Utah’s Criminal Justice System | The Process

Facing criminal charges can be very confusing and full of anxiety for most people. When law enforcement first cites an individual for an alleged crime they usually only give the individual a date that they need to appear at court or maybe even less. Then at the first hearing there is a lot of legal jargon thrown the defendant’s way and behind all of it is the fear of a lot of misconceptions and false assumptions of what could happen to the individual. Most of the uncertainty and fear, however, can be cleared up with a little bit of knowledge of what the process is and what you should expect when you go to court.

From Arraignment to Pretrial Conference

The first hearing in a justice court is called in arraignment and this is simply a hearing for the court to make sure they have your right contact information, make sure you are going to come to court, and find out whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty. Although you may feel guilty simply because you are in court you may not understand the law and you may not have actually committed the offense you are being charged of so if you want to fight the charge whether it be a traffic offense or a serious violent crime, you need to make sure and plead not guilty. From there you will schedule a pretrial conference which is a hearing to facilitate settlement, meaning the defendant or the defendant’s attorney will meet with the prosecutor to see if any charges can be dismissed, lowered, and sentencing fixed in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty. If there is no settlement then trial is set and you will finally argue your case before the judge and he will make his decision.

Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with an offense in Ogden, Logan, Farmington, or anywhere in Northern Utah then call the lawyers at Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer for help. We will make sure you understand every step of the process and will help you make informed decisions about your options. Call or email us today for more information.


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