Utah Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Legal Glossary

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Abuse:   Physical abuse involving abuse to the physical body.  Abuse also has special definitions under the Utah Juvenile Act which means:

(a)          “Abuse” means:  (A) nonaccidental harm of a child;  (B) threatened harm of a child;

(C)          sexual exploitation; (D)  sexual abuse; or (E)  human trafficking of a child in violation of

Utah Child Abuse Criminal Charges In Utah child abuse criminal charges can be felonies or misdemeanors.  It can be an administrative finding through DCFS in the manner of a letter stating “Notice of Agency Action.”  Child abuse criminal laws are found at Utah Code Ann.  76-5-109.

You can find the child abuse registry information here: https://provocriminaldefense.com/2018/06/24/child-abuse-defense-laweyer/

Accessory:   When you help someone commit a crime. An accessory before the crime, or accessory after the crime.  An accessory can be charged the exact same way as the principle with the same main crimes.

Acquittal:   An acquittal occurs when a jury or judge finds you not guilty.  Acquittals once announced are final, unless overturned on appeal.

Actual Physical Control:  A legal term in Utah’s DUI law found at 41-6a-501, definitions section.  Actual Physical Control is defined as the totality of the factors and a specific list of factor that the jury uses to determine if you were actually driving a motor vehicle drunk.   It comes into play when people are found walking away from accidents, or later found at their house with alcohol in their system.  See this deeper article.

Admissible: Legally admissible evidence that is considered acceptable, and valid of being presented in a courtroom trial, whether a jury trial, bench trial or evidentiary hearing.  All courts of law.

Adversary SystemTechnically a bankruptcy term, where someone challenges the dischargeability of a particular debt.  But the American legal system is an adversarial system.  It is not inquisitorial like the French, but a British Commonwealth common law system.  Judge made law.  Although we now have many statues also.

Affidavit:  An affidavit is a statement of facts made under the signature of a notary.  A public notary makes sure the person making the affidavit is really the person signing the affidavit.  Generally affidavits are used, when allowed, instead of live testimony.

Affirmative Defense:  Affirmative defenses are listed in Utah R. Civ. P. 26 and generally must be plead in your any responsive pleading. Whether an answer, counterclaim or cross-claim.  If you don’t plead some affirmative defenses, you lose them.   Affirmative defenses in criminal law must be disproved by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt.  A criminal defendant has not duty to present any evidence.  The prosecutor bears all burdens to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Aggravated Assault.   In Utah Aggravated Assault is a third degree felony found at Utah Code Ann. 76-5-103 and is a simply assault with the use of strangulation or a dangerous weapon.  Dangerous weapon is specifically defined by statute and is defined very broadly.

Alibi: Alibi is testimony of where you were at during the alleged crime.  And how you could not have committed the crime because you were not even around, out-of-state, or on a sailboat for example.  Utah’s alibi statute is found at Utah Code Ann. 77-14-2.  Using an alibi has several procedure advance notice requirements.

Answer: In criminal law, you generally don’t have written answers.  In civil law you always have answers.  In some juvenile and administrative proceedings you have answers.   Answers have to be timely filed, generally within 21 days.

Arson:  Criminally, intentionally or recklessly starting fires.   Codified in Utah at Utah Code Ann. 76-1-10.  Arson can be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on how much property was damaged during the arson even.

Attempted Assault and Battery:  When you try to physical injury someone but fail in your intentionally attempt.

Appeal:  An appeal is where you challenge the finding of a lower court in a higher court of greater power.  There are several types of appeal.  Interlocutory where a specific issue is challenged, or Utah Justice Court De Novo Appeals, or regular criminal appeals.  There are error finding appeals or De Novo, do it all over again appeals.   Appeals are governed by the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure.   There are criminal appeals, civil appeals and appeals from regulatory agencies.

See HERE on Utah Justice Court De Novo Appeals.

Bail:  In it’s simplest form.  Bail is money put down by arrested people to get out of jail and promises to appear in court.  Utah’s bail statute is found at Utah Code 77-20-1.  Bal can be cash down, 10 percent down with a bail bondsman, given property titles over, or a simple promise to appear.  See this bail article.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. The highest standard of proof in the American legal system.   The jury instruction read to the jurors on “Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” is found at Utah Mode Jury Instruction 103.  The jury must be “firmly convinced” of the defendant’s guilt.


The percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood. Used in DUI prosecutions.


The percentage of alcohol in a person’s breath, as measured by a breath testing device. Used in DUI prosecutions.

Bench Warrant.  An order from a court ordering the police to arrest you upon sight.  Bench warrants normally occur when you fail to show up at court.  Warrants can issue to search or seize you.  There are investigative search warrants issued by prosecuting attorneys or administrative bodies.  Warrants can issue from Utah Justice Courts, Utah District Courts or Utah Juvenile Courts.   You can search online to see if you have a warrant here.  Utcourts.gov.  Look for the Warrant Search Link.  Warrants must be specific in scope, timely, supported by probable cause and signed by a judge.

Burdens of Proof.  The party who has the burden of proof has the obligation to prove their case.  They must present enough evidence to persuade the fact finder that they won their case.  Common burdens of proof are;  Proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  Clear and convincing evidence.  A preponderance of the evidence.  Probable cause.  Reasonable suspicion.  Substantial evidence (administrative hearings).  In criminal cases the government, the prosecution bears all burden to prove your guilt.

Careless Driving.  The little sister of Reckless Driving.  Carries 40 points, $240 fine and is a Class C Misdemeanor.

Controlled Substances:  Controlled substances are illegal drugs, whether street drugs or prescribed drugs given to you by your doctor lawfully.  The federal government has 5 schedules of controlled substances.  Utah has 5 schedules also.  Steroids, heroin, mushrooms in their fancy scientific name and many more are on there.

Criminal ArraignmentArraignments are where the charges are read against you in open, public court and you enter pleas of guilty of not guilty.  Arraignments are one of the first hearings that occur in all criminal cases.  There are short in time and narrow in scope.

Capital offenseA crime so serious that Utah can put you to death for committing it, or put you in prison for life without the possibility of parole.  Capital offense generally means death penalty cases.

Common Law Crimes.   Utah abolished all common law crimes in 1973 and legislated the Utah Criminal Code found at Utah Code Ann. 76-1-102.

Competency Order.  An order from a criminal judge adjudicating you unfit to stand trial because you can’t help yourself, you can’t understanding the criminal proceedings against you, or you can’t assist your attorney in the proceedings.  Competency orders rarely occur, but do occur most often in criminal cases, involuntary mental health commitments or juvenile proceedings.

Concurrent Sentence.   When two or more criminal sentences run together, as if serving them at the same time, even though you are actually only in one prison.  Concurrent sentencing happens most often in Utah, but the statutory  presumption is that all sentences run consecutive.

Consecutive Sentence.  When all criminal sentences run consecutive to each other.  Meaning once you get done with one 0-5 year prison sentence, your second prison sentence for another conviction start to run.  Consecutive, like concurrent sentencing can be against federal convictions, state charges, juvenile, district or justice court sentences. Example is you were sentenced in state court o 5 years to life.  You are paroled, bu you never leave jail because your second sentence of 1 to 15 years was running consecutive, not concurrently with your first 5 to life sentence.

Criminal Defendant. You are a criminal defendant when you are formally charged with a crime.  Before that you are suspect.  You are the accused.

Criminal Record.   A criminal record is not just your criminal convictions.  Criminal record involves police reports, all government initiated investigations of wrongdoing, police files, jail booking records, prosecutor files and court files to name the most common.

Criminal Sodomy.  The sexual activity of placing a penis inside another person’s mouth or anus without that person’s consent.

Criminal Mischief. Criminal Mischief is a common Utah Justice Court criminal charge. The basics of a Class B Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief is the destruction of someone else’s property where the destruction value is under $500. See this information page on defending Criminal Mischief charges.

Criminal Restitution.  Criminal restitution is a judicial order at sentencing requiring your pay back money to the victim of the crime.  Criminal restitution can be what you stole from Walmart, or counseling services incurred by the victim.  See this in-depth article on restitution.

Consecutive Criminal Sentencing. Consecutive criminal sentencing is where one criminal sentence starts to run after your complete the first sentenced for another crime. For example, if you were convicted in Provo for a DUI and resisting arrest. You could get six months jail for the DUI and then start to serve another six months for the resisting arrest conviction.

Concurrent Sentencing. Concurrent sentencing is where you are convicted of two or more crimes in a single criminal episode and each sentence runs concurrently to the other criminal sentence. Example: You are convicted of drug possession and DUI. Each conviction carries up to six months jail. The judge could have each of the two sentences run at the same time rather than one after the other–consecutively. Utah law presumes sentences run consecutively.

Diversion Agreement. A diversion agreement is a statutory specific type of deferred criminal charges. A diversion agreement is a written agreement that you will not get in trouble and comply with any other terms of the diversion agreement. A diversion agreement is different from a Plea in Abeyance because the charges are never filed, completely dismissed and not held in abeyance. Whereas Plea in Abeyances charges are filed with the court. Both a Plea in Abeyance and a diversion agreement result in the charges being dismissed at the end of the probationary period. Diversion is not a conviction and if the case is dismissed the matter shall be treated as if the charge had never been filed. See Utah Code Ann. 77-2-7 (2018)

Detention.   Juveniles detention is the equivalent to the adult county jail.  By Utah law juveniles under 18 years cannot be mixed with adults in the county jail.

Domestic Violence Removal to District Court. The process where a justice court domestic violence charge is removed to district court.

Domestic Violence.   Physical acts, mental distress, financial distress all targeted at family members, wives, ex-wives, girlfriends or ex-girlfriends.  Utah’s definition of a person who is victim of domestic violence is found at Utah Code Ann. 78B-7-102 and 77-36-1.

(i)            is or was a spouse of the other party;

(ii)           is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;

(iii)          is related by blood or marriage to the other party as the individual’s parent, grandparent, sibling, or any other individual related to the individual by consanguinity or affinity to the second degree;

(iv)         has or had one or more children in common with the other party;

(v)          is the biological parent of the other party’s unborn child;

(vi)         resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party; or

(vii)        is or was in a consensual sexual relationship with the other party.



DIVIDED ATTENTION TEST A DUIField sobriety test, or questioning which requires the subject to concentrate on both mental and physical tasks at the same time. The two physical/mental tests are the Walk and Turn (WAT) and the One Leg Stand (OLS) which require the suspect to their divide attention. Police officers can also ask you questions while you are retrieving your registration purposefully trying to divide your attention.

DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT (DRE).   A police officer who successfully completed all phases of the drug recognition expert training. Not all police officers are DREs.

DUI DETECTION PROCESS.   The entire process of determining whether a police officer should or should not arrest you for a DWI violation. The driving under the influence detection process has three phases:

  • Phase One – Vehicle in Motion. See you car by the police officer. Tailing your car. Running plates, seeing your car pass by. Seeing a single car wrecked off the side of the road, etc. Police are watching you from their vehicle for any jerking movement, hiding movements, anxiety or throwing objects from the vehicle.
  • Phase Two – Personal Contact. As the police exit their car and approach your car to make face-to-face contact. The law enforcement officer is smelling, seeing, viewing how you are reacting. In the personal contact phase of a DUI investigation, the officer may use divided attention tests. Divided attention tests could require you to get your registration, while asking you questions. DUI divided attention tests could be asking you were you live, then asking you were you are going, all while asking you to exit the vehichttps://provocriminaldefense.com/2023/08/01/utahs-24-7-dui-program-basics/le.
  • Phase Three – Pre ‐arrest Screening. Field sobriety testing is administered. Portable breath tests may be administered. Non standard field sobriety testing may be administered such as the finger touch, nose touch, etc.

Double Jeopardy.    Double jeopardy is in both our Utah State Constitution and our United States Constitution.  It has two prongs.  One, punishing someone again for same crime they already received punishment for.  Two, convicting some again for the same crime and facts they were already convicted of.

DUI 24/7 Sobriety CourtA Utah DUI specialty program where the DUI offender breath tests twice per day or by ankle monitoring.  The benefits are that they stay out of jail and keep their license.

DUI.  Driving Under the Influence  Utah’s driving under the influence statutes are many.  Utah’s law criminalizes taking any substance that makes it so you are driving under the influence.  Any substance means legally prescribed drugs, illegal drugs, marijuana or alcohol.  Utah’s DUI laws are found at Utah Code Ann. 41A-6a-501.

DUI Checkpoints.

DUI Expungements.

DUI Process.

Due Process of Law  If the government wants to take your stuff, take a legal government benefit back, or put you in prison, there has to be a legal process for you to challenge that taking.

Embezzlement Utah law is much more complicated on embezzlement, but it means illegally taking someone else’s property or money.

Entrapment   Entrapment is where you defend that the government lured you into committing the crime.  Utah’s Entrapment statute is found at Utah Code Ann. 77-14-6.  Prostitution solicitation cases sometimes involved entrapment.

Evidence Any proofs used in a courtroom.  It can testimony evidence via witnesses or real evidence, such as paperwork, deeds, documents or the crime scene gun.

Enhanceable Offenses. Classic enhanceable offenses are DUIs, domestic violence, drug charges, and driving on suspended licenses.. Generally there are look back time periods where offenses can be enhanced. For example, three DUIs within a 10 year period can be enhanced to a 3rd Degree Felony.

Exclusionary Rule A constitutional created rule that excludes certain illegally obtained evidence.  Mostly applies when the government does something unconstitutional and that evidence they found must be suppressed.  It is only a criminal law doctrine.

Exculpatory EvidenceEvidence which tends to negate the guilt of a defendant.  The Utah and federal constitutions require the prosecuting attorney to disclose automatically all exculpatory evidence.

Expungement The process of sealing criminal record from the public.  See these articles:

Justice Courts. Utah’s Justice Courts adjudicate Infractions, Class B and C Misdemeanors. Further Utah Justice Court’s handle civil Small Claims disputes. Justice Court filings greatly exceed criminal filings in Utah District Courts.

One unique aspect of Utah’s Justice Court system is that you can appeal “De Novo.” “De Novo” is a fancy legalese word for doing the entire trial over again in the District Court. Appeals for Justice Courts must be filed within 28 days after sentencing in the Justice Court. Then you have a second trial in the District Court. Your appeal from the District Court is only for Constitutional issues.

Many rural Justice Court judges are not licensed attorneys or law school trained judges. Justice Courts are not courts of record. There is a lot of strategy in working the Justice Court jury trial and appeal rights.

District Court. Utah District Courts handle First, Second and Third Degree Felonies. Depending on the arrangement between the cities, county and the District Court, some District Courts also handle Infractions, Class B and C Misdemeanors when there is no County or City Justice Court. American Fork and Spanish Fork District Courts are examples where a District Court handles Infractions and Class B and C Misdemeanors.

District Court also handle all civil filings, along with adoption, domestic law and probation.

Your first appeal from a Utah District Court is to the Utah Court of Appeals. Thereafter you appeal to the Utah Surpeme Court.

Juvenile Court. Juvenile Courts are specialized courts that adjudicate juvenile crimes, child welfare cases, termination of parental rights, certain adoptions and other obscure proceedings involving minor children.

Juvenile criminal convictions are not convictions but are termed adjudications and are sealed from the public eye. The purpose of Juvenile Court is significantly different from the adult District Court system. There are unique ways that a minor criminal defendant can be charged as an adult in the adult criminal system.

Juvenile Adjudications.  Juveniles have adjudications.  Adults have criminal convictions.  A conviction is not the same as an adjudication.   Adjudication means a finding by the court, incorporated in a judgment or decree, that the facts alleged in the petition have been proved.

Juvenile Disposition.   Juvenile courts have dispositions. Adult have criminal sentences.  Both disposition and sentencing hearings are where judges give out probation, jail and prison sentences.

Utah Traffic Court. Utah traffic offenses are handled in Utah Justice Courts. Sometimes District Courts will handle traffic offenses, if they are coupled with Felonies or Class A Misdemeanors.

Generally, you have a right to a De Novo Appeal for traffic offenses to the District Court. Common traffic court offenses are speeding, failure to yield, failure to keep your car in your lane, running a stop sign, failure to keep a clear lookout.

Failure to Register as an Offender (Sex, Child Abuse, Kidnapping and White Collar) Utah law has the following public criminal registries.  White Collar Crime Registry.  Child Abuse and Kidnapping Registry.  And the famous Sex Offense Registry.  Who registers, for what crimes and for how long are found in Utah Code Title 77.  There are many other private, government only registries used by DCFS and the police.

Forgery.  Intentional falsification of a document.  You can’t accidentally commit forgery.  Forgery is found at Utah Code Ann. 76-501.

See this  article on it.

Felony DUI.

FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING CLUEEach field sobriety test has at least 3 clues associated with failing the field sobriety testing. Officers add up each clue for each field sobriety test to determine if they can arrest you for driving under the influence.

FIELD SOBRIETY TEST. Any one of several roadside tests that can be used to determine whether a subject is impaired.

STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TESTs.   There are three standard field sobriety tests. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“HGN”), Walk and Turn (“WAT”), and One Leg Stand (“OLS”).

Fraud Intentionally lying or deceitful conduct for personal gain.

Insurance Fraud.   Insurance fraud is often charged as a second degree felony and is found at Utah Code Ann. 76-6-521.

Legal Brief. A written document advocating for a particular position.  In Utah there are memorandums in support, opposition memorandums and reply memos.

Plea in Abeyance:   See this deeper article Plea in Abeyance here. Basically, a Plea in Abeyance is for a first-time offender where criminal charges are dismissed if you plead guilty and successfully complete all your probationary terms. This includes paying all restitution, fines and staying out of trouble.

Probation.  Utah uses 3 types of probation. The lowest least restrictive is court probation.  Then private supervised probation, followed by Adult Probation & Parole.

Promise to Appear.  Instead of money bail, often on lower offenses people can sign promises to appear.  A promise to appear is also called release on personal recognizance.  Just means you swear to appear on your own volition at court.

Prior Convictions. Prior convictions are used against you during sentencing and sometimes during trial. Even when your prior convictions are expunged, sometimes they still can be used against you. Prior convictions can be used to enhance your current charges and are counted when determining what sentence you should received.

Pleas.   Juveniles enter denials, admissions, or pleas of no contest.  In adult criminal court guilty, not guilty, no contest and some guilty but mentally ill pleas are entered.

Petitions.   Juvenile courts are petitioned alleging juvenile delinquencies or child welfare matters.   Adult crimes are prosecuted by information or citation.

Point System Driver’s License Utah.

Retail Theft/Shoplifting.  Often a Class B Misdemeanor if the stolen merchandise was under $500.

Sitting DUI.  A sitting DUI refers to people arrested for Utah DUI while sitting in their cars, walking home after an accident or later found at their home intoxicated.   The term sitting DUI is not favored by prosecutors or law enforcement.  They prefer the term “Actual Physical Control.”

Sentence Bargain. A sentence bargain is where your attorney secures an agreement from the judge that he will give you a particular sentence if you plead guilty to specific charges.

Utah’s Criminal Code–Where Can I Read It?

The majority of Utah’s criminal law is statutory and found in Title 76 and 77 of the Utah Code. There are other criminal sections randomly placed in the Utah Code. Further, Utah case law is found in the Utah Appellate decisions, which interpret the Utah criminal code.

Utah Legislature Website: See the entire Utah Code.

Utah Courts Website: All sorts of good information regarding Utah law.

Utah Court Appellate Opinions:

The Utah Statute regarding Criminal Mischief is found here.

Federal Court. Federal Court is a place you don’t want to find yourself as a criminal defendant. The main Federal Court sits in Salt Lake City. Federal criminal convictions generally carry much heavier prison terms. Federal criminal are mostly Felonies with very few Misdemeanors.

Reckless Driving. 3 or more traffic violations in a 3 mile stretch. Or, driving in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Example: Going 70 mph in a school zone would be driving in a willful or wanton manner.

Example: Speeding on I-15 to Vegas going to 120 mph, eve
n though no cars are around you.

Example: Failure to signal when changing lanes, speeding and failure to stay in one lane, all done within a 3 mile stretch.

Utah’s Reckless Driving Statute can be found at Utah Code Ann. 41-6a-528 (2019)

Utah Wildlife Resources Act. See the complete Utah Wildlife Resource Act.

This is the principle act criminalizing poaching, fishing violations, big game, and hunting violations. Many violations are Class B Misdemeanors or Felonies.

HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (“HGN”).  Involuntary jerking of the eyes occurring as the eyes gaze to the side. The first field sobriety test administered. As of 09/22/2020, you don’t have to take the field sobriety tests. The HGN is one of three standardized field sobriety tests in Utah.

ONE LEG STAND (“OLS”). A divided attention physical/mental field sobriety test. One of three standardized field sobriety tests administered in Utah.

WALK AND TURN (“WAT”). A physical/mental divided attention field sobriety test administered in Utah DUI investigations.

VERTICAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS.   An involuntary jerking of the pupils/eyes, up and down, which occurs when the eyes gaze upward at maximum elevation. The jerking should be sustained and distinct.

NYSTAGMUS An involuntary jerking of the eyes.

RESTING NYSTAGMUS. Jerking of the eyes as they look straight ahead.

IMPLIED CONSENT LAW Suspected Utah DUI drivers are deemed to have given their consent to submit to chemical testing when they start driving in Utah. If the driver fails to provide a chemical test, they can be subject to license sanctions. Refusing a chemical test as of 09/22/2020 is now a Class B Misdemeanor. Refusing a preliminary portable breath test machine is not a crime—yet.

PER SE DUI ARREST Utah’s per se BAC level is .05. PER SE DUI levels are used to describe a law which makes it illegal to drive while having a certain percentage of alcohol in the blood or breath.

PRELIMINARY BREATH TEST (PBT).  A pre‐arrest breath test administered during a DUI investigation. PBTs in Utah are generally not admissible in court.

REASONABLE SUSPICION Less than probable cause but more than mere suspicion; exists when an officer, in light of his or her training and experience, reasonably believes and can articulate that criminal activity is taking, has taken or is about to take place.

See this article on Utah Insurance Fraud Criminal Charges.  https://provocriminaldefense.com/2020/10/01/insurance-fraud/

Secured Care.   Youths are ordered to a secure care facility by a Utah Juvenile Court Judge. Upon commitment, the Youth Parole Authority assumes responsibility. Once committed, youths are assessed to determine their rehabilitative needs and areas of focus to reduce their risk of reoffending. The length of stay in the facility and parole dates are decided by the Youth Parole Authority.  Adults go to prison and the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole determine when adults sent to prison are released.

Habeas corpus A really hard appeal to win.  Most attorneys do not practice this type of appeal.  It started out as a constitutionally given appeal right.

Hearsay An out of court statement asserted for the truth of the matter.  Very difficult doctrine and riddled with exceptions to the general rule.  Utah Rule of Evidence 801 is the starting point for understanding hearsay in Utah courts.

Criminal Indictment. The process of criminal charging a criminal defendant.

Jurisdiction The right of a court to conduct business.  In Utah, the criminal jurisdiction is split between the Utah Justice Court and the Utah District Courts.  Justice Courts handle Class B Misdemeanors and below.  District Court handle Class A Misdemeanors and above.

Federal Criminal Jurisdiction  Federal crimes are prosecuted in federal court.  Each state has one federal district court and sometimes several locations.  You do not want to be charged with a federal crime, the sentencing is extremely heavy, even for first time offenders, compared to state court.

Lewdness.    Illegally showing your body parts.  Lewdness can involve children, or lewdness involving adults.  Lewdness is found at Utah Code Ann. 76-9-702.  Lewdness involving a child is a sexually registrable offense.

Criminal Litigation Defending criminal charges.  Involves motion practice, jury trials, evidentiary hearings, etc. It can take years.

DUI Limited License.  No such thing in Utah.  See Utah Code 53-3-220(4) and 53-3-223(10).

Limited License for Non-Alcohol Drug Offenses.  Yes, but very limited to non-DUI like convictions.   Recommended byt the sentencing court and approved ultimately by the Utah Driver’s License Division.  See Utah Code 53-3-220(4).

Mayhem Illegal removing, disfiguring, or disabling another person’s body parts. Mayhem is an infrequently charged crime.  Found at Utah Code Ann. 76-5-105. It was initially a common law crime.

Miranda Rights Initially a federal constitutionally created right, but is also found in the Utah constitution.  It is where once you are in custodial interrogation, the police must Mirandize you and let you know your statements can’t be used against you.  Also offer you an attorney.

Negligent Homicide A criminal killing (homicide) charge caused by the defendant’s carelessness or reckless that results in the death of a person.

Nolo Contendere/No Contest A criminal plea that that is taken the exact same way and means the exact same thing as a guilty plea, but the defendant doesn’t have to state guilty plea facts because they don’t want to, or they can’t remember them.   No Contest pleas can’t be used against the person in subsequent or pending civil matters.  This happens in car accidents or traffic where people are hurt and you are charged with a crime.

Non-Judicial Adjustment Juvenile Informally dealing with crime committed by juveniles.  Administered by the probation department of the juvenile court.

Notice of Agency Action.   A notice of agency action can come from any Utah State agency who is trying to take away a right, privilege or benefit from you.  It triggers your due process rights to challenge the adverse notice of agency action.

Perjury Lying under oath.  A very difficult charge to prove.  See 76-8-501.

Post-Conviction Relief  After a convicted person loses all normal appeals.  The next step is to file for post-conviction relief.  Habeas Corpus is an example of post-conviction relief.

Prescription Fraud Falsely obtaining legal prescription drugs, either off the street or from a doctor.  Stealing a prescription pad, forging the doctor’s name, etc.

Probable CauseProbable cause does not require that the officer had proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or even proof by a preponderance of the evidence. Probable cause exists when an officer has knowledge of facts and circumstances that are of such weight and persuasiveness as to convince a prudent and reasonable person of ordinary intelligence, judgment, and experience that it is reasonably likely that a crime has been committed and the person arrested committed that crime.  The existence of probable cause is measured as of the moment of the arrest, not on the basis of later developments. Thus, the ultimate resolution of the criminal charges is irrelevant.

Preponderance of the EvidencePreponderance of evidence – Evidence which is (even slightly) of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it.

Procedural Due Process.    Is the right to call witnesses to testify at the court hearing, testify on your own behalf and present evidence at a court hearing.

Reductions.  Criminal 402 reductions are where the severity goes from a Misdemeanor B to a Misdemeanor C, or a Felony 3, to a Misdemeanor A.  You can have 1 step and 2 steps reduction motions.  Sometimes 402 reductions are built into the plea and sentence bargain.

Rape.    Most commonly a male unlawfully and against the will of female, inserting his penis inside the lips of the vagina.   It is a first degree felony, 5 years mandatory minimum to life in prison.

Reasonable Suspicion.  Reasonable suspicion means suspicion based on specific, articulable facts drawn from the totality of the circumstances facing the officer at the time of the stop, which facts are most frequently based on an investigating officer’s own observations and inferences. State v. Navarro, 2017 UT App 102, ¶ 17, 400 P.3d 1120, 1124.

Spousal Abuse.    This means domestic violence in Utah.  Physical, mental or fiscal abuse of your spouse.

Theft by Deception.    Often price tag switching, or some affirmative act to obtain property through lies or deception.

Theft Taking property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner thereof against the owner’s will and consent.

The Youth Parole Authority.    The Youth Parole Authority provides a formal hearing procedure that defines a youth’s obligations during secure care and parole.  The adult equivalent is Utah’s Board of Pardons and Parole.   When your child goes to secured care (which is reserved for the most serious offenses) the Youth Parole Authority determines when the minor child gets out.

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