Next, you’ll be prompted to “Enter Payment Information.”  You’ll have to supply the inmate’s first, middle, and last name, the jail’s “facility code,” and the inmate’s booking number.  (There’s a link with a drop-down menu to choose your state for the facility code.) Click “Continue” and simply follow the prompts to complete your payment.  It’s always a good idea to keep the...
How to Send Money to an Inmate at the Utah County Jail

How to Send Money to an Inmate at the Utah County Jail

Jails contain stores known as commissaries, which typically sell items like snacks, condiments, writing utensils, hygiene products, and apparel.  However, inmates are not allowed to have their own money while they are being held in custody.  Therefore, you will have to load funds onto your loved one’s commissary account before they can make any purchases.  This article will explain how to send funds to an inmate at the Utah County Jail, which is located in Spanish Fork. How to Load Funds or Make a Direct Purchase The Utah County Jail processes commissary orders through a web service called MyCarePack.  To load an inmate’s commissary account or select items for direct purchase yourself, follow these simple steps: Navigate to MyCarePack.com. Select your state and facility (Utah County Jail) from the drop-down menu on the left hand side of the page, then click the “Enter” button. You’ll be taken to a welcome screen confirming that “you are now in the Utah County store.” Click the grey “Facility Guidelines” button and take a few minutes to read through the text. From here, you have two options.  You can either: Click the blue “Smart Deposit” button and select a deposit amount from the dropdown.  Deposit amounts are in increments of 10, starting at $20.00.  This will send the inmate funds, so that they can choose which products they’d like to buy. To make a direct commissary purchase yourself, simply click on your category of interest.  As of August, 2015, shoppers can choose between Stamps, Stationary, and/or Health & Beauty. What Items Are on the Utah County Jail Commissary Menu? Items you can find...
Tooele County Jail Visitation Hours and Rules for Visitors

Tooele County Jail Visitation Hours and Rules for Visitors

The Tooele County Jail (Tooele County Detention Center) is located at 47 S. Main St. in Tooele, Utah 84074.  It contains 277 beds and houses both male and female inmates, with security levels ranging from minimum security to maximum security.  In this article, our criminal defense lawyers will explain visiting hours and policies at the Tooele County Jail, including how to schedule visits over web cam. Rules and Restrictions for Visiting an Inmate As you can imagine, jails are extremely strict when it comes to security measures.  It’s very important that you follow the jail’s rules during your visit, or else you could be asked to leave.  By brushing up on the basics before your visit, you can make your session that much smoother and simpler. First, you should know about the dress code.  Visitors to the Tooele County Jail must be covered “from neck to kneecaps,” which means you are not allowed to wear the following items regardless of your gender: No tank-tops No muscle shirts No v-neck t-shirts No short-shorts No mini-skirts No halter tops No tube tops No strapless dresses No half-shirts or belly shirts No low-cut shirts You must be completely sober when you visit.  If you seem to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when you arrive, you will be asked to leave the jail, even if you do not have any alcohol or narcotics with you. On a related note, the jail will force “disorderly” visitors to leave (even if they are completely sober).  That means no swearing, no yelling, no taunting the inmates or jail personnel, and no fighting or...
Utah County Jail Visitation Hours and Visitor Rules

Utah County Jail Visitation Hours and Visitor Rules

When visiting any jail or prison, it’s very important to follow the facility’s rules to the letter.  If you don’t, you could be sent home or denied entry, and will not be able to see your loved one.  If you learn the rules ahead of time, visiting will be that much simpler.  This article will cover the visitor policies and visitation hours at the Utah County Jail, which is located at 3075 North Main St. in the city of Spanish Fork. Inmate Visiting Schedule at the Utah County Jail Utah County Jail visitation hours are Monday through Friday during the following times: 9:00 A.M to 10:30 A.M. 1:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. On-site visits are not conducted face-to-face.  Instead, sessions are held through a service called Telmate, which connects inmates with visitors via video monitors located at the jail. If you want to schedule a visit, you have to get registered with Telmate first.  To set up your Telmate account, visit telmate.com.  Once your account is set up, simply follow the prompts to schedule your visit.  You can also register: By calling the Telmate customer service line at (866) 516-0115. In person at the jail.  You will need a government-issued photo ID to complete the registration process. No matter how you register, all scheduled visits must be confirmed/accepted by the inmates.  If the inmate does not accept the appointment, the visit will not be permitted. Please be advised that, generally speaking, the following visitors are not allowed: Parolees and probationers. Anyone who was booked into the Utah County Jail during the past five years....
When Will You Stop Paying Alimony?

When Will You Stop Paying Alimony?

In the aftermath of a divorce, alimony is not just a monthly reminder of the painful process both parties have gone through: it can also signify a serious financial burden for the paying spouse, a burden that at times is unbearable and can hinder a person’s economic freedom from that day forward. However, alimony payments don’t last forever. Duration of Alimony in Utah We’ve previously explained how the alimony payment plan is determined by the court, as well as the steps to follow in the event that the payments are too high, but in this article we will address some of the different laws in Utah which mention the termination of alimony payments. Under Utah Code § 30-3-5(8)(j), it is clearly outlined that alimony may not be granted for a duration longer than the number of years the marriage existed. Let’s examine a hypothetical case in order to explain each specific aspect: Bob and Jean Smith have been married for five years, but they have decided that enough is enough. If they file for divorce, and the judge rules that Bob must provide alimony payments for Jean, then those payments could not be established to go on for longer than five years. That is, unless, at some point during that period the court decides that extenuating circumstances apply and that Bob must continue to provide those payments to Jean for a longer period of time. These extenuating or extraordinary circumstances must prove to be a severe disruption in the recipient’s normal lifestyle. A few common examples are termination from a job or a severe, life-threatening ailment. Continuing with our...
Summit County Jail Visitation Hours and Visitor Rules

Summit County Jail Visitation Hours and Visitor Rules

It goes without saying that jails and prisons follow strict rules.  Before visiting an inmate, it’s important to go over visiting hours and visitor policies so that your session goes smoothly.  If you break any rules, jail personnel may end your visit prematurely.  This article will go over visitation hours and rules for visitors to the Summit County Jail in Utah. Rules and Regulations for Visiting an Inmate If you take the time to understand what to expect and how to conduct yourself while visiting the Summit County Jail, it will be that much easier for you to avoid breaking the rules and accidentally getting yourself or your loved one into trouble during your visit. First and foremost, you need to know where you’re going.  The Summit County Jail is located at the following address: 6300 Justice Center Rd. Park City, UT 84098 But before you get in the car, double-check to make sure you have at least two forms of valid ID, and that at least one of your IDs includes a photograph.  Government-issued IDs such as passports, state IDs, and driver’s licenses are all acceptable forms of identification.  If you don’t have the proper ID, you won’t be allowed to visit your loved one. Please be advised that the Summit County Jail will not accept the following types of visitors: No probationers No parolees No visitors who have been convicted of a felony (e.g. murder, rape) No visitors who used to work for the inmate No visitors who have been released from jail or prison in the past 90 days No visitors who break the jail’s rules...