Utah Criminal Defense


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Attending an arraignment is the first step in dealing with your Utah Misdemeanor charges.  Here is what to expect at a Utah Misdemeanor arraignment:

What is a Criminal Arraignment?            

The main purpose of a Utah misdemeanor criminal arraignment is to have the criminal charges read against you in open court.  Yet often a reading of the charges is waived,  and instead they are handed to you.  This may seem like a formality, but even today there are many hidden, secret courts in other parts of the world where people are held against their will without a formal charge being filed. Knowing  charges filed against you in a Utah misdemeanor criminal arraignment is an important open court process mandated by due process, i.e., otherwise called fairness.

Pleading at a Utah Misdemeanor Criminal Arraignment 

You will be required to plead guilty or not guilty at the arraignment.   Sometimes a Utah Justice Court judge will allow you to plead no-contest or another less used pleas, but most often you are pleading not guilty.   If you remain silent, the judge will enter a not guilty plea on your behalf.

When Addressing Bail During your Criminal Arraignment

If you are unlucky and in jail waiting for  Utah Misdemeanor Criminal Arraignment, bail is generally addressed at the first arraignment.  Bail is presumed under the Utah Constitution.  Being able to post Bail in Utah Justice Court cases is generally not an issue, since the alleged charges are so low level in the grand scheme of things.  Bail at arraignments can be addressed orally, or by a previously filed bail motion. This is why it is important to retain an experienced attorney who understands your charge and consequential bail.

How a judge set bail is based on a host of factors.  In reality, the judge looks at the severity of the alleged crime, your past criminal record and how money bail money, if any, should he assess to keep you coming to court and not bailing jumping.    See these articles for a more detailed article on bail:




When Will my Utah Misdemeanor Criminal Arraignment be Scheduled?

If you are cited and released for a Utah Misdemeanor, you are required to call the court no earlier than 5 days, and no later than 14 days to obtain your Misdemeanor arraignment date from the court clerk.   If you hire an attorney, your attorney will call the court and set the matter for a pretrial conference, skipping the arraignment completely.

If you are arrested, handcuffed and booked, you will be placed in the county jail until you can get to court the next day, where you will be arraigned.

Will the Prosecutor be Present at the Arraignment?

Often the prosecutor is not present at the Utah Misdemeanor Criminal Arraignment.  It depends on the court that you are in and how busy they are.  Without the prosecutor being present it is difficult to negotiate any plea bargain, or receive any discovery – which are both things that an experienced Utah misdemeanor attorney can help you with.

UTAH MISDEMEANOR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY JAKE GUNTER, (801) 373-6345.  Free consultations and  Flex payments.  Contact Jake Gunter to let his nearly 20 years of experience work for you.   Provolawyers.com.  Provocriminaldefense.com

Is the lawyer you are about to call have 20 plus jury trials? Experience matters in criminal defense. Contact Jake today!

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