Frequently Asked Questions
Michael S. Edwards Attorney At Law, PLLC in Layton, UT has over 18 years of experience to draw from when defending his clients. I am committed to aggressively representing my clients and protecting your right to a fair trial. Being charged with a crime can be a traumatic experience for both you and your family, and can impact the rest of your life. However, I’m dedicated to giving you the full benefit of the protections you are afforded under the law.
How do I get an arrest record expunged?
This is a complicated process. First, you need to find out if you qualify for expungement. I can tell you the legal requirements for expungement. Please call for a free consultation on the subject. You can also go to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), and apply for a certificate of eligibility for expungement. Once you have the certificate of eligibility, a petition for expungement needs to be filed with the court your criminal case was in. You can either try to do that yourself, or you can hire me to help you with the process. Hiring a skilled attorney will ensure that the job is done right, and give you peace of mind!
How far back does a criminal record gather information?
In the State of Utah, your criminal record typically includes every criminal charge you have received in the State of Utah since you were 18 years of age. There are other records kept. Juvenile court records are typically only available to government entities. Criminal charges received in other states are kept in a separate database. Federal criminal charges are also kept in a different database.
What is the general process of a domestic violence court case?
Every court handles criminal cases a bit differently. In general, there are two different ways in which domestic violence cases are handled. If the case is a class B misdemeanor (or something less serious than that), which many less severe domestic violence offenses are, the procedure is fairly simple. If you do not retain an attorney, you will need to appear in court on your own for your arraignment. At the arraignment, you typically plead not guilty, and discuss the issue of a criminal pretrial protective order, if the alleged victim in the case is requesting this. If you plead not guilty, the court will set a pre-trial conference date. At the pre-trial conference, you negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, to try to obtain a resolution of your case without going to trial. Of course, if you have an attorney, he or she will take care of that for you.
If your charge is a class A misdemeanor or a felony, the process is more complicated, and you should consult with a competent criminal defense attorney to get more information. Domestic violence cases are serious, and they impact important rights, like your right to possess or own a firearm. Do not resolve a domestic violence charge without talking to a good criminal defense attorney!
What is the penalty for driving with a suspended license?
There can be various fines for driving on a suspended license. The length of your license suspension is also increased because of a conviction for driving on a suspended license. Consult with a criminal defense attorney to find out more.
Does a blood test for alcohol percentage also detect drug percentages?
A blood test can be used to test for both alcohol and drugs (both street drugs and prescription drugs). Law enforcement does not always test for both, but they have the capability of doing so here in Utah.
Are there different levels of DUI/DWI?
DUI law in Utah is very complicated, and it is best to discuss your DUI charge with a skilled criminal defense attorney. DUI offenses range from class B misdemeanors on the low end, to third-degree felonies on the high end. They also have minimum mandatory sentences associated with them. You do not want to go to court unrepresented if you have been charged with a DUI!
What is the general process after being charged with DUI/DWI?
The process is different, depending on whether your charge is a class B misdemeanor (as with a standard DUI), or whether it is a class A misdemeanor or felony. Call for a free consultation, and I will explain all of these procedures to you.
What are the general differences between state and federal criminal charges?
State criminal charges are prosecuted in the courts of the cities, counties, or the State of Utah. Federal criminal charges are prosecuted in the Federal District Courts. In general, Federal charges are far more serious than charges in State court, because they often have minimum mandatory sentences.
What is the general length of time a person can be held in custody?
A person can be held in custody for varying amounts of time, depending on their charges, their record, etc. This is an issue you need an individual consultation for.
Are officers required to read a person they are arresting their Miranda rights?
Officers are only required to read your Miranda rights to you if they intend to ask you incriminating questions after they arrest you. If they do not intend to ask you these types of questions, they are not required to read you your rights.
What is a felony?
In the State of Utah, a felony is any charge that is punishable by more than one year in jail. They are offenses that can have you imprisoned, or in the case of capital felonies, they can have you sentenced to death.
What is a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is any charge that can have you sentenced for up to one year in jail.
What is the difference between probation and parole?
Probation is for people who are not sentenced to prison. Parole is for people who have been released from prison. In Utah, both probationers and parolees are supervised by Adult Probation and Parole, unless you are on probation with a private probation provider, or unless you are on informal probation to the court.
What should I do if I have been charged with a crime?
If you have been charged with a crime, contact me right away, so we can discuss how to formulate your best defense. Don’t talk to anyone but your attorney about the facts of your case. Doing so can be very hurtful to your ability to defend yourself!
What happens once I’m convicted of DWI and DUI?
Having a DUI conviction has many possible consequences, including: driver license suspension or revocation, jail (or prison) time, high fines, the imposition of an Ignition Interlock Device, substance abuse screening, assessment and treatment, etc. Again, if you have been charged with DUI, you need an attorney. It is just that simple.
Should I talk to the police after an arrest?
In general, the best advice is to invoke your right to remain silent, and not talk to the police about the facts of your case.
Am I allowed to move if I am on probation or parole?
The answer to this question is up to Adult Probation and Parole. If this is your situation, ask your probation or parole agent if you qualify for an Interstate Compact to the state you want to move to, if you want to move out of state. If you are moving within the state, you also need their permission, so don’t move without asking.
Do I need a criminal defense attorney if I am not guilty?
Yes! We are here to protect your rights and to ensure you are treated fairly. We have the expertise to help the process go as well as it can for you. And if necessary, I have the skills to take your case to trial.