Here’s a quick piece of information for today: The Utah County District Attorney’s office has an “office policy” of not giving pleas in abeyance. What’s a plea in abeyance? It’s a plea agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant that allows for the charges to be dismissed after the the defendant complies with agreed upon terms such as paying court fees, participating in counseling or classes, and not violating the law for a specified period of time. Pleas in abeyance are great tools because they benefit the defendant by getting the charges dismissed so that the defendant does not have the charges on his record.
In Utah County, which covers the district courts in Provo, American Fork, and Spanish Fork, the district attorney’s office typically will not offer a plea in abeyance. The only consistent exception to the rule is drug court. A defendant who is charged with drug possession and does not have violent crime convictions on his record can participate in the drug court program and if he successfully completes the drug court program his charges will be dismissed.
Why does the Utah County District Attorney’s office not offer pleas in abeyance? You will have to ask the DA himself. He probably thinks he is doing a service to the county by taking a tough stance on crime, but such a policy has no affect on crime rates and only hurts those good people who have made a mistake.
Most people we represent are exactly that: good people who made a mistake or who committed a crime that hurt nobody but the client, such as most drug offenses. Nearly every county in Utah offers pleas in abeyance except for Utah County…go figure.
If you are facing criminal charges in Utah County, call our criminal defense lawyers at 801.618.1334 for a free consultation.