Bountiful, UT Criminal Defense Lawyer

Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer

Being arrested and charged with a crime is a nightmare nobody wants to have. An attorney can help you protect your rights while fighting the charges against you. After being arrested, the police will likely take you to the nearest police station. Once there, you will be booked, and the police might want to interrogate you about the alleged crime. You should hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You are entitled to have a lawyer with you, per your Miranda rights, and you should invoke these rights immediately. The potential criminal penalties in your case depend on how you are charged, and penalties might range from minor fines to significant jail time. Moreover, penalties beyond those outlined in criminal statutes could affect your life. You may have difficulty getting certain jobs or exercising certain constitutional rights, like owning firearms if you have a criminal conviction on your record.

Our criminal defense lawyer can help you protect yourself during interrogation, challenge warrants, and suppress evidence. We have dedicated our practice to defending individuals charged with crimes and are committed to seeing justice done on your behalf and fighting for the best possible outcome in your case.

For a free evaluation of your case by our criminal defense lawyers, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.

What Happens After Being Arrested in Bountiful, UT

How someone is arrested can be unpredictable. Sometimes, the defendant knows an arrest is imminent and can prepare to encounter the police. Other people are taken by complete surprise. The police must have an arrest warrant to take someone into custody unless an exception to the warrant rule applies. In any case, the police will likely take you to the police station for processing and questioning.

You have likely heard that arrestees have the right to remain silent and do not have to answer any questions. While this is true, it does not apply to the booking process. When you are booked, the police will ask for your personal and biographical information. This is usually to enter you into their database and ensure they have the correct person. You usually must answer these questions and cannot refuse. Doing so might land you in more trouble.

After booking, the police might have a few questions to ask you. When the police have a person in custody and ask potentially incriminating questions about an alleged offense, their Miranda rights kick in. Your Miranda rights – often repeated on TV and in movies – include your right to remain silent and have a lawyer present. The police must inform you of these rights before beginning their line of questioning. If they do not, our criminal defense lawyers can help you challenge any incriminating details the police obtain from their unlawful questioning.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Bountiful, UT

You should hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Many defendants do not realize they need a lawyer until after they are arrested. In that case, you can invoke your Miranda rights, stop questions from the police, and contact an attorney. The police might try to discourage you from speaking to an attorney. They often emphasize that waiting for a lawyer means waiting at the police station and answering their questions quickly will get you home faster. While that may sound appealing in the moment, do not be fooled. Call our lawyers.

Some defendants know that a warrant is out for their arrest, or they suspect that law enforcement is looking for them. The police might have spoken to people in the community about the defendant or even to the defendant themselves, and the defendant might see an arrest coming. In such a case, you should hire a lawyer before even being arrested. The sooner you can begin preparing with an attorney, the better. If you have had any suspicious encounters with law enforcement, had your home searched, or are otherwise aware of a criminal investigation, call our criminal defense lawyers for help immediately.

Possible Criminal Penalties in Bountiful, UT

Criminal charges are often very complex, and your unique combination of charges might be accompanied by an equally unique potential penalty. Depending on what the prosecution wants to do, penalties and sentences may be meted out concurrently or consecutively. Concurrent penalties are served at the same time. So, if you have one conviction for five years in prison and one conviction for three, you will serve them both at the same time and, theoretically, be done in five years. Consecutive sentences, on the other hand, are served one after the other. So, for the same five and three-year sentences, you would serve eight years since they would happen one after the other. Our criminal defense lawyers can assess your charges, advise you of potential penalties, and help you fight the charges.


Felonies are some of the most harshly punished criminal offenses on the books in Utah. Felonies are divided into three broad subcategories: first, second, and third-degree felonies. Third-degree felonies are the least severe, while first-degree felonies are the most. You should contact our criminal defense attorneys if you even suspect you might be charged with a felony.

According to Utah Code § 76-3-303, third-degree felonies can be punished by up to 5 years in prison. Second-degree felonies can be penalized with a prison term of at least 1 year but no more than 15. Finally, a first-degree felony conviction might be met with a prison sentence of at least 5 years and up to life.

Felonies can have life consequences beyond prison and fines. First, many jobs will not hire people convicted of felonies, so getting employment after a felony conviction may be difficult. Second, if friends or family are aware of the fact that you have a felony conviction, they may thing of you differently or not want to associate with you at all. Third, it can be more difficult for convicted felons to live in certain areas or take out certain loans from a bank. Finally, felons are prohibited from owning firearms in the United States.

Capital Felonies

In Utah, capital felonies may be met with a sentence of death or life in prison. There are only a few capital felonies on the books, and they are usually very violent offenses, like murder. According to Utah Code § 76-3-206(2)(a), a person who was at least 18 when the offense was committed may be sentenced to death or at least 25 years in prison and up to life. Capital penalties do not apply to defendants younger than 18 when the offense was allegedly committed.


Misdemeanors, while very serious charges, are somewhat less severe than felonies. Like felonies, misdemeanors are divided into 3 subcategories: Class A, B, and C. Although some lesser misdemeanor offenses are not punished very harshly, multiple charges can add up to a significant penalty, and you should call our criminal defense lawyers for help.

Under Utah Code § 76-3-204, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Class B misdemeanors are punishable by no more than 6 months in jail. Class A misdemeanors are only a single step below felonies and can be punished by up to 364 days in jail.

You should not face any criminal charges alone, and our criminal defense lawyers can help you protect your best interests and fight the charges.

Criminal Defense Proceedings in Bountiful, UT

It can be useful to know how a criminal defense case can play out so that you have an idea of what to expect from the process. There are a number of directions that a criminal case can go, and our criminal defense lawyers can work for you and try and get the best possible outcome for your case.


One of the first things that happens after someone is arrested for criminal charges is what is called an arraignment. An arraignment is a formal reading of criminal charges to the defendant. In many cases, this is the first time that the defendant hears the full extent of the charges against them.

At an arraignment, you have the option to enter a plea. A plea can be “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” In most circumstances, it is best to enter a plea of not guilty as it preservers your right to trial. However, if we have made a favorable deal with the prosecution, it may be a good idea to enter a guilty plea or a plea of no contest. What plea you enter will depend on the facts and circumstances of your particular situation.

Pre-Trial Deals and Motions

A large portion of a criminal case happens before trial. There is a tremendous amount of preparation work from both the prosecutor and our lawyers. This time is spent collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and doing other things to prepare for trial.

During this time, both sides can try and make a deal and/or file pre-trial motions.

A pre-trial motion is when a lawyer asks the court to do something for them in the case. As an example, one of the most common pre-trial motions is a motion to suppress evidence. This can come up if our lawyers believe that the prosecution obtained evidence illegally, because the evidence is not relevant to the case or because the evidence is unduly prejudicial to one side of the case over the other.

Also during this time, you may be offered a deal by the prosecution. This could be anything from lowering the type of charge to dropping the case entirely. It is important to consult with our lawyers and get all the information possible before accepting any deal, as deals from the prosecution generally result in some kind of conviction or admission. However, prosecutors may fight harder in court if you refuse a deal. Ultimately, whether you accept a deal or not will depend on the unique factors of your case.


If no understanding or agreement can be reached between the parties, the case then goes to trial. At trial our lawyers and the prosecutor present their arguments and evidence to the jury, who ultimately decides whether to find you guilty or not guilty. In a criminal case, a jury must be certain beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed a crime. If the cannot reach that level of certainty, they cannot convict.


Some cases will be appealed after trial. An appeal is when you take your case to a higher court because you have a belief that there was an error during the initial trial. It is important to remember that certain things can be appealed and certain things cannot. For example, many procedural errors can be appealed, such as letting in evidence that should not have been in the case. However, most factual findings cannot be appealed since courts tend to trust the judgment of the jury in that arena.

A quirk of how the Utah court system is set up is that some appeals will work differently than others. Utah has a special kind of court called a “justice court” which hears cases involving misdemeanors and minor infractions. Unlike district courts, which record proceedings, justice courts do not. Therefore, there is significantly less material for an appeals court to rely on. Accordingly, appeals in justice courts are called “de novo” appeals. This basically means that you get a new trial if the appeal is granted. This new trial will be at a district court.

Under Utah Code § 78A-7-118, you must file your appeal within 28 days of the trial. In law, this is not a lot of time, so you need to act fairly quickly if you wish to appeal.

As with most things in the legal world, whether or not you should appeal your case depends on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation.

Call Our Bountiful, UT Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help Now

For a free review of your case and charges, call our criminal defense lawyers from Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.