Layton Criminal Defense Lawyer
The consequences of a criminal conviction can ruin the rest of your life. In addition to receiving thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in fines, you could also be sentenced to spend years, decades, or life in prison. Many offenses also carry additional penalties, such as suspension of your driver’s license, supervised probation, and mandatory community service. Finally, you will receive a criminal record, which can interfere with important matters like loans and employment.
When you’re facing consequences this serious, it’s of critical importance to make sure that a knowledgeable and experienced defense attorney is protecting your rights while fighting for a favorable resolution to your case. Darwin Overson brings more than 16 years of legal experience to every case he handles, including assault, drug charges, DUI, weapons crimes, sex crimes, theft, homicide, vandalism, and other felonies and misdemeanors in Layton, UT.
If you or one of your loved ones was arrested in Utah, the time to seek legal help is now. To get a free, completely confidential assessment of your case, call criminal attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 today.
What is the Legal Process After You’re Arrested in Layton?
While media depictions have spread the idea that criminal cases are synonymous with trial, trial is actually the final step after a series of other hearings and appearances. Many criminal cases never make it to trial. The way in which your case will develop depends on unique factors, which is part of why it’s important to talk to an attorney about what to expect and how to prepare after you or one of your loved ones is arrested.
Once a person is placed under arrest, he or she will be processed, or “booked,” by police officers. This process involves taking a mugshot, getting fingerprints, and collecting personal belongings and information. Once the defendant has been brought into custody, typically at a county jail like the Davis County Jail, the prosecutor has 72 hours to file charges.
The defendant is generally eligible to be released on bail, but must return for all future court hearings. If the defendant fails to appear, the judge can issue a warrant for his or her arrest. If bail is too high, it may be possible to have the amount lowered, or, if the bail is bondable, to use a bail bond.
If the charges relate to a felony, the first stage in the court process is the first appearance, when charges are formally announced, which is followed by the preliminary hearing, when the prosecutor tries to establish probable cause for proceeding with the case. If the charges involve a misdemeanor, the first step is the arraignment, when the defendant enters a plea. Next, attorneys from both sides have the opportunity to file pre-trial motions, or requests to the judge. If a pre-trial conference and plea bargaining fail to resolve matters, the case must go to trial, where the jury must return a unanimous verdict. If the jury is not in unanimous agreement, a new trial may be scheduled.
What Are the Criminal Penalties for Misdemeanors and Felonies in UT?
Utah, like many states, divides criminal offenses into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies, with the latter being subject to greater penalties.
Depending on how an offense is defined, and what sort of factors were present when the crime was allegedly committed, certain types of crimes can be a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, simple assault is a misdemeanor, but aggravated assault is a felony, because it involves factors like causing serious injury or using a dangerous weapon. Some common examples of aggravating factors which can lead to enhanced penalties include:
- Endangering the safety of a child.
- Committing an offense on school property.
- Having prior violations.
The maximum fines and sentences for misdemeanors and felonies by class and degree are listed below. If a defendant is convicted, additional penalties may also be ordered.
- First Degree Felony
Maximum Fine — $10,000
Maximum Sentence — Life in prison
- Second Degree Felony
Maximum Fine —$10,000
Maximum Sentence — 15 years in prison
- Third Degree Felony
Maximum Fine — $5,000
Maximum Sentence — 5 years in prison
- Class A Misdemeanor
Maximum Fine — $2,500
Maximum Sentence — 1 year in jail
- Class B Misdemeanor
Maximum Fine — $1,000
Maximum Sentence — 6 months in jail
- Class C Misdemeanor
Maximum Fine — $750
Maximum Sentence — 90 days in jail
Our Utah Criminal Lawyers Can Help You With Your Case
If you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Layton, you can count on criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson to provide aggressive, strategic legal representation. To set up a free and private consultation with Darwin, call (801) 758-2287 right away.