St. George Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you or someone you love is charged with a crime, your life turns upside down overnight. It’s a scary and overwhelming situation to find yourself in, especially if you’ve never been arrested and don’t know what to expect from Utah’s criminal justice system.
If you or someone in your family was arrested in St. George, know that you don’t have to go through this difficult time on your own. With over 16 years of experience, our passionate and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys are here to fight the allegations and protect your Constitutional liberties, no matter how complex or serious the charges against you may be. To set up a free and private legal consultation, call our law offices at (801) 758-2287 today.
Types of Charges Our St. George Criminal Attorneys Handle
Criminal defense attorneys Darwin Overson represents adults and juveniles in the 84101 zip code of Salt Lake City, which extends from North Temple to 1300 South and South 600 West to Main Street. Offenses he handles range from minor misdemeanors to highly complex felonies, including but not limited to:
- Aggravated Assault
- Child Abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Simple Assault
- Drug Crimes
- Marijuana Possession
- Possession with Intent to Distribute/Deliver (PWID)
- Prescription Pills (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet)
- Psilocybin Mushrooms
- Simple Possession
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- Aggravated Murder
- Negligent Homicide
- Property Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- Fraud and Scams
- Identity Theft
- Money Laundering
Criminal Penalties in UT: Fines and Jail or Prison
There are three types of offenses in Utah:
- Violations – Violations are not actually crimes. When a person commits a parking violation, he or she is issued a citation and is required to pay a fine or go to court.
- Misdemeanors – Misdemeanors are crimes which are less serious than felonies. Class C and Class B misdemeanors are heard in Utah’s justice courts, while Class A misdemeanors, which are just one step below felonies, may be heard in district court.
- Felonies – Felonies are the most serious type of criminal offense, often carrying long prison terms and thousands of dollars in criminal fines. After a person has been convicted of a felony, he or she may lose rights and privileges, such as the ability to hold certain licenses. Despite a profusion of laws designed to curb this very issue, the unfortunate reality is that former felons often struggle against discrimination when it comes to employment, housing, and lending. Felony charges are generally heard in district court, though potential exists for the outcome of a case to be challenged in the Court of Appeals or even before the Supreme Court of Utah.
Misdemeanors and felonies are each divided into three different groups, called “classes” for misdemeanors and “degrees” for felonies, depending on the details of the alleged offense. As a crime’s grading rises, the potential penalties become more severe. Criminal penalties in Utah are listed below by class and degree.
- Class C Misdemeanor
Fine – Up to $750
Sentence – Up to 90 days (3 months) in jail
- Class B Misdemeanor
Fine – Up to $1,000
Sentence – Up to 6 months in jail
- Class A Misdemeanor
Fine – Up to $2,500
Sentence – Up to 1 year in jail
- Third Degree Felony
Fine – Up to $5,000
Sentence – 0 to 5 years in prison
- Second Degree Felony
Fine – Up to $10,000
Sentence – 1 to 15 years in prison
- First Degree Felony
Fine – Up to $10,000
Sentence – 5 years to life in prison
Fines and incarceration aren’t the only possible consequences of a criminal conviction in Utah. Depending on the nature of the offense, the courts might also impose additional or alternate penalties, including but not limited to:
- Community Service
- Driver’s License Suspension/Revocation
- Driver Safety Courses
- Electronic Monitoring (House Arrest)
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Sex Offender Registration
- Work Programs
How Mitigating and Aggravating Factors Affect a Sentence
Stated simply, mitigating factors make a sentence lighter while aggravating factors make a sentence more severe. The presence or absence of mitigating or aggravating factors can dramatically lighten – or intensify – the jail or prison term which would otherwise be sentenced.
Some common examples of aggravating factors include:
- Causing a serious physical injury.
- Child endangerment.
- Committing a crime on school property.
- Committing a hate crime.
- Injuring or victimizing a child, elderly person, disabled person, or person who is otherwise vulnerable.
- Injuring or victimizing a person you had formal authority over (e.g. a student-teacher relationship).
- Using a dangerous weapon during the course of the crime.
Alternately, common examples of mitigating factors include:
- Being a non-violent offender with a clean record, in which case you might be a good candidate for alternate sentencing programs like drug court.
- Cooperating with law enforcement.
- Having a disability that interferes with the defendant’s ability to understand his or her own actions.
Utah’s only capital felony, or felony subject to capital punishment, is aggravated murder. If you or someone you love was arrested in St. George, don’t delay getting legal help. The sooner you reach out for assistance, the sooner our firm can begin building your defense strategy. For a free and private legal consultation, call our criminal attorneys right away at (801) 758-2287.