Can I Settle My Criminal Case in Utah during COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life for months or possibly even years to come. If you were in the midst of handling your criminal case, you might wonder what your legal options are due to the spread of the coronavirus. Fortunately, you may still be able to resolve your criminal case during the pandemic by filing a plea by affidavit. If you require legal assistance to file a plea by affidavit, you should contact an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer today. Overson, Law, PLLC, is committed to providing legal representation to our clients during these difficult times. Our firm understands the stress of knowing your case may drag on for months, and we are here to help you weigh your legal options. Criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson is here to explain how to settle your criminal case during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Utah Pandemic Order for Criminal Cases during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a number of pushed back court dates for people that were ready to resolve their criminal offense and move on with their life. To clarify any issues faced by defendants, the State of Utah has published the “Utah Pandemic Order.”
The Utah Pandemic Order discusses what services Utah courts will continue to provide during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, if you had a criminal case concerning domestic violence or driving under the influence, the court may expedite this case as they view it as a high priority.
Many courts in the state, including the Salt Lake City Justice Court, will continue to operate during the pandemic. However, the public will not be able to enter the courtroom and must conduct any business using the Mobile Command Center.
Most importantly, Utah courts will be granting continuances to individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19. If you are only experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 like fevers and chills, you may also be granted a continuance. Additionally, members of the public that are at a higher risk due to an underlying condition are eligible for continuances. For example, if you are over the age of 60 or you are pregnant, you may be able to request a continuance for your case.
To learn more about filing a plea by affidavit during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney today.
How to File a Plea by Affidavit in Utah during Coronavirus
With the many changes caused by COVID-19, people are interested in resolving their cases from the safety of their homes. Fortunately, a plea by affidavit may provide them with that opportunity. A plea by affidavit allows a person to enter a plea with the court by using a written statement. However, only individuals that live outside the State of Utah may utilize a plea by affidavit. It is important to note that the prosecutor may impose other requirements before permitting a person to file a plea by affidavit. An experienced attorney can help you communicate with the prosecutor’s office to determine whether you qualify for this form of pleading.
Pleas by affidavit are extremely useful for out-of-state individuals that were arrested or cited for an offense in Utah. Retaining a Utah defense lawyer will allow you to litigate your criminal case without returning to the state every time there is a hearing.
In Utah, defendants have the privilege to determine whether they will attend certain court proceedings. However, it may also be wise to consult with an experienced attorney to determine when you should consider handling a criminal matter with a plea by affidavit. Our firm can help you explore your legal options if you wish to file a plea by affidavit.
Criminal Cases We Handle
At Overson Law, PLLC, we handle a wide range of criminal cases. If you are interested in filing a plea by affidavit for the following offenses, we are ready to work with you:
- Juvenile crimes
- Obstruction of justice
- Disorderly conduct
- Identity theft
- Terroristic threats
- Violent crimes
- Property offenses
- Drug charges
This is not an exhaustive list.
The criminal penalties in Utah will vary depending on the circumstances of your case. A defendant can be charged with an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony. In order of severity, infractions carry the least severe penalties, while felonies carry the most severe penalties.
Infractions are typically punishable by fines of a few hundred dollars. Misdemeanors are punishable up to a maximum of 364 days in jail, depending on the grade of your offense. For example, a Class C misdemeanor carries a maximum of up to 90 days in jail, while Class A misdemeanors carry penalties of up to 364 days in jail. Alternatively, felonies carry at least one year of prison time for a conviction.
Work with Our Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer to File Your Plea by Affidavit during Coronavirus
If you or a family member need legal assistance to file for a plea by affidavit, you should consult with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney today. At Overson Law, PLLC, we are committed to providing you with the unique and aggressive legal representation needed to handle your criminal case. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the court system in Utah, and we are here to alleviate your concerns. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Overson Law, PLLC, at (801) 758-2287.