Can a Wife Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney for Her Husband in Salt Lake City?

Finding out that a loved one, such as your husband, is facing criminal charges can be a stressful experience to navigate. If you have no prior history dealing with the Utah criminal justice system, you may be confused about what you can and should do to help your husband deal with his situation. You may not know if he will have to contact a lawyer himself from jail, or if you can find a lawyer for him. Below, our experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at Overson & Bugden will walk you through the criminal justice process and how you can best assist your husband in bringing his matter to a positive resolution.

Hiring an Attorney for Someone Else in Salt Lake City

You may be unsure whether you are permitted to hire a criminal defense attorney on your husband’s behalf. The simple answer is yes. Any person can hire an attorney to represent anyone else on a criminal matter in Utah. However, there will be limits on what the attorney can discuss with you about the particulars of your husband’s case due to attorney-client privilege. Unless your husband waives attorney-client privilege with regard to you, anything discussed between your husband and his attorney will be confidential, even if you are technically paying for the attorney’s services.

Can Wives Pay Bail for a Husband in Salt Lake City?

Once your husband has been arrested, what happens next will be dependent on how serious the charges against him are. For low-level offenses, the police may simply choose to issue a citation with a date to appear in court and allow the individual to be released. For most offenses, however, bail will be set by a judge at a hearing scheduled within 48 hours of your husband’s arrest.

It is important for multiple reasons that you retain a lawyer to represent your husband at this hearing. For one thing, if the charge is particularly serious, the judge has the discretion to hold someone without bail. A lawyer can argue that your husband does not represent a threat to the public and so should be released while the underlying matter is resolved.

If the judge decides to set bail, they will first consider the Utah Uniform Bail Schedule. These guidelines are produced by a state commission and give the judge a particular amount that should be issued for each crime. The individual’s criminal history will also be considered as part of the guidelines. For example, the Uniform Bail Schedule will suggest that a person charged with robbery who has no criminal history be given lower bail than a person charged with robbery who has multiple robbery convictions on their record.

However, a judge always has it within their discretion to consider “extenuating circumstances” when imposing bail. This means that, while they generally follow the bail schedule, they do not have to. An experienced bail hearing attorney like the team at Overson & Bugden understands the factors a judge will take into consideration when making their decision on bail.  Such factors include ties to the community through employment and community service, strong family ties, whether you are a flight risk, and the severity of the crime alleged. Our lawyers will craft a persuasive argument to get bail set for you at the lowest possible amount.

Sometimes, bail may be set an amount too high for you to pay on your own. If this is the case, we can work with you through the process of retaining the services of a bail bondman who can put up the money. Be aware though that, if your husband fails to appear for court, the bail bondsman will have to pay the full amount of your husband’s bail and is likely to come after you to satisfy this debt.

How Can a Lawyer Help with The Rest of My Husband’s Case in Salt Lake City?

Once bail has been granted or denied, an arraignment will be held where your husband will plead guilty or not guilty to the crime alleged. A lawyer at this point will almost certainly advise your husband to plead not guilty. This will allow the lawyer time to receive all the evidence that the prosecutor has and assess whether their case is weak or strong.

It will also allow your lawyer time to negotiate with the prosecutor to try to work out a deal on your husband’s case. Often such a deal will involve him pleading to lesser charges or the prosecutor recommending a less severe sentence in exchange for him waiving his right to a jury trial. For some minor offenses and if your husband is a first-time offender, his lawyer may be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor where he enters a diversionary program rather than take the case through the court system.

If no acceptable deal is worked out between your lawyer and the prosecutor, our experienced trial attorneys at Overson & Bugden can take your husband’s case to trial. We have many years of experience at mounting aggressive defenses in the Salt Lake City court system for all sorts of criminal cases. We will do everything in our power to get your husband acquitted of the charges. If he is found guilty, however, we can make a case at his sentencing hearing that he deserves less harsh punishments than the judge may normally be inclined to hand out.

If Your Husband Has Been Arrested, Call Our Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney

You are totally within your rights to hire an attorney to defend someone else in court, including your husband. When someone is in detention awaiting the next steps, it can be incredibly helpful for them to have a person on the outside working to get a lawyer on their case as soon as possible. At Overson & Bugden, our Sandy, UT criminal defense attorneys will start work on your case as soon as you engage our services. We can fight your husband’s case from his bail hearing, to plea bargaining, and all the way through to trial if necessary. Call us today for a free consultation at (801) 758-2287.