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Clayton A. Simms
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Clayton Simms’s Answers

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  • Obstruction of justice, what are the penltys for a F2? On the info it has (1) by the code what does that mean?

    My brother in law had a warrant out for his arrest, Obstruction of justice he was booked this morning, this is his first charge as an adult.

    Clayton’s Answer

    The penalty for Obstruction of Justice is related to the level of offense that is the target of the obstruction.

    "F2" is a second degree felony, which is punishable by 1 to 15 years at the Utah State Prison.

    It's most like that the obstruction involves a first degree felony like a serious sex offense or kidnapping.

    The police generally charge a person with obstruction of Justice in order to turn them into a prosecution witness. The police want to convict on the underlying crime.

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  • How do i find out when the warrent was placed?

    I was in a fight

    Clayton’s Answer

    A criminal defense attorney could run your name and determine if a case has been filed against you. The filing of a criminal case is public record.

    Another way to determine if a criminal case has been filed is to contact a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman will be able to determine if a case had been filed and if a warrant exists.

    Sometimes people discover that they have a criminal case because they start receiving solicitation letters from attorneys informing them of the filing of a criminal case.

    I would suggest you not contact the police. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

    Good luck!

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  • I need more time to talk with my lawyer,my court date is tomorrow can I ask the judge for more time? Is this a easy case to win

    I was walking up to a party with two other friends as we got closer there were several police officers outside snooping around. One flashed his light at us, I said hello me and my friends decided this isn't the party to be at we didn't want to get...

    Clayton’s Answer

    There is no such thing as an easy win in the criminal justice system. Unfortunately people are frequently convicted of crimes they did not commit.

    You are absolutely right to walk away, but the police have a "hunch" that you are attending the party. That alone is not enough for a stop!

    However, the police may claim that you looked under the age of 21 and they could smell alcohol on your breath from 20 feet away. Courts often support police officers claims of superpowers (ability to smell alcohol from a great distance ).

    I've won suppression motions because the officers really had no basis for the stop. Why did the officer think you are under the age of 21? Your clothes? Your facial features?

    The truth is that the officer had very little time to observe you.

    In a motion to suppress the officer may claim that the way you dressed indicated that your were under 21. However, under cross examination it's unlikely that the police officer would remember what you were wearing.

    A blue shirt? A red shirt? Shorts? Pants? A hat? Glasses or no glases?...Do you remember what the officer looked like? Probably not?

    Similarly the officer testifying months later at a suppression hearing won't remember you.

    Remember that you are in Logan and the police are tough on college students and underage drinking. Utah State doesn't want a reputation as a party school, so the Logan Police crackdown on every small party. Am I right?

    You need to retain an attorney who will fight for you.

    Good Luck!

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  • What should I do if I have had sex with a minor? Should I report myself for this?

    I am 21 years old, she was 16 at the time. It was consensual.

    Clayton’s Answer

    No. Don't say a Damn Thing!
    Any questions?

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  • How can I find out why there is a warrant out? Can he still parole when there is a warrant out?

    My brother is being going on parole in two weeks. His PO told my mom he has a warrant for his arrest. His PO will not explain.

    Clayton’s Answer

    Unfortunately this is a common problem. It's frustrating to sit at the Utah State Prison for years only to have a warrant pop up just before the release date. Any criminal defense attorney could run a name through the court system. Another idea is to call a bail bondsman and ask them to look for a warrant. You want to clear this up now! Most misdemeanor cases can be cleared with credit for time served if someone has been in prison for a long time. Good Luck.

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  • Can I get the bail money back if my son's case was dismissed?

    My son was arrested and was booked into the county jail. I called a bail bondsman and paid the required amount to get him out of jail. He was present for all court hearings and the last appearance the charges were dismissed. Am I entitled to recei...

    Clayton’s Answer

    Whether you get money back depends on if the bond was a cash bond or a non-cash bond, which is paid through a bail bond company. Since you worked with a bail bond company you paid 10% of the bail and unfortunately you will not get that money back. It doesn't matter if the case was dismissed or the person charged got a not guilty verdict, the money paid to a bail bond company is not refunded.

    The bail bond company should have explained how bail works, but if they didn't the following is a brief outline of how bail works in Utah.

    If you pay 100% cash bail, then you would get your money back if the defendant appears at all court hearings. Nevertheless, you would lose all of your money if the defendant fails to appear in court and the cash bail is forfeited.

    If you post bail through a bondsman, then there is a 10% fee, which is the fee charged for the bond service. For example, you pay $500 to a bond company on a $5,000 bail and you provide collateral, like a lien on a home or car. There may be some additional document fees or jail fees, but those are usually under $100.

    The percentage is based on the full bond amount. In most cases, this is paid with a credit-debit card, or cash. The 10% fee is NON-REFUNDABLE.

    Remember that the full value of the bond needs to be guaranteed. This can be accomplished with either collateral, in the form of real-estate, cash, or other assets. A signature bond, might be granted, which means that no collateral is taken; based instead on the merits of the bond and the financial strength of the signer.

    In a nutshell, you can bail your loved one out of jail if you pay 10% of the bond and you have collateral to cover the face value of the bond.

    I hope this post answered your question on bail.

    Thanks, Clayton Simms
    Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

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  • My friend got caught with a gun in his backpack with his stuff inside it, inside of my car. Should i be worried?

    It was both our first times in jail, and getting arrested. We got caught doing a beer run when they found the gun.

    Clayton’s Answer

    Yes, you should be worried. Innocent people sometimes go to jail for crimes they did not commit. The question doesn't have enough details to fully analyze your situation. You need to hire an attorney as soon as possible because your "friend" may decide to snitch on you as a way to lessen his punishment. You need to protect yourself and hire an attorney to assess your risk.

    Good Luck,
    Clayton Simms
    Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

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  • I was given a criminal trespassing warning paper from a target store in Layton Utah for swapping a couple tags. What now?

    When I got to the register the cashier noticed the 2 tags I swapped were wrong and rang me up for the correct amount. I payed and before I left the store the security officer caught up with me and told me he saw me switching the tags and that beca...

    Clayton’s Answer

    The crime of retail theft in Utah includes altering, transferring or removing "any label, price tag, marking...or any marking which aid in determining the value of any merchandise". Target could have filed a police report on you immediately, but did not. This does not mean that Target will not pursue charges at a later time.

    I've had a case arise out of alleged under-ringing in which the person was questioned by Target and released. Target then pulled the surveillance video of all of the suspects recent transition (presumably through credit/debit card records) and discovered additional violations. The suspect received a court summons through the mail. If you receive a summons in the mail, don't panic just because you're charged don't mean you are convicted. Fight the case.

    It is still unlikely that Target will seek criminal charges against you because you did not receive a citation at the time of the stop. Nevertheless, the trespass is still valid and you cannot return to the store, regardless of the outcome of criminal charges.

    Good Luck, Clayton Simms

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  • What is the statute of limitations for a Class B Misdemeanor Retail Theft? And what are my options?

    I was arrested on February 22, 2010. The charge was filed in April 2010, however I was not aware of a warrant until a couple of months ago. It doesn't make any sense to me because I have been under the supervision or in custody of the State for ...

    Clayton’s Answer

    You ask "what are my options" on this old retail theft case? The answer is simple: Fight The Case! The probability of a conviction on 2010 retail theft is very low. The security guard who stopped you most likely has a new job and the police officer who took the report has no independent memory of this misdemeanor offense all these years later. Don't panic or worry about the injustice of being charged with a crime many years later, just beat the case and move on with your life.

    Just ask your attorney to set the matter for jury trial. If your attorney is a well respected and talented trial attorney, my guess is that the case will be dismissed before trial.

    Good Luck, Clayton Simms

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  • How many times can the state fail to file in time on a dui case

    District attorney failed to file in time. The judge closed the case and was told to call back for the 3rd time now to see if they will file

    Clayton’s Answer

    The prosecutors will not file a DUI until they run a background check on you to determine if you have any previous DUI convictions. As you may know, DUI is an enhanceable offense. A DUI with two previous DUI convictions within a 10 year period turns a misdemeanor DUI into a Third degree felony DUI. The criminal background check is probably the reason for the delay. If you have lived out of State and have an out of state DUI that is the most common reason for a long delay.

    Another possibility is that the Utah state crime lab has not yet processed the DUI blood draw and the prosecutors are waiting for the results.

    Good Luck, Clayton

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