One of the pillars of America’s criminal justice system is based on the state having the power to haul people into court, sometimes against their will, to face criminal allegations. There would be no point in writing and passing laws if there was no power to make people face and/or fight criminal charges and ultimately be sentenced for their crime or have their name cleared. Due to this basic principle of the justice system judges take a defendant’s appearance in court very seriously, and failing to appear can result in warrants being issued for the defendant’s arrest as well as the judge being less willing to go easy on the defendant at sentencing.
Waiving your Appearance
In some scenarios the defendant may waive his/her appearance and simply have his/her attorney appear on his/her behalf. Under Rule 13 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure the defendant may waive their right to appear at the pretrial conference but for other types of hearings the defendant is normally required to be present unless the judge specifically excuses them. One situation in which most judges are very unlikely to excuse the defendant’s appearance is sentencing because they want to be sure that the defendant is there and aware of their penalty and what they need to do to satisfy the court’s demands. Appearing in court is particularly difficult for defendants who live out of state and in those scenarios it is often possible for a defense attorney to have the clients appearance waived for the pretrial conference and then have a plea agreement entered by affidavit allowing for the case to be resolved without the client having to return to Utah to go to court.
Hiring a Utah Defense Attorney to Represent you in Court
If you live out of state or are otherwise concerned about having to appear in court for your criminal case then call the attorneys at Salcido Law Firm to see what your options are. Our lawyers have represented hundreds of clients in their criminal matters and we are familiar with the judges and prosecutors in Utah and can give you an idea of what you are facing in your case and how we can help you. Call or email us today for a free consultation over the phone.