Criminal Defense Lawyer for Mormon Missionaries in Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

The prospect of facing criminal prosecution can be frightening. This is especially the case in Salt Lake City Utah where the public defenders’ office is currently under scrutiny because public defense lawyers are overworked and underpaid. Mormon missionaries in Salt Lake City Utah facing criminal charges may have additional hurdles since religious faith can be unfairly probed in criminal prosecutions. Criminal convictions can lead to steep fines, months or possibly years of prison time, probation or a combination of both punishments. What most people don’t realize is that Mormon missionaries can lose life’s vocational work and that there are potentially severe discipline consequences within the Mormon Church, including the risk of being expelled. A setback in the life Mormon missionary doesn’t have to define the rest of his or her life, and all the self-less volunteering efforts don’t have to be tarnished by one fateful event.

A proactive criminal defense approach can be of great benefit to a Mormon missionary. If your son or daughter is a Mormon missionary arrested and charged with a crime, look to the Overson law firm for aggressive and trustworthy legal representation. Founding attorney Darwin Overson has decades working as a defense lawyer against a wide array of felony and misdemeanor charges and is ready to put his experience to work for your family. For a free consultation, contact us online, or call (801) 515-0883.

Overview of Our Mormon Missionaries’ Criminal Defense Practice

Individuals charged with a crime, are called “defendants” throughout the process. The prosecutor is a lawyer who works for the government. Prosecutors are appointed to prove the charges brought against the defendant. The criminal trial is the stage where the case is presented. A skilled criminal defense lawyer in Utah will communicate with prosecutors in order to determine what is the best course of action. A young missionary facing a potentially uphill criminal prosecution battle will need significant support and options at all stages of the prosecution—and possibly afterward if expungement is warranted.

Crimes are generally classified into three categories: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Anytime someone is charged with a crime in Utah the proof must be established “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is known as the burden of proof in criminal cases. The burden of proof is the minimum level of evidence that must be brought forth in order to establish the defendant’s guilt or innocence. The Utah code defines what is known as “elements of the crime.” These are typically specific facts the legislature deems to show the crime was completed as a matter of law. Prosecutors must prove that the conclusions are based on facts, not on concepts or prejudices. In addition, Utah has a high standard for the prosecutors’ job because the jury has to agree unanimously as to the final finding or verdict.

Preventing Prejudiced Decisions Against Mormon Missionaries

Experienced attorneys will stop the introduction of misleading information as evidence at trial. In the case of Mormon missionaries, a seasoned criminal defense attorney will take precautions to prevent religious beliefs from having a prejudicial effect throughout the presentation of the evidence. The information tending to have this detrimental effect is usually an incident or aspects of the defendant’s life story of no consequence to the factual questions at issue. This information can influence the judgment of the jurors and lead to the risk of “fundamental unfairness.” Good examples are prior offenses or charges that are unrelated or have no bearing on the specific facts of the case. The information regarding the Church of the Latter Day Saints can jeopardize the outcome because jurors come with their own personal views on religion.

Fundamental unfairness means the verdict will not be based solely on relevant facts. This poses problems in criminal cases, and an experienced criminal defense attorney will be keenly aware of this potential risk. There are ways to avoid this risk including presenting timely objections or notifications to the judge that seasoned criminal defense attorneys should assert on a regular basis.

Expungement of Criminal Record in Utah

There are some crimes that can be expunged or removed from a record in Utah. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help a young Mormon missionary continue his life’s vocation without the harsh impact of a criminal conviction record. Once all fines, fees, restitution, and penalties are done, there are ways to expunge or remove criminal conviction records. At the very least, expungement of a criminal record can help minimize the burden of a criminal past in the life of a young Mormon missionary. Expunging a criminal record means that the court orders the history of the case to be sealed. This includes:

  • Arrest records
  • Data related to an investigation
  • Detention records
  • Conviction, including the verdict and if there was a guilty plea

Expungement can be an extraordinarily advantageous move because it means only government officials can have access to the records. No other organization, entity or individual should have access to these records. This is true for all convictions, even if there is a plea agreement or “plea of abeyance” where the defendant agrees to culpability in exchange for some considerations.

Call Your Salt Lake City, Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer for Mormon Missionaries

Attorneys working at the law offices of Darwin Overson are committed to upholding and protecting the constitutional Mormon missionaries throughout the state of Utah. No matter how serious the charges may be, Darwin Overson, with his dedicated team can fight for reduced penalties, reduced charges, or even a complete dismissal of the charges.

Darwin Overson has a long track record of obtaining acquittals and other favorable outcomes for young defendants – even in challenging high-stakes criminal cases. Our mission is to protect your family’s future. For a free legal consultation with an experienced criminal attorney, contact us online today, or call Darwin Overson at (801) 515-0883.