Criminal Defense Attorneys for Federal Charges in Utah
While most people are familiar with Utah state courts, the same cannot be said of Federal courts. The U.S. federal legal system is a distinct legal entity requiring an attorney well versed in the intricacies of federal law and procedure. Federal courts are called District courts with a Judge appointed for life. The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah serves all of Utah and has a federal courthouse in St. George located in the 5th District Courthouse.
Federal courts have jurisdiction over all cases involving federal law or involving litigants from different states. In the criminal arena it most frequently involves alleged violations of federal statutes. The federal rules of evidence and procedure differ substantially from Utah law and procedure in some areas. Accordingly, attorneys well versed in Utah law may be unable to competently represent a defendant in Federal court.
The jurisdiction exercised by the Federal criminal courts is not obvious. For example, bank robbery is a Federal offense and drunk driving is a State offense. However, if you get pulled over for drunk driving while on Federal property, your case would fall under the jurisdiction of a Federal court.
Many narcotics cases can be charged by either State or Federal authorities. For example, if the narcotics are bought and sold in the same state, the case is typically charged by the State. However, if narcotics are bought in one state and sold in another state, the action is classified as a conspiracy to transport and, is consequently charged as a Federal offense.
Possible Punishments if Convicted of a Federal Crime
Consequences for the conviction of a Federal Crime in Utah may potentially include:
- Loss of the right to vote
- Loss of the right to own a deadly weapon
- Probation or parole
- Court ordered rehabilitation
- Significant fines
Chances of Receiving Such Punishments
Likelihood of any of the above consequences depends upon the following factors:
- Prior similar convictions
- Any other prior convictions
- Currently on probation or parole
- Attitude of community and court toward this type of crime
- Degree of media attention on case
- Mitigating/aggravating circumstances
Defenses of Federal Crimes may potentially include:
- Insufficient evidence
- Mistaken identity
- Factual innocence/mistaken identity
Criminal Defense Attorneys for the U.S. District Court in St. George
Douglas D. Terry & Associates is the longest serving criminal defense law firm in St. George. We know the law, we know the system, and we will help you protect your rights and freedom. Contact us for a free consultation by completing our online form or calling (435) 628-4411. Or read more about why clients call us for Southern Utah criminal defense.