Skip to main content
Robert Allen Saunders
Avvo
Pro

Robert Saunders’s Answers

21 total

  • In case someone wants to prosecute me of a crime, can I be excused from the punishment because of the Q&A in avvo.com?

    In case someone wants to prosecute me of a crime, can I be excused from the punishment if I tell the judge/prosecutor that I did what I did because of the answer to my question given by a lawyer in Avvo.com?

    Robert’s Answer

    No, ignorance of the law is not a justification for acting unlawfully.

    See question 
  • How do I find out my landlords Homeowners Insurance Policy information?

    The house we have been renting has been declared uninhabitable by the local gas company along with a multitude of other health and safety code violations. How do I found out their Homeowners Insurance information to determine what claims can be made?

    Robert’s Answer

    First, to answer your question, I'd begin by asking your landlord for that information. Legally, unless you are a subinsured under the policy, you have not legal right to make claims to the insurance provider. Given that the landlord hasn't contacted the insurance company, there is a strong likelihood that the landlord does not have homeowners insurance.

    Next, if the conditions of the home are as you represent, you need to file a notice of dangerous conditions with the landlord and demand that the landlord immediately make the necessary repairs. You will need to reference the statute when drafting the notice because the elements that must be present in the notice are very specific. If you don't feel comfortable drafting the notice on your own, you should contact an attorney to draft it for you.

    See question 
  • Can I get evicted for late fees

    i owe about 250 in late fees and have lived in my rental for 3/years.can my landlord evict me if I am current on rent but owe late fees?

    Robert’s Answer

    Technically, yes. Usually, under most lease agreements, late fees are considered additional rent. Therefore, if you don't pay the late fees, the landlord can serve you with a three day notice to pay or quit. If you do not pay the full amount set forth in the notice and do not move out of the premises, the landlord can file an unlawful detainer lawsuit against you and request that the court issue a writ of restitution, thereby allowing the landlord (through a constable) to forcibly evict you from the premises.

    See question 
  • Why did I get charged with a DUI? On Feb 28th 2013. My roommate and I were heading to a wrecking yard. He was driving.

    We hit the edge of a cement barrier. It flattened the right front tire. We stopped. We got out and he started walking to the wrecking yard to get a rim and tire. We had no spare. I stayed with the truck. I was standing about 20 feet away from the ...

    Robert’s Answer

    While the State probably won't dismiss the charges, you should be able to get a not guilty verdict at trial. One of the elements to a DUI is actual physical control of the vehicle. If you were not operating the vehicle, the State won't be able to prove that element.

    Second, since your buddy wasn't picked up by the police, it would be helpful to have him testify to the fact that he was driving the car when the accident occurred. And even if the driver had been drinking, the State does not have an evidence to that fact and therefore, your friend should feel secure testifying on your behalf.

    Lastly, if I were you, I'd hire a lawyer for this matter or retain a public defender. In all reality, defense attorneys are primarily here to defend the innocent against the overreaching arm of the law.

    See question 
  • 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