QUESTION: I was sentenced to 10 days jail on a first time domestic violence conviction. The Utah Justice Court judge got it completely wrong. Can I stay the imposition of the jail sentence?
ANSWER: YES. You can ask that the sentencing justice court judge to stay the jail sentence. And then appeal any adverse decision by the justice court denying your stay request to the district court.
The main court rule is Utah Rule of Criminal Procedure 27A. It governs stays of sentences, whether fines or jail time for all “Trial De Novo” appeals from justice courts to district courts in Utah.
BASIC JUSTICE COURT STAY RULE: Upon the timely filing of a notice of appeal for a trial de novo, the court shall:
(1). Order stayed any fine or fee payments until the appeal is resolved; and
(2). Order stayed any period of incarceration, unless:
(A) at the time of sentencing, the judge found by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant posed a danger to another person or the community; or
(B) the appeal does not appear to have a legal basis.
Most of the time all jail and fines are automatically stayed by a filing of a Trial De Novo and the judge does not enter the required findings to keep you in jail pending the appeal.
Even if the Utah Justice Court judge does stay the sentence pending appeal, the justice court judge can still impose pending appeal the following:
(1). Reasonable bail.
(2). Continuation of any pretrial restrictions, pretrial protective orders, no drinking, etc.
If a Utah justice court judge refuses to stay the jail term pending your appeal de novo to the district court and finds that you are a danger to the community or someone else, you can appeal that to order to the district court.
The procedures of appealing a justice court order refusing to stay the jail sentence pending your appeal is government by Utah Rule of Criminal Procedure 27B(g).
The procedures is as follows:
(1). You file your justice court trial de novo appeal with any findings or orders from the justice court refusing to delay the jail time pending appeal. Accompanying the appeal notice is a written motion for stay addressed to the district court.
(2). Within 7 days a hearing in the district court shall be heard regarding the matter.
An entirely different stay rule applies to appeals from DUI or Reckless Driving convictions. That rule is found at Utah Code § 41-6a-501(2)(a)(iii) and Utah Rule of Criminal Procedure 27B.
Free consultation. Call/TXT (801) 373-6345 ask for Jake.