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Articles and Blog Posts From 2016

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

Child Pornography Investigation In Utah

Child Pornography Investigation--what should you expect if you are being investigated for possessing child pornography?  It will probably start with a knock at the door by law enforcement informing you that they have a warrant to search your phone, computers, etc. for child pornography.  Extremely stressful--to say the least. As law enforcement agents proceed to do preliminary tests on your computer… Read more

Child Pornography Charges Require Lifetime Registration In Utah

Child pornography charges--until recently, state possession of child pornography charges, second degree felonies, required the convicted person to register on the sex offender registry for ten years.  The ten years started running when the defendant was no longer on probation or parole. Now, however, the Utah legislature has changed that.  Pleading guilty to a second degree felony child pornography… Read more

Child's Memory In Child Rape, Aggravated Sexual Abuse Of A Child

Child Rape or Child Sex Case (Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child, Sodomy Upon a Child, Lewdness Involving a Child)--in these cases, a child sometimes "remembers" sexual abuse that happened years earlier at ages as young as 18 months.  You'll see cases in which a 14 year old girl, for example, will remember being sexually abused by her father while he was changing her diapers at the age of 18 months. There… Read more

Rape And Child Sex Cases At The Investigation Phase In Utah

Being investigated for rape or sexual abuse of a child?  Too many make the mistake of waiting to hiring a lawyer.  This is the most critical portion of the case sometimes.  Police officers often tell suspects they don't need a lawyer and that telling their side of the story will curry favor with the prosecutor. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Giving a statement to the police locks you into… Read more