Understanding the Criminal Process in Utah

One of our goals in representing individuals charged with crimes in the Ogden Utah area, and throughout the rest of Northern Utah, is to help our clients understand each step of the criminal process. It is easy for an attorney who works everyday in the court system to forget their clients have likely little or no experience in the courts and may be a little bit overwhelmed to say the least. We make a conscience effort to explain and answer questions through each court hearing and motion all the way through trial if applicable. The criminal process is generally separated into two areas, misdemeanor cases and felonies. A brief explanation of each is addressed below:

Misdemeanor Process

After being charged with a misdemeanor, the Defendant’s first appearance will be the arraignment unless waived by the Defendant’s attorney. At the arraignment, the Defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. If the Defendant pleads not guilty, the next court hearing will normally be a pre trial conference which gives the Defendant’s attorney a chance to discuss the potential for a plea bargain with the prosecutor. If no deal can be reached, the case will likely be set for trial. Prior to trial, the Defendant may file any evidentiary motions or other pre trial motions.

Felony Process

If the Defendant has been charged with a felony, the first appearance will be an initial appearance where no plea is entered but rather the formal information is presented to the Defendant. Following the initial appearance, the Defendant’s attorney can ask for a preliminary hearing or can set the case for a waiver of a preliminary hearing. Following the preliminary hearing, or after the hearing has been waived, than the arraignment is set and the matter proceeds forward much like the misdemeanor process described above.

More Information on the Criminal Process

For more detailed information about the criminal process in Utah, contact our office now and speak with an Ogden Utah Criminal Defense Attorney. We can be reached anytime day or night as a member of our team is always standing by to take your call or return your email.

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