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Blog Posts and Articles

Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

Can an 18-21 year old be adjudicated in juvenile court instead of adult court?  Yes, as long as that 18-21 year old committed an offense while she was still a juvenile.  Utah Code § 78A-6-103 states:  Why is this important?  Because no one ever wants to be in the adult court system, especially when one is facing severe penalties that are mandated in child sex offenses.  For example, a person under… Read more

Child Sex Abuse Charges Often Arise In Context Of Divorce

Many men going through a divorce who are involved in a hotly contested custody dispute find themselves facing serious charges of aggravated sex abuse of a child involving their own children.  It is one of the first questions I ask prospective clients in a case involving a child sex offense Children are highly susceptible to suggestion by an adult who is involved in caring for their needs on… Read more

Modifications to the Sex Offender Registration: What You Need to Know

Modifications to the Sex Offender Registration: What You Need to Know It is imperative that individuals, who have been convicted of a sex offense or another crime that requires him or her to register as a sex offender, properly register with the Utah Sex Offender Registry. Sex offenders also must be aware of any modifications to registration requirements as the requirements can change.  For example, a conviction for possession of child pornography requires lifetime registration… Read more

Polygamy in Utah, Exploitation of Underage Girls or Religious Freedom

Polygamy in Utah, Exploitation of Underage Girls or Religious Freedom In late February of 2017, in Salt Lake City, UT, hundreds of individuals gathered to protest Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s signing of a new law that increases the penalties for polygamists convicted of committing fraud or abuse. The new law is part of a larger ongoing conversation about the criminalization of polygamy in the State. In Utah, polygamy has always been illegal, but the practice has come… Read more

Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges Demand Attention

Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges Demand Attention News stories about marijuana decriminalization seem to come up quite often. While other states have decriminalized this drug, Utah is not among them. Last week, we discussed some of the laws in the state regarding marijuana. If you recall, some marijuana charges are felony charges. Others are misdemeanors. We know that if you are facing a misdemeanor marijuana charge, you might be tempted to just… Read more

Child Sex Abuse Cases And Psychosexual Examination In Utah

Child Sex Abuse Cases And Psychosexual Examination In Utah Child Sex Abuse and Child Pornography Cases---in Utah, most times I will privately have a client complete a psychosexual examination which determines sexual risk of a defendant.  Can I show that my client is low risk to the public and that he or she is amenable to treatment? I use the top psychosexual examiner in Salt Lake City, Utah to conduct these examinations.  If the report comes back as positive,… Read more

Child Sex Abuse Rates High in Utah

Child Sex Abuse Rates High in Utah Child Sex Abuse Cases in Utah--Recently, KUTV Channel 2 TV reported that Utah ranks number one in child sex abuse cases nationwide.  Does Utah have a bigger problem than other states with child rape, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, child pornography and other child sex offenses? Rod Decker and Larry Curtis pointed out that there were 6,900 child abuse cases in Utah in 2016.  Twenty seven percent… Read more

Child Pornography Cases In Federal And State Courts

Child Pornography Cases In Federal And State Courts Child Pornography sentences in federal court are much more severe than those in Utah state courts.  Each count of possessing child pornography in federal court carries a minimum/mandatory five year sentence.  If you are charged with distribution of child pornography, the sentence becomes even steeper. In state court, a defendant may be charged with 10-18 counts of possessing child pornography (sexual… Read more

Child Sex Abuse: Plea Bargain To Sexual Battery In Utah

Child Sex Abuse Case--What is a favorable plea bargain in a child sex abuse case in Utah.  For aggravated sexual abuse of a child, the punishment is severe, carrying a minimum-mandatory sentence of 6, 10 or 15-to life.   Can these severe punishments be avoided?  One of the best offers that someone can receive who is charged with a child sex offense is a Sexual Battery, a class A misdemeanor.   A Sexual… Read more

15-To-Life Sentence, Aggravated Sexual Abuse Of A Child In Utah

Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child Sentence--the presumptive sentence for someone convicted of Aggravated Sexual abuse of a Child in Utah is 15 years-to-life. Judges often deviate from this presumption, but they must consider mitigating circumstances in order to do so.   Some of the mitigating circumstances a judge may consider when departing from that sentence are an offender's acceptance of responsibility… Read more