West Valley City Criminal Defense Lawyer

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

For most people, being arrested on suspicion of committing a crime is a frightening and completely alien experience.  The process of being handcuffed, questioned, fingerprinted, and photographed can be extremely traumatic, and many individuals who are charged with committing criminal offenses initially feel overwhelmed, panicked, and confused.  Regardless of personal background or charge details, virtually everyone facing a criminal allegation worries about the same questions. Will I lose my job?  Will I have to go to prison?  Will I be fined?

Unfortunately, in the state of Utah many criminal convictions do come with extremely harsh legal consequences.  Even convictions which are assigned a comparatively “light” misdemeanor grading can result in months of incarceration, and thousands of dollars in fines.  Furthermore, the penalties for being convicted of a crime often continue to haunt former convicts well into their futures.  An individual who has a documented offense on their criminal record may be overlooked by prospective employers, barred from living within certain buildings or communities, or even fired from the position they currently hold.

Our Utah Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving West Valley City

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If you are convicted of committing a crime, everything you value could be taken away, including your career, your income, your freedom, your personal relationships, and your self-esteem. Depending on the nature of your offense, you could also lose valued privileges such as the ability to drive, vote, or own a firearm.  You may also be ordered to fulfill additional sentencing requirements, such as mandatory substance abuse counseling, or registration on a list of sex offenders.  A criminal conviction can permanently change your entire life.

When your future is stake, you cannot afford to represent yourself in court.  Police officers and prosecuting attorneys are specifically trained to overwhelm alleged offenders with harsh interrogation tactics, and defendants are often unaware that their legal rights are being violated. West Valley City criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson believes people accused of committing crimes are innocent until proven guilty, and will aggressively advocate for you in court to protect your rights and ensure a fair trial.  Regardless of the allegations against you, you deserve the benefit of an experienced and committed defense attorney.

The West Valley City lawyers at Overson Law, LLC have over 15 years of experience handling a wide variety of criminal matters, including but not limited to:

  • Assault
  • DUI
  • Juvenile Offenses
  • Narcotics
  • Sex Offenses
  • Theft
  • Weapons
  • White Collar Offenses

West Valley City Arrest Data

According to the Crime in Utah Report, which is compiled annually by the Utah Department of Public Safety, in 2012 West Valley City had a population of 132,434 residents.  The West Valley City Police Department reported making:

  • 4,563 adult arrests
  • 1,710 juvenile arrests
  • 6,273 total arrests

This data means that over the course of 2012, almost 5% of the West Valley City population was arrested.  Crimes with the highest arrest tallies included:

  • 120 robbery arrests
  • 388 aggravated assault arrests
  • 889 burglary arrests
  • 4,038 larceny arrests

In 2012 West Valley City experienced a crime rate of 45.97 per 1,000, the fourth highest crime rate in Utah.

Utah Crimes: Penalties and Sentencing

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The two primary assault categories are:

  1. Simple Assault
  2. Aggravated Assault

Simple assault is elevated to the more serious charge of aggravated assault when the victim’s injuries are classified as severe, or when the victim works within certain areas of the public sector (e.g. EMTs, police officers).

  • Simple Assault
    Grade: Class A Misdemeanor
    Fine: $2,500
    Sentence: 1 year, jail
  • Aggravated Assault
    Grade: 2nd Degree Felony
    Fine: $10,000
    Sentence: 15 years, prison
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Image from the Utah Dept. of Public Safety


You may have noticed that the West Valley City arrest data differentiated between robbery, burglary, and larceny (theft).  While these terms are interchangeable in casual conversation, they are separate offenses in the eyes of the courts.

  • Robbery: Involves stealing directly from a person (e.g. mugging, purse-snatching).
  • Burglary: Involves entering a premises with the intent to commit a crime (e.g. breaking and entering).
  • Theft: Involves stealing goods, services, or another commodity (e.g. identity theft, cable theft).

Charges related to robbery, burglary, or theft may receive a minimum grading of Class B Misdemeanor (theft only), up to a maximum grading of 1st Degree Felony.  The minimum grading for robbery and burglary is 3rd Degree Felony.  Robbery and burglary are not misdemeanor charges.

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Image from the Utah Dept. of Public Safety.

Drug Crimes:

Narcotics charges and the associated legal consequences vary widely.  Most narcotics charges fall into one of two categories:

  • Simple Possession (personal possession only)
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute

The crime grading for drug offenses is influenced by type and amount of drug, which can in turn influence the charge itself.  For example, if a person is found in possession of two pounds of marijuana, he or she is more likely to be charged with intent to distribute than a person who is found in possession of two grams.

In general, Utah drug crimes can be given classifications ranging from a minimum Class B Misdemeanor (e.g. marijuana possession, less than one ounce) up to a maximum 1st Degree Felony (e.g. intent to distribute heroin in a school zone).

  • Class B Misdemeanor
    Fine: $1,000
    Sentence: 6 months, jail
  • 1st Degree Felony
    Fine: $10,000
    Sentence: 5 years to life in prison

Additionally, drug conviction penalties often include mandatory substance abuse counseling.

If you have been accused of committing a crime, it is critical that you protect yourself by retaining the services of a West Valley City criminal defense attorney as soon as you possibly can.  Contact our law offices online, or call Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 for a free and confidential consultation.  Our phone lines are staffed around the clock, and our attorneys are available to make holding center and jail visits.


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