Skip to main content
Robert Allen Saunders
Avvo
Pro

Robert Saunders’s Answers

17 total


  • Do i need to worry about charges being files against me?

    had a heated argument with an off duty coworker. Yes some language was exchanged. I was in the middle of serving lunch and needed them out of the kitchen. In the heat of the argument i just walked up to the coworker and did lightly bump up aga...

    Robert’s Answer

    Under Utah law, I can quickly see two possible charges that a prosecutor could file against you, assault and disorderly conduct. If your co-worker contacted the police and had the police file an incident report, the police can, and usually will, give the incident report to the local prosecutor for screening. Then, if the prosecutor decides that there is enough evidence to bring charges against you, the prosecutor will file an information and issue a summons for you to appear before the court and answer the charges being brought against you.

    See question 
  • How do we break our lease?

    I was recently laid off from my job and can't afford my rent here anymore. Ive searching for a new job but there isn't anything available here.

    Robert’s Answer

    First, to directly answer your question, if you want to break your lease, you simply give notice to your landlord and move out of the premises. However, if you take such action, you will be liable to your landlord for rent and any other payments set forth in the lease agreement until such time as the landlord is able to relet the premises.

    Under Utah law, the landlord has an affirmative duty to attempt to mitigate his/her damages. However, if your landlord is unable to relet the premises, you will be liable to him/her for the entire amount of rent under the lease agreement, for the remained of the lease agreement. Plus, you will be liable to your landlord for any costs that he/she incurs in attempting to relet the premises (realtor fees, cost of advertising, etc.).

    All in all, it is never a wise move to simply break a lease agreement. Usually, the wisest course of action is to approach your landlord and attempt to negotiate termination of lease agreement or a amendment to the lease agreement allowing you to sublet the premises.

    See question 
  • I am aware of illegal drug transportation of marijuana (known) from Denver to Las Vegas with use of a rental car.

    People I know are flying to Denver to purchase substances, then renting a car to transport it to Las Vegas. I have notified numerous authorities in Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. I do not know the airline or car rental they are using and the authorit...

    Robert’s Answer

    First, I have to question why you are taking so much time out of your life to make sure that the "people you know" are arrested. Normally, if you feel strongly about an individuals conduct, notifying the police is enough. One does not normally investigate on their own suspicions of criminal activity.

    Next, in Utah, for the possession of marijuana to be a felony, they would need to be caught carrying over one pound. As for whether they will be charged federally, I cannot answer that question. The federal prosecutor has discretion of whether to file charges or not. Potentially, your friends could be charged both federally and locally. However, to be charged federally, there would need to be evidence that they were violating a federal crime and that they were moving marijuana across state lines.

    Lastly, depending on the type and quality of information that you provide to law enforcement, the information that you provide could potentially be enough to obtain a search warrant for your friends' vehicles. However, normally, an anonymous tip without supporting evidence is not enough to create probable cause that evidence of a crime will be found in a particular vehicle, and therefore a lawful warrant cannot be issued.

    My advise, let law enforcement do their job and refrain from personally investigating your friends' activities.

    See question 
  • Took a plea in abeyance for a misdemeanor charge (Fake ID) in 2009. Will I be denied full time job opp? I have had 2 jobs since.

    Took a plea in abeyance for a misdemeanor charge (Fake ID) in 2009, I was 19 years old. I have passed two other background checks since, but am now applying for a full time career and must pass a background check again. Should I assume that if I p...

    Robert’s Answer

    When you enter into a plea in abeyance, you are pleading guilty to the charges and once you have completed the terms of probation and the probation period ends, the guilty plea is stricken and the charges are dismissed. However, when an employer runs a background check, the employer will be able to see that you were arrested and that you entered into a plea in abeyance. Therefore, if you are concerned, I would highly recommend that you have the arrest expunged. After the charge is expunged, you can pretend that the arrest never happened.

    See question 
  • Is this worth pleading not guilty and fighting or just paying the fine?

    I was traveling 55 mph in a 60 mph in Utah, I switched lanes (I was going to take a right soon), which led me to be behind another vehicle. There was a safe distance, about a car or two length, between the two of us. I turned right to go home an...

    Robert’s Answer

    Only you can decide whether it is worth it. If it was a UHP officer, the Lidar gun system that they utilize supposedly has the capability to measure time between the vehicles. However, given that the cop said you were 1.8 seconds behind the vehicle, I'd be shocked if the stop was not pretextual.

    If I were you, I'd want to fight it. Plus, by pleading not guilty, you are given a chance to plead the matter down. And, once a prosecutor reviews the case (which they haven't), there is a good chance that the matter could be dismissed.

    See question 
  • I am in Utah renting from my manager without a lease, what happens if the house is foreclosed/sold without my knowledge?

    My landlord manager owns the home but says he is selling it eventually. There was a realtors lock on the house but now it is gone. The owner hasn't been home in weeks and there have been notices in the mail from housing authorities. My dog and all...

    Robert’s Answer

    First, foreclosures are treated very differently in Utah than sales. If the property is foreclosed upon, the lease agreement is terminated by law and you no longer have a right to occupy the premises. Therefore, you will be considered an "at will" tenant and do not have any rights under the oral lease agreement. If the property is sold, the lease agreement transfers to the purchaser and your rights as a tenant remain in tact.

    In the event the property is foreclosed upon, the bank must serve you with a notice to vacate. Under Utah law, the period to vacate can be as short as five days for an "at will" tenant. If the bank issues you a notice to vacate and you don't, then the bank will file a lawsuit against you called an Unlawful Detainer Action. In an unlawful detainer action, the bank will be requesting that the court order you to pay, as statutory damages, treble damages, attorneys fees and costs.

    In the event that the landlord just changes the locks while you are out, even if a notice to vacate was served (assuming that the court hasn't issued a writ of restitution), your only recourse is to file a forcible entry and detainer action ("wrongful eviction"). In a forcible entry and detainer action, under Utah law, you are entitled to receive treble damages, attorneys fees and costs.

    Therefore, in the event that the landlord locks you out of the premises, it is extremely important for you to contact an attorney immediately.

    See question 
  • Does my criminal record remain clean since the charge against me was dismissed?

    Does my criminal record remain clean since the charge against me was dismissed? or do I still get the criminal record?

    Robert’s Answer

    Yes, if the charged have been dismissed, then you do not have a criminal record and are not a criminal. However, having said that, the arrest will show up on a criminal background check through the BCI. Therefore, assuming that the charge was dismissed with prejudice, you can have the record of the arrest expunged from your record immediately. If the charge was not dismissed with prejudice, then you will have to wait until the period allotted to the prosecutor to refile the charges has lapsed before you will be eligible to have the charge expunged from your record.

    If I were you, I would contact an attorney about the possibility of filing a petition to have the charge expunged.

    See question 
  • Is it good to get your case dismissed and does that keep your criminal record clean? or are you considered a criminal?

    Is it good to get your case dismissed and does that keep your criminal record clean? or are you considered a criminal as soon as the charges wore filed?

    Robert’s Answer

    Yes, the best thing that can happen during any criminal proceeding is that the State dismisses the charges with Prejudice. Once the charges have been dismissed, you will not have a criminal record and will not be considered a criminal. However, having said that, the arrest will show up on a criminal background check through the BCI. Therefore, assuming that the charge was dismissed with prejudice, you can have the record of the arrest expunged from your record immediately. If the charge was not dismissed with prejudice, then you will have to wait until the period allotted to the prosecutor to refile the charges has lapsed before you will be eligible to have the charge expunged from your record.

    If I were you, I would contact an attorney about the possibility of filing a petition to have the charge expunged.

    See question 
  • How do I get an outstanding warrant lifted?

    I was convicted of impaired driving in SLC, UT 4 years ago. I have since moved to Arizona, paid the fines, and taken the dui classes. How can I get the outstanding warrant lifted? Will the SLC court tell me over the phone if they changed my mis...

    Robert’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First, I assume that you went to the State's website for warrants: https://secure.utah.gov/warrants. If a warrant has been issued for your arrest you probably want to hire an attorney to have the warrant recalled. A lawyer will file a motion to recall the arrest warrant with the issuing court and schedule a time with the court to appear. The reason for the warrant is, most likely, that you failed to complete the terms of your probation. If that is the case, the Court would have issued an Order to Show Cause. If you didn't appear for that hearing, the court would have issued a warrant for your arrest and charged you with an additional FTA (Failure to Appear) charge.

    The court does not have the power to amend the Impaired Driving charge to a felony. If you plead to Impaired Driving under the reverter section, then the court will amend the impaired driving conviction to a DUI. If you did not plead under the reverter statute, then your Impaired Driving plea will remain intact.

    Once the warrant is recalled, you won't have to fear being having an officer coming to your work and arresting you or being arrested as the result of a simple traffic violation. However, you will be required to present your self in front of the court and explain to the court why you should not be held in contempt for failing to complete the terms of your probation.

    See question 
  • When a tenant leaves a property, does the 30 day period begin when they vacate the property or when they give the key back?

    I have a tenant who moved out within the 30 day notice but did not return the key for another week. It was my only key specific to that unit and I wasn't able to have access until it was returned short of calling a locksmith. This was due to my ...

    Robert’s Answer

    If you are referring to the period that you, as a landlord, must return the security deposit (plus an itemized accounting of any amounts withheld, you law requires that you MUST return the tenant’s deposit within thirty days after the the tenant moves out, or within fifteen days after the landlord is notified of the tenant’s new address, whichever is later. The return of the keys is not the start of the 30 days period. However, if the tenant fails to return the keys, the cost of having new keys made by a locksmith can, in theory, be deduced from the security deposit.

    See question