Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Lawyer / Former Prosecutor
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Contact Us

Utah Justice Courts - Salt Lake Criminal Attorney

Utah's justice courts have limited jurisdiction to hear criminal cases at only the class B misdemeanor level and below. But while these misdemeanors are less serious than  felony or class A misdemeanor charges, the consequences of a conviction in a Utah justice court can still include substantial jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, loss of a driver license, restricted rights to carry firearms, and more.

If you are facing criminal prosecution in a justice court, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal attorney Stephen Howard has protected his clients' rights in thousands of Utah criminal cases. He has the experience, knowledge, and determination to help you get the results you need. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Criminal Jurisdiction for Justice Courts in Utah

Many cities and counties in Utah have established justice courts to handle class B misdemeanor and lower level criminal cases. The geographic jurisdiction of each justice court is based on the city or county in which the court is located. A county justice court will typically have jurisdiction throughout the county, with the exception of any cities or towns which have an established municipal justice court. A city or municipal justice court will typically have jurisdiction only within the incorporated borders the city or town.

Exceptions can be made which will broaden the jurisdiction of a city justice court. For example, through an agreement between the two cities, the Holladay Justice Court has jurisdiction over cases occurring both in Holladay and in Cottonwood Heights.

Under Utah law, a justice court has jurisdiction to hear criminal matters only at the class B or C misdemeanor level as well as infractions. A justice court may also hear small claims civil actions.

Potential Criminal Penalties in Utah Justice Courts

The most serious criminal offense that can be heard in a Utah justice court is a class B misdemeanor. Under Utah law, a class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,900 in fines and surcharges. Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and more than $1,400 in fines and surcharges.

In cases involving multiple criminal charges, or when a defendant has multiple pending cases, a Utah justice court judge has discretion to impose sentences either concurrently (running together or simultaneously) or consecutively (running back-to-back). If the court imposes consecutive sentences, then the length of a defendant's jail sentence can quickly double, triple, or more.

Criminal Appeals from Justice Courts in Utah

Justice courts in Utah are not considered to be courts "of record." Since there is no official record to review, an appeal from the justice court consists of a "de novo" trial or hearing in the district court. Whereas a successful appeal from a district court to the Utah Court of Appeals or Utah Supreme Court requires a showing that a reversible error was committed in the district court, a "de novo" appeal from a justice court gives the defendant an automatic "do over" for a conviction or other ruling in the justice court.

Not all orders of a justice court are automatically appealable. The Utah legislature has placed some limits on what can be appealed from the justice court to the district court.

A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the court's ruling. If you are considering filing an appeal, it is important to speak immediately with an experienced criminal attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake

Utah Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen facing criminal prosecution in Utah, you deserve to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients in justice courts and district courts throughout Utah. He has a record of results that includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals on some of the most serious charges on the books in Utah. He also understands that even "minor" charges can carry severe consequences, and takes every case seriously.

Contact us today to schedule a confidential attorney consultation.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE TOPICS


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
** All fields are required. **
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Jail time, prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and the lifetime collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction on your record - all of these and more are at stake when you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah. Understanding what is at risk is critical. Even so-called "minor" misdemeanor cases can have serious consequences....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.