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Peterson Legal offers a wide range of criminal defense services to its clients. But the easiest way to describe what we do is that we help with anything criminal-law related. If you have an issue that involves a crime then we can help. Because whether its the smallest infraction or the most serious felony we’re passionate criminal defense. So you should contact us if you have an old conviction on your record. Or if you’re facing an active charge and have a court date set. Or even if you have been contacted by police and there is an open investigation but no charges have been filed. No matter what stage of the process you’re in, give us a call and find out what we can do to help. Some examples of the cases we handle are listed below:


Violent Offenses

Image of Man in Cuffs - Violent Offenses Defense is one of the Criminal Defense Services Offered at Peterson Legal

Violent crimes are very serious in the criminal justice system and often involve heightened penalties. Along with stiffer laws, most prosecutors are very aggressive when it comes to their pursuit of violent offenders. This is especially true if the victim is active in their support of the case. Along with crimes that actually cause harm, violent offenses also include attempts and threats.

With all the intricacies of the law often the level of harm causes is still often one of the biggest deciders of cases. Especially if that harm was very visible and egregious in its appearance. So if you have been charged with a violent offense, it is absolutely crucial that you speak to a criminal defense attorney. Better yet, contact an attorney before going in to face violent offense charges in court. Some of the charges that are considered violent offenses are: aggravated assault, simple assault, child abuse, and kidnapping, to name a few.

Sex Crimes

Sex Crimes - Image of Woman on Street with Neon Lights

There is a long list of sex crimes in the criminal statues of Utah. They range from low level misdemeanors to the most severe felonies. Additionally, the underlying conduct could be actual contact or intercourse, or just exposing or viewing. Regardless of the severity of the offense, however, they all include a heightened level of stigma in our society. Additionally, some sex crimes could include special penalties, like sex offender registry requirements. Needless to say, there is a lot at stake if you’re facing a sex crime. Because of that it would be smart to have a criminal defense attorney at your side to help protect your rights. Some common sex crimes are: rape, forcible sodomy, sexual abuse of a child, enticing a minor, lewdness, voyeurism, and sexual battery.

Drug Charges

The most common crimes charged in any court have to do with drug use and drug abuse. There are a number of ways that drugs can be a factor of a criminal case. But the most common forms of drug charges are possession, paraphernalia, and distribution.

Drug possession simply means you had a substance in your possession that, under the law, you couldn’t legally possess. Sometimes possession charges involve carrying a completely illegal substance. Other times, possession is carrying a controlled substance without the proper prescription.

Drug Charges - Image of Pills Spilling Out of Bottle

Paraphernalia roughly means the apparatus or device used to store, use, ingest, or produce an illegal substance. Paraphernalia can really be any item, as long as it relates to the use of the drug. Most paraphernalia charges come as a piggy-back to the more important charge of drug possession.

The final category and the most severe is drug distribution. The legislature has designated distribution charges as the highest level drug offenses. This means they also come with the harshest penalties, if convicted. Additionally, the route to proving distribution is fairly easy. Often a prosecutor only has to show that an individual possessed a certain amount of the drug. In other cases the prosecutor can show distribution with other distribution type materials (e.g., small plastic bags or a scale).

The severity of any drug offense, however, depends on what drug we are talking about. Whether it was a hard drug like cocaine, meth, or heroine; a prescription drug like opioides, or adderall; or a lower level drug like marijuana.

Call Peterson Legal if you’re facing a drug charge because drug defense is one of our main criminal defense services.

Domestic Violence

There actually is no criminal offense under Utah Law called domestic violence. Instead domestic violence is a tag that you add to other crimes. So that once added it makes the crime more severe and increases potential penalties. For example, if an individual were to punch someone, that would be an assault. However, the charge is an assault, domestic violence related; if the defendant punched one of his/her cohabitants. There are a number of ways a person can be classified as a cohabitant. The most common cohabitants are individuals that live together, have children together, or are in a romantic relationship together.

Domestic Violence - image of woman with bruised back
Domestic Violence is not an offense you want to leave up to chance.

One of the biggest misconceptions about domestic violence is that the alleged victim is in control of “pressing charges”. In reality, the prosecutor is the one that decides whether or not charge an individual. So even if the alleged victim doesn’t want anything to happen, the case could still move forward. That being said, an alleged victim often has a strong impact on the case and can influence the final outcome.

DUI

DUI Charges - Image of man performing field sobriety tests

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a very common offense. However, most people don’t understand the specifics of a DUI charge. Most people associate a DUI with only alcohol, as in the case of drunk driving. However, it is becoming increasingly more common to have a DUI based on drug use instead of alcohol. These drug related DUIs also could involved prescription drugs that are lawfully prescribed and taken under the direction of a doctor, such as ambien.

Sometimes drug related DUIs are charged as a DUI metabolite. This is a separate offense that only requires that a drug metabolite be in your system at the time of testing. So what this means is that a person can be convicted of a DUI metabolite, even if they were not impaired, or driving recklessly. Additionally, the state could convict someone of DUI metabolite if they used a drug, such as marijuana, days or weeks prior. The legislature has made DUI laws very complicated with a lot of special rules and requirements. Because of that it is very important that you get a criminal defense attorney to help you if you’re facing any type of DUI charges. DUI defense is one of the most important criminal defense services offered by Peterson Legal.


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Criminal Defense Services - Peterson Legal - Salt Lake City, Utah