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Rely on Murphy & Murphy Law’s 25+ Years of Experience

For over 25 years, Murphy & Murphy Law has been an aggressive advocate and ally for individuals and families alike in Kaysville, UT. While you could opt to represent yourself in court or handle legal matters on your own, it’s not in your best interest. Talking to an experienced attorney can save you time, money, and needless worry in the long term. Whether you’re facing a DUI, divorce, or domestic violence charge, Michael D. Murphy and Daniel F. Murphy are committed to protecting your rights and seeing justice prevail. Below, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions we receive regarding our legal services in Utah. Should you not find the answers you seek, we encourage you to contact us and speak with a member of our team.

Have Questions for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Kaysville?

The criminal justice system can be an intimidating and overwhelming thing to experience on your own. Luckily for you, Michael D. Murphy and Daniel F. Murphy are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Kaysville, UT ready to assist. If you’re facing criminal charges, there are two main items on which you should focus: you are innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, and not all criminal cases go to trial. Murphy & Murphy Law will help you build the best criminal defense both in and out of court. Regardless of whether you’re pleading guilty or not guilty, you should hire a criminal defense attorney.

What Is Criminal Law, and What Is a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Criminal law is the branch of law concerned with criminal offenses, which can range from minor traffic citations to petty theft, vandalism, reckless driving, prostitution, and domestic violence. Federal, state, and local governments have penal codes defining what is considered a crime and what consequences face an individual or company found guilty of a crime should face. A criminal defense attorney is someone who has studied criminal law extensively and is there to assist with issues involving arrests, warrants, criminal investigations and charges, bail, sentencing, and even post-trial proceedings and appeals. If you’re facing criminal charges in the state of Utah, the penalties of a conviction can be severe. You’ll need a criminal attorney to help you protect your legal rights.

What’s the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

Crimes are classified as felonies or misdemeanors depending on their severity and the consequences of being found guilty. The Utah Code defines felonies and misdemeanors in our state. Generally speaking, felonies carry more severe penalties, including hefty fines and prison sentences. There are at least four classes of felonies, ranging from a third-degree felony to a capital felony, which is the only felony that includes the death penalty as a possible punishment. Misdemeanors are divided into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you could face a jail sentence. Depending on the specifics of your case, it’s possible to get a felony reduced to a misdemeanor. If you need a felonies and misdemeanors attorney to help you build a DUI or other criminal defense in Utah, you should consider Murphy & Murphy Law.

What’s the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

Many of our clients get confused about the difference between probation and parole, which is easy to do since both involve rehabilitation to avoid jail time. Parole occurs when an individual is released from prison early, usually for exhibiting good behavior. Probation may occur before or in place of prison time.  In both circumstances, the individual is monitored closely and is subject to warrantless searches, even those without probable cause. Instead of serving a jail sentence, a person on probation may be allowed to remain in his or her home or a halfway house. However, probation often involves strict curfews, mandatory rehab programs, and community service requirements. Consult our attorneys to learn more.

Is There a Criminal Statute of Limitations in the State of Utah?

A statute of limitations defines the timeframe in which criminal charges must be filed. The statute of limitations will vary by the type of crime. It should be noted that more severe criminal offenses, such as murder, rape, manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, and child kidnapping, may be prosecuted at any time. Because laws pertaining to the criminal statute of limitations in Utah are ever-changing, your best bet is to consult with criminal justice lawyers who are privy to the most up-to-date information.

Can I File an Appeal for Criminal Cases in the State of Utah?

Yes, an appeal may be filed if you disagree with a judge or court’s final decision. Most criminal appeals must be filed within 30 days of a final appealable order. Sometimes a new hearing or trial will occur, although not always. If there isn’t a new trial, no new evidence will be accepted in your case. There are many steps involved in the appeals process. The criminal justice lawyers at Murphy & Murphy Law would be happy to look into the matter for you.

Our Kaysville Family Law Attorney Asks All the Right Questions

Family law matters are very personal and may include anything from divorce and alimony to child visitation and custody, adoption, and domestic violence. When you retain our family law attorney in Kaysville, UT, you can trust that Michael D. Murphy and Daniel F. Murphy will ask all the right questions. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t have an understanding of the consequences facing your family’s future. Our family attorney is supportive and compassionate as well as experienced and aggressive to fight for you.

Why Should I Choose Murphy & Murphy Law as My Family Attorney?

Michael D. Murphy was awarded the JD Trial Attorney of the Year in 2019 by the Parental Defense Alliance of Utah. Whether you need a domestic violence attorney or a divorce lawyer, he brings the same tenacity to all of his family law cases. Your case will never be passed off to a third-party law firm.

What Should I Know Before Filing for Divorce in the State of Utah?

You do not have to have your spouse’s consent to file for a divorce in Utah. Utah is also a no-fault state, meaning you do not have to prove you were wronged by your spouse to file for divorce. At least one of the parties involved must have lived in the state of Utah for at least three months before you file. Once the divorce has been filed, you are free to relocate, but Utah will retain jurisdiction. You have 21 days to respond to divorce papers. It’s important to remember that not all divorce cases go to court.

How Do Utah Courts Decide Who Gets Child Custody/Visitation?

Several factors go into court decisions regarding child custody and visitation issues. A family law attorney can advise which factors will be in your favor and which may be used against you. Sole custody may be awarded to either parent, or the two of you may ask for joint custody, in which each parent has the child at least 111 nights per year. Children over the age of 14 may indicate a preference on which parent they want to live with, though there are no guarantees. Many of our clients benefit from a parenting plan that dictates holiday visitation, parenting time, decision-making ground rules, and more.

Are There Any Adoption Restrictions in the State of Utah?

When it comes to adoptions in Utah, there are no restrictions on single individuals or same-sex couples adopting a child. All adoptive parents must be at least 10 years older than the child being adopted. There are also health, emotional, and financial requirements you must meet to ensure the adopted child’s well-being. Felons may adopt children after being cleared through a criminal background check. The Utah Adoption Act governs Utah adoption proceedings.

What’s Considered Domestic Violence in the State of Utah?

Domestic violence may include emotional, sexual, and physical abuse, as well as threats of abuse. Just about any form of abuse caused by a cohabitant can be considered grounds for domestic violence charges. Because domestic violence charges carry long-term consequences, you should meet with an experienced domestic violence lawyer who is familiar with court proceedings and convictions.

The Juvenile Justice System Differs from the Regular System

The juvenile justice system works a little differently from the regular criminal justice system. Therefore, having a skilled juvenile defense lawyer in Kaysville, UT is in your best interest. Michael D. Murphy has handled the defense for a variety of juvenile criminal offenses, including underage drinking, theft, arson, battery, drug possession, vandalism, and disorderly conduct. Don’t jeopardize the future when dealing with juvenile criminal offenses. Enlist the help of Murphy & Murphy Law when the stakes are high.

Who’s Considered a Juvenile in Utah? Can Juveniles Go to Court?

Juvenile is another word for a minor, which is defined as being a person under the age of 18. Juvenile criminal offenses are classified as being infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies, depending on their severity. The juvenile justice system is separate from the rest of the criminal justice system. If a juvenile commits a crime, he or she is usually assigned a probation officer for close monitoring. In some instances, the juvenile may be placed in a foster home or juvenile detention center. Juveniles facing criminal charges may appear in court and be tried as an adult if the offense is serious enough. However, many juvenile offenses require the minor to appear before a juvenile justice center board.

How Strict Are the Underage Drinking Laws in the State of Utah?

Underage drinking in the state of Utah is not to be taken lightly, as the penalties for violations may be severe. The state’s alcohol laws are often called the “Not-A-Drop” rules, while Utah also has a “Zero Tolerance” policy regarding underage DUIs. Individuals who use a fake ID or purchase alcohol for a minor also face steep consequences. A first-time underage drinking violation may include a 90-day driver’s license suspension, while a repeat offender may face a suspension of up to a year, mandatory participation in a substance abuse class, hefty fines, and even a jail sentence.

What’s the Difference Between Juvenile Misdemeanors & Felonies?

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies and usually carry more lenient penalties. Common juvenile misdemeanors include graffiti vandalism, curfew violations, drug possession, underage drinking, shoplifting, trespassing, and public intoxication. Examples of juvenile felonies include aggravated arson, assault, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault, attempted murder, and the felony discharge of a firearm. In certain circumstances involving felonies, a juvenile may be tried in a district court similar to an adult.

What Happens When a Juvenile Is Charged with a Felony?

If a juvenile is charged with a felony, he or she may be prosecuted like an adult. However, even if the case involves aggravated murder, juveniles may not face the death penalty in the state of Utah. If your child is facing criminal charges, it’s in your best interest to consult a juvenile defense attorney. In many cases, the charges may be reduced or dismissed, especially if it involves a first-time offender.

Are Juvenile Records Automatically Sealed in the State of Utah?

No. Access to juvenile court records in the state of Utah is restricted, but not entirely impossible. Certain law enforcement and state agencies and other third parties have limited access. Prospective employers may even have access to juvenile records, especially if the employer is in the healthcare industry and the position requires a great deal of trust, such as a nursing home. If the juvenile was transferred to an adult court to face criminal charges, then his or her records may not have any access restrictions in place. An individual may ask for an expungement of juvenile records, although this can be a complicated process.

Have Questions Regarding Parental Defense for Our Attorney?

Family conflicts often escalate into serious legal matters, especially when there’s divorce, child custody, abandonment, neglect, or abuse allegations involved. Our family law attorney in Kaysville, UT is here to answer any questions you may have regarding parental defense issues. Our law firm is familiar with the policies and procedures of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to assist you.

Why Should I Trust Murphy & Murphy Law’s Parental Defense?

The Parental Defense Alliance of Utah awarded Michael D. Murphy the JD Trial Attorney of the Year in 2019 for recognition of his diligent defense of parental rights before Utah courts. Get the representation and peace of mind you deserve. Entrust all parental defense cases to our knowledgeable team.

What Should I Do If I’m Suspected of Child Abuse or Neglect?

Suspected cases of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment are reported to the Utah Department of Children and Family Services for investigation. Criminal charges involving child abuse, neglect, or abandonment may be considered felonies, resulting in substantial jail time if convicted. Anyone under investigation for child abuse, neglect, or abandonment is encouraged to contact us for a consultation. You should know precisely what you’re up against.

Are Utah Stepparents Allowed to Adopt Their Stepchildren?

Yes, although the stepparent adoption process works a little differently than a regular adoption. The stepparent and stepchild must have lived together for at least one year. Once a stepparent adopts the child, the biological parent’s rights are terminated. Talk to our experienced adoption attorney with additional questions or concerns.

Can Child Custody Be Granted to Anyone Other Than a Parent?

In the state of Utah, child custody is usually given to one of the parents. However, non-parents can be granted custody under specific criteria, such as if the parents are absent or abusive. There is a process for modifying child custody or visitation order. Talk to our family law attorney for details.

What Is the Procedure for Applying for Guardianship in Utah?

In certain circumstances, an individual may apply for guardianship of a minor in the state of Utah. A guardian is an adult appointed by the courts to make crucial decisions on a minor’s behalf, including those related to education, healthcare, finances, and social activities. A guardian may be appointed by a local school board, juvenile court, or district court. Nominations for guardianship are usually required in writing. Be sure to speak to our guardianship attorney if you have any questions or concerns.

Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation at Murphy & Murphy Law

Do you still have questions about our legal services in Kaysville, Utah? Remove all worries and doubts from your mind when you contact Murphy & Murphy Law to request a free initial consultation. We would welcome the opportunity to share our many years of experience and wisdom with you. While results are never guaranteed, we do have a proven record of success in representing clients from all walks of life with a variety of legal issues. Call today to find out how we can help!