Greg Smith and Associates, Criminal Defense Attorneys

Salt Lake City (Murray) - Orem - Richfield
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Utah Criminal Defense Law Blog

Are Children Protected Against Negligence Lawsuits?

Okay, so you're joyously riding your bike down the street when a four-year old - little Angela - pulls the trigger on a BB gun, which fires a BB into the street. She found the gun abandoned in a dumpster while she had been on a walk earlier that day with her dog, Shaggy. The BB hits you, and you crash. Your medical bills are over $5,000.

Can you sue Angela for negligence?



Should You Represent Yourself On A Criminal Matter?

VIDEO: "Watch and listen whether it's a good idea to represent yourself on a criminal matter. Beware of things such as upsetting the prosecutor and being charged with witness tampering. Remember, the legal system is often not intuitive. If something is simple, you may save the cost of an attorney, but always beware of the pitfalls . . ."

Tags: criminal defense


The Fluctuating Workweek and Overtime Pay

The "fluctuating work week" can be a real headache, and I'd never suggest an employer actually use it because it could mean trouble. Employers like it because the fluctuating work week is a way of paying their non-exempt hourly employees something like a salary, but with overtime pay, too.

Assume that ABC Company owns golf courses, and they love their employee Bart, who's guaranteed salary is $400.00 a week (and Bart loves this when he only works around 20 hours per week because it works out to $20 an hour – and that happens a lot during weeks when it snows or rains a lot). But when he works 50 hours in a week, he feels shortchanged because that works out to be $8 an hour, and he only gets and extra $40 dollars for those ten hours he worked beyond 40.

Tags: wages


Does a Piece Rate Worker Get Paid Overtime?

Often an employer will tell his employees he doesn’t have to pay overtime because he pays via the "piece rate method." This is especially prominent in the construction industry.

So, if Billy gets paid $20 for every toilet he unclogs and unclogs 5 toilets per day, he gets paid $100. If he only works seven hours per day, five days per week, all is well. After all, $100/7 = $14.28 an hour.

Tags: wages


Are Most Cops Honest, and Can They Legally Lie?

I often get asked the question: "Are most Utah cops honest?" My short answer is yes, but let me qualify that. They can also use trickery and deceit, but there are limits. For example, they cannot lie under oath at court.

Just like most professional athletes don't cheat, most car dealerships don't roll back odometers, and most stock brokers don't rely on illegal insider tips, most cops don't break the very rules they are paid to enforce. After all, there seems to be no profit motive in it for them.

Tags: criminal defense


What The Fair Labor Standards Act Does Not Require

The United States Department of Labor (as of December 19, 2015) posted what the United States Fair Labor Standards Act does not require. It is important to know what the "DOL" says because their opinions are usually followed by the nation's judges, especially in federal court. According to the DOL the following things are typically worked out between the employer and the employee (or if there is a union or agent, their representative):

Tags: wages


Criminal Intent - The Necessary Mental State Known As MENS REA

In Utah, jurors cannot assume that just because you did something, you did it with criminal intent. In other words, let's assume you raise your arms to yawn, and hit somebody in the nose while doing it, and then, that person's nose starts to be bleed. Is this an automatic assault? Well, any Kindergartener knows that to be guilty, you have to do something "on purpose." Fortunately, the Utah Supreme Court agrees with all those kids.

Just recently in the State v. Bird case, the court said the rule of thumb for jury instructions is that "an accurate instruction upon the basic elements of an offense is essential. Failure to so instruct constitutes reversible error."

Tags: criminal defense


Thank God for Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt!

Could you imagine if the Judge instructed your jury that they could merely flip a coin to determine whether you were guilty of innocent? Sadly, some trials have been determined that way, and many of my clients feel that’s sort of how "bench trials" go (when a judge, not a jury hears the case).

We need to treasure the "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. Sadly, many people today lose their licenses (driver’s, business, etc.) on the concept that the State need only show "material" or "substantial" evidence that you’re at fault. The idea is that since you’re not going to jail, nor paying a big fine, the standard of proof should be very low. Yet, the Founding Fathers did not set up such agencies, and they took their rights very seriously. Agencies can take away your "privileges" so long as they feel there is some evidence that they can point to. It’s a shame. Fortunately, you can appeal their decisions to the District Courts, which, in my opinion, have much better trained judges.

Tags: criminal defense

What Happens When a Person is Accused of a Felony?

We are constantly being asked about the criminal process. So, this blog will briefly review what happens when a person is accused of a felony – starting from the arrest.

1. Arrest and Booking

After the police have gathered their evidence (which is not always thoroughly done), often the accused person is arrested, taken to jail, booked, then released. One good thing about being arrested is that it sends a message that the accused must take the matter very seriously. At times, a cop will "just issue a citation," which falsely leads the accused into thinking the crime must not be that serious. So, they just go to court and plead guilty, thinking by doing that, they "will be done with it." That sort of thinking is very misguided! When you plead guilty, you are not done with it, you are now married to it!

Tags: criminal defense

Is a strong showing of probable cause enough to search without a warrant?

What if the police "illegally" entered a home (i.e. without a warrant) and obtained evidence that showed a person had mostly likely been driving an SUV with a blood alcohol level of around .14 (nearly twice the legal limit), but that the police also managed to convince the judge that they "eventually" would have obtained the evidence by lawful means regardless? More specifically, that they had been working on getting a warrant when they gathered the evidence?

Should the evidence be tossed out, so that the police will be deterred in the future from entering homes without a warrant?

Tags: evidence

Medical Marijuana possession is still a federal crime in all 50 states

(Current as of August 2, 2015)

In Colorado, Brandon Coats claimed Dish Network violated the law by canning him because of his use of medical marijuana, which took place at home and during nonworking hours – after all, he had a medical marijuana card, and his health was very frail. He argued he was fired for doing something totally legal.

For years, many people have been screaming that marijuana is the only thing that gives them relief, and even some common over-the-counter medications can be worse on the body than marijuana. In June of this year, the Colorado Supreme Court sided with Dish Network–because technically possessing marijuana is still a federal crime in all 50 states (Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 844(a). So the Colorado Court, as a matter of law, got this right. Laws simply need to be changed.

Tags: marijuana possession

Factors for challenging a photo lineup that is overly suggestive

In June of 2015, the Tenth Circuit addressed photo-lineups again.

They said that determining whether a photo lineup is overly suggestive the Court has to consider various factors: the size of the array [how many people are in the lineup], the manner of its presentation [did the police make it obvious whom they wanted the accuser to point out], and the details of the photographs, and looked to United States v. Smith (10th Cir. 1998), which has been the guiding case on this for nearly twenty years.

They said that the number of pictures of picture in the display is not itself a “substantive factor,” but instead is a factor that merely affects the weight given to other alleged problems or irregularities in an array.” Sanchez, 24 F.3d at 1262 (stating that “minor irregularities will be less noticeable and prejudicial as the number of photographs increases.”).

Tags: criminal defense

4 Tips for Defense Against a Utah Criminal Mischief Domestic Violence Case

Been charged with criminal mischief? Well, you're certainly not alone. And often, that charge is domestic violence ("DV") related. When we get these cases, it's typically a husband or father who's accused of kicking a door, punching a wall, or slapping a table; however, women and kids get charged with this, too – just far less frequently. Don't panic. Such cases are often beatable.

If you're facing a criminal mischief case, remember that just because you were angry when the incident took place, that certainly does not mean the prosecutor can prove his case, even if you scratched, damaged or totally busted something (like a door you may have kicked down).

Tags: domestic violence

Should Utah Employees be paid for putting on protective gear?

These matters were decided by meat and poultry workers back in 2005, and their case essentially overruled the old law the governed the federal courts in Utah.

In that case, the United States Supreme Court ruled 1) the time spent by meat processing plant employees walking between locker rooms and production areas after they had put on their special safety gear in the locker rooms had to be counted as work-time (payable time).

They also ruled 2) the time poultry plant employees spent waiting to remove their protective clothes was also time that an employer needed to pay for.

And 3) the time the poultry plant employees spent waiting to put on their protective gear at the "start of the work day" was not time the employer had to pay for. So, get yourself to work, and expect to be paid as soon as you start putting on your work gear until you've taken it off. Consult an attorney for more information at 801-651-1512, and read IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez, 546 U.S. 21 (2005).

Tags: wages

But I Just Stumbled Upon It! How Can That Be Theft?

So, you and a buddy are just chit chatting while walking down a street, and lo and behold! you stumble upon a $50 bill. You know it's not yours, but hey, it's your lucky day! So, you pocket the money, then happily skip down to a nearby restaurant and splurge, spending it all. Then you post the whole lucky day experience on Facebook.

Or, could it have been your unlucky day? Jack finds out about all of this by reading your Facebook post. He confronts you and says, "Hey, I accidentally dropped that bill while I walking with my girlfriend, Jane, and counting my money. We both looked for it, but could not find it. I can easily prove this. You should have put up some sort of lost and found sign. You should have used some reasonable effort to get the money to its rightful owner, me, but you didn't! I'm calling the police because you are a thief!"

Tags: theft

Do Utah Employees Deserve Overtime Pay? The Fair Labor Standards Act

Let’s assume you (a lowly employee) are in the middle of a trial, and it’s little old you against your former, and very mighty employer (who’s worth millions). He’s represented by a very well known downtown law firm – and must be paying them over $400 an hour. (Your lawyer’s just a small-time "west side guy.")

His lawyers keep telling the jury that you are not entitled to any backpay for overtime because you were an "exempt" employee. In other words, by law your job was not the type that got paid overtime. They say you were an "outside salesman," so you were not entitled to any overtime (or even minimum wage for that matter).

Tags: wages

The Employee’s Spider Web: Written Demand for Wages Owed

Utah law says "whenever an employer separates an employee from the employer’s payroll [in other words, the employee did not quit, but was let go] the unpaid wages of the employee become due immediately, and the employer shall pay the wages to the employee within 24 hours of the time of separation at the specified place of payment."

That may seem a bit unfair, after all, a day is not a long time. However, bosses typically know they are going to fire somebody long before they do it, and that may be why the law is so tough on employers that don’t pay fired or "downsized" employees within 24 hours.

Tags: wages

Marijuana possession in Utah can cause you to lose your driver's license in another state

Many argue that smoking marijuana is bad for your lungs, among other things, and such arguments have caused many Utah legislators to feel that smoking marijuana should remain illegal in the Beehive State. In fact, CBS News recently reported that “smoking marijuana irritates the airways, triggers cough and phlegm production, and could be especially dangerous for asthmatics.” In the same news story, they also reported that research has also shown that "marijuana may have beneficial effects on pain control, appetite, mood, and management of other chronic symptoms." (CBS News Article)

But sadly, in Utah, apparently only the negative side effects seem to influence the legislators. I recently had a client tell me he smoked marijuana for his depression because it has fewer adverse health consequences than legal prescriptions have, and costs less money, too. (I've heard the same arguments for heroine). Call us at 801-651-1512 for more information.

Whatever you think about marijuana, keep this in mind: if you get caught with marijuana in Utah, you could lose your driver's license for six months on a first offense! And, not all prosecutors in Utah will give you a “plea in abeyance,” so that your license is saved. Keep in mind, even in states where smoking marijuana is legal, they are likely to honor Utah's driver's license suspension. This is because of what is known as the “The Driver License Compact.” That is an interstate agreement to share information about license suspensions and traffic violations, and forward them to the home state of the offender! Its so-called motto is “One Driver, One License, One Record.” In other words, if you are not from Utah, your home state may honor what Utah does, even if it would not have been a violation in your own state. (For example, U.C.A. 1953 § 53-3-601 to 53-3-607.)

Tags: marijuana, drug possession

Intercepting digital communications can lead to prison sentence and civil lawsuits

Before you intercept ("steal") cable or satellite TV, or plant a recording device in a room (so that once you’re gone you can record what others are saying), know that you could do prison time for that. In other words, intercepting oral and digital communications (even signals) is serious business.

This is true even if the interceptions and/or recordings give you proof that the people you listened to and/or recorded were talking about the crimes they had committed. In other words, you can’t intercept and/or record such things unless you fit into one of the "exceptions." And before you think an exception applies to you, talk to an attorney who deals in this area.

Tags: federal crime, criminal charge

Marijuana possession in Utah can cause you to lose your driver's license in another state

Many argue that smoking marijuana is bad for your lungs, among other things, and such arguments have caused many Utah legislators to feel that smoking marijuana should remain illegal in the Beehive State. In fact, CBS News recently reported that “smoking marijuana irritates the airways, triggers cough and phlegm production, and could be especially dangerous for asthmatics.” In the same news story, they also reported that research has also shown that "marijuana may have beneficial effects on pain control, appetite, mood, and management of other chronic symptoms." (CBS News Article)

But sadly, in Utah, apparently only the negative side effects seem to influence the legislators. I recently had a client tell me he smoked marijuana for his depression because it has fewer adverse health consequences than legal prescriptions have, and costs less money, too. (I've heard the same arguments for heroine). Call us at 801-651-1512 for more information.

Whatever you think about marijuana, keep this in mind: if you get caught with marijuana in Utah, you could lose your driver's license for six months on a first offense! And, not all prosecutors in Utah will give you a “plea in abeyance,” so that your license is saved. Keep in mind, even in states where smoking marijuana is legal, they are likely to honor Utah's driver's license suspension. This is because of what is known as the “The Driver License Compact.” That is an interstate agreement to share information about license suspensions and traffic violations, and forward them to the home state of the offender! Its so-called motto is “One Driver, One License, One Record.” In other words, if you are not from Utah, your home state may honor what Utah does, even if it would not have been a violation in your own state. (For example, U.C.A. 1953 § 53-3-601 to 53-3-607.)

Tags: marijuana, drug possession

Computer crimes accessing digital information carry more severe penalties

Assume Betty works for a company in Utah, and she gets fired. Weeks later Betty, who is angry at her former boss, still has passwords to emails, bank accounts, and the company’s Facebook account. Betty decides since she has the passwords, she will peruse those accounts to see how her old company is doing, and hopefully to find dirt on them. If Betty gets caught, she can be sent to prison for a very long time. It does not matter that Betty came about the the passwords legally.

In Utah, computer crimes involving accessing and/or stealing digital information carry a more severe punishment than other crimes of trespass and theft because they are "difficult to detect," and because such crimes can have disastrous effects for the victims (who often have to notify thousands of their customers for the breach of security). The United States federal laws on this are also very severe, and they are found in the Stored Communications Act, and the Wiretap Act. In fact, simply accessing somebody’s online account by itself without their permission can land you in federal prison. That means if you sit in front of a computer that’s been used by another, and discover their Facebook page is open, you’d be very wise not to "access" ANY of that person’s information. If you choose to, you can also be sued for invading their privacy, too, and the jury award may easily be in excess of $200,000!

Tags: criminal law, cyber crimes

How Illegally Obtained Evidence Becomes Legal, Attenuation and Inevitable Discovery

Let’s assume Frank was illegally detained by the police. And, as a result the police came across evidence that shows Frank committed a felony. The the bewilderment of many of our clients, the evidence may still be admissible if it is "sufficiently removed" from the illegal search by an exception to the rule known as "suppression of evidence." That exception is called "attenuation." The word attenuation comes from Latin, and means a "lessening." Sometimes the rule of "inevitable discovery" may also apply.

In the famous attenuation case of Wong Sun v. United States, the defendant was illegally seized by the cops, but, many days after being let go, the defendant returned – by his own freewill and choice - to the police station and confessed. The United States’ Supreme Court ruled that under those circumstances, the confession was so "attenuated" from the illegal arrest, it should be admissible in court. In other words, the Court essentially said, "Look, the confession was so distant from the illegal arrest that it makes no sense to toss it out." So, it’s like something stationary that you see in the rear view mirror of your car. In other words, the more you drive, the smaller things become, and ultimately, you can’t see them at all (they lessen to the point that they seem to disappear).

Tags: evidence, admission of evidence

Top 5 Mistakes Defendants Make in a Domestic Violence Case

Failing to demand a jury trial. Okay, this should be a no-brainer because it’s much harder for a prosecutor to convince many jurors – in Utah, that’s up to twelve! – unanimously of your guilt than for him to convince a single judge. Remember: the domestic violence judge may be a former prosecutor, and may socialize with the very prosecutor, "victim advocate," and police officers that are involved with your domestic violence case (especially in small towns). Judges certainly don’t want to be viewed as "soft on domestic violence crimes." There’s a reason why the Founding Fathers of this great nation died for your right to a trial by jury. Know how to demand a jury, and do so!

Failing to teach the jury what "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" means. This is absolutely critical – as critical as demanding the jury trial itself! And in my opinion, this is the SINGLE MOST OVERLOOKED thing by criminal defense attorneys. So, insist that your attorney clearly and methodically explain to the jury how this level of proof is very different from all the lower levels of proof such as clear and convincing, preponderance, material and substantial, etc.). Your lawyer should let the jury know that a "not guilty verdict" does not mean they have found you to be "innocent." It simply means that the State has not convinced them that you are guilty "by proof beyond a reasonable doubt." I personally like to use the Court’s whiteboard and show all the levels of proof, and I naturally place proof beyond a reasonable doubt at the top and "wild guess" at the bottom. I make sure the jury understands that a trial is not a mere guessing game, and "I’m not sure" means "not guilty." If the prosecutor uses the words "it’s reasonable to assume," have your lawyer POUNCE on that. After all, we aren’t interested in what is "reasonable," we are interested in what has been "proven beyond a reasonable doubt!"

Tags: domestic violence, violent crimes

Can a person be not guilty of illegal drug possession even though he’s found with illegal drugs?

People often mistakenly think they are automatically guilty of possession of cocaine, marijuana, or another drug, simply because they are "found with them." However, such is not always the case. So, before you plead guilty for a scenario such as this, call Greg Smith and associates now at 801-651-1512, so you can find out if the State can even convict you (the case against you may have to be dismissed). The State must prove that you intended to use the drugs as your own.

For example, a mother may find drugs in a child’s room, and pick them up. She clearly has them in her hands, but is she innocent? Let’s assume he has no intent to dominate and control them for their illegal purpose. Cops seize drugs off people every day, yet they don’t get charged with illegal drug possession, why? This is a difficult concept, but the Utah Supreme Court has done a great job breaking this down in State v. Fox, 709 P.2d 316.

Tags: drug possession, constructive possession

An altercation in a doorway becomes first degree felony burglary assault

Marcy, the wife of a landlord, calls up Tony, one of their tenants, to remind Tony his rent is past due. Tony is fed up with Marcy’s phone calls, and thinks he should not have to pay rent at all because the apartment’s heating has not been working properly.

Tony and Marcy raise their voices at each other, and finally, Tony calls Marcy a "stuck up bitch" that lives in an "ivory tower." He also tells her she can "drop dead," and he’s not going to pay her any "damned rent" until the f***ing heater is fixed. He also tells her that she’s married to a slumlord.

Tags: assault, criminal law, burglary

Protect your reputation, defend against rape charges

Few charges are as devastating to a person's reputation as charges for sex crimes. People are often quick to side with an alleged victim and punish a person before that person has even been convicted. Not only do rape and sexual assault charges have strict sentences, they can result in years and years of police scrutiny if a person is placed on the sex offender registry. Registration can limit a person's employment, housing and social opportunities.

Our firm understands these devastating effects of these punishments. We also know just how hard it can be for a person to change his or her reputation once they have been convicted as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to potentially avoid conviction altogether through the use of an aggressive criminal defense.

Continue reading Protect your reputation, defend against rape charges

Tags: Rape, Sexual Assault

Utah County man accused of raping 15-year-old

Romantic relationships can be complicated and there can be a lot of he said-she said when things go wrong. Sometimes accusations of criminal activity can result from private interactions. However, being in a relationship does not shelter people from criminal consequences should people cross a line.

Recently, a 26-year-old man from Utah County was arrested after a 15-year-old girl claims she was raped. According to police, the girl reported at the end of November that she had been raped by the man. The alleged attack took place weeks before at the man's home.

Tags: Rape, Sexual Assault

What is drug trafficking?

In a recent blog post, this blog discussed the Controlled Substances Act. In that post, we explained that the federal government had broken down the types of drugs into schedules which dictated the seriousness of drug possession charges. Utah residents should know that these schedules are not the only factor that goes into determining the type of drug charges that a person can face. The amount of drugs that people are found with and their intent can also play a role in whether people face charges for drug possession or drug trafficking charges.

Many may wonder -- what exactly is drug trafficking? Drug trafficking occurs when people sell or distribute controlled substances. These drug crimes occur when people have large quantities of the illegal drugs listed in the Controlled Substances Act. In these cases, people often intend to distribute the drugs they have in their possession instead of just having them for their own personal use.

Continue reading What is drug trafficking?

Tags: Drug Crimes, Drug Possession, Drug Trafficking

The Controlled Substances Act and drug charges

Many Utah residents likely understand that it is illegal to use certain types of substances. The use of illegal drugs, for example, is not permitted under any circumstances. Prescription drug use is also highly regulated and can lead to criminal charges for drug crimes when abused. These rules are likely in place because of a federal regulation called the Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act was created in 1970 as a way to consolidate a series of complicated drug laws in the United States. Prior to this law, more than 200 laws were in effect that made it difficult for states' and law enforcement officials to enforce drug laws.

Continue reading The Controlled Substances Act and drug charges

Tags: Drug Crimes

Focus on DUI charges with our help

When people think of driving under the influence, they likely think about driving after having too much alcohol to drink. The image of an irresponsible adult leaving a bar or party may come to mind. However, DUIs are often more complicated than that. Sometimes, people have taken prescription medication and end up facing charges. Or, even some over-the-counter medications can cause issues. Suddenly, these individuals face very serious penalties without even realizing what they have done wrong.

In Utah, if a person is intoxicated it doesn't matter if the person had taken illegal drugs, used alcohol or was taking prescription drugs -- the penalties are the same. This can come as a huge shock to those facing charges for prescription drug use. These people can be good law abiding citizens that never intended to harm anyone or put others at risk.

Continue reading Focus on DUI charges with our help

Tags: DUI, Evidence

Halloween patrols lead to extra DUI charges

For many Halloween is known for costumes and trick-or-treating. However, for law enforcement it is known as a popular time to catch people driving under the influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more people are killed by drunk drivers on Halloween than on New Year's Eve. In fact, three times as many fatal accidents occur. These number increase, says the NHTSA, when Halloween is on a weekend night -- like it was this year.

Law enforcement officials in Utah are aware of these statistics and recently took to the streets to arrest suspected drunken drivers. According to reports, 160 extra troopers from the Utah Highway Patrol were on the streets on Halloween. These troopers made many arrests and those individuals are now facing drunk driving charges.

Continue reading Halloween patrols lead to extra DUI charges

Tags: DUI

How long is a person on the sex offender registry in Utah?

Those accused of sex crimes in Utah may be worried about the sex offender registry. The sex offender registry requires those convicted of certain sex crimes to register themselves. This registry contains information about the person and the person's criminal history and releases that information to the public.

Additionally, those on the registry have restricted freedom. If you are on Utah's sex offender registry, then you can live, work or socialize. In particular, if you have been convicted of a sex crime against a child, you are not allowed to visit a park or playground that is open to the public, any primary or secondary school, preschools or daycares or public swimming pools. There are also certain requirements about how often you must update information on the registry.

Continue reading How long is a person on the sex offender registry in Utah?

Tags: Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Battery

Factors that contribute to aggravated murder in Utah

People may not realize just how important criminal classifications are. People may think all felonies are treated alike, or that misdemeanors are all the same. However, the specific charges can make a really big difference when it comes to penalties. In Utah, the most serious penalty a person can be sentenced to is the death penalty. The death penalty is an available option for prosecutors to pursue if a person is charged with aggravated murder.

Under section 46-5-202 of the Utah criminal code, a person can be charged with aggravated murder in a number of circumstances. If a death occurs and these other circumstances are present, the person could also face the death penalty. These circumstances include various sexual crimes including rape, forcible sexual abuse, forcible sodomy or object rape. A murder that occurs during the commission of other crimes including arson, robbery, kidnapping or burglary is also considered aggravated murder.

Continue reading Factors that contribute to aggravated murder in Utah

Tags: Homicide, Murder, Rape

Juvenile arrested in Utah murder case

Criminal charges have the potential to change a person's life forever. This is particularly true when the charges are felonies. If the accused is a young person, the affects can be even greater since they have so much of their life ahead of them.

A 17-year-old boy was recently arrested in connection with a murder in Utah. According to reports, the teenager was arrested while at school in another state. Prosecutors claim that he was connected with the death of a 15-year-old girl. The girl's body was found near Draper, Utah in a river in March 2012. She had been badly beaten and died of apparent blunt force trauma to the head.

Continue reading Juvenile arrested in Utah murder case

Tags: Homicide, Murder, Rape

Marijuana possession can be a big deal

Many people don't see marijuana use as all that big of a problem. Many people just consider it to be a harmless recreational drug. However, despite the social acceptance of the drug, it is still illegal under the Utah and federal criminal codes. Therefore, people can face serious penalties for marijuana possession.

In fact, people can face charges for drug possession in a variety of situations. In other words, people don't just have to be caught using the drug to be convicted on these types of drug charges. Police have charged people after finding trace amounts of marijuana in a bag, for example. Or, people can face criminal charges if police find them with a friend's marijuana. In many cases, police aren't looking at intent, just possession. In some cases, police will intentionally bring higher charges -- such as possession with intent to sell -- in order to get people to plead guilty to lesser charges.

Continue reading Marijuana possession can be a big deal

Tags: Drug Possession, Marijuana Possession

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I understand that I am contacting a corporation, not an individual, and that if I do business with the law firm, it will be with that corporation, not any individual(s). I understand that Greg Smith and Associates is not the legal name of the law firm, rather, it is "Affordable Legal Advocates, PC." I also understand that whatever may relate to, or arise out of, any communication with the law firm, which results in any type of legal action, such must be brought in the Third District Court of Utah, West Jordan Department, and that this is mandatory not permissive.

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Greg Smith and Associates, Criminal Law Attorneys, located in Salt Lake City (SLC), also represents clients from communities such as Provo, Orem, Ogden, Park City, Sandy, Draper, West Valley City, Bountiful, Murray, West Jordan, Taylorsville, Farmington, Alta, Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Murray, Riverton, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville, West Jordan, West Valley City and Richfield; and counties including Salt Lake County, Sevier County and Davis County, Utah.

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