After you plead guilty and are sentenced by a judge in justice court or district court in the Fourth District, you are probably wondering what to do. Some may wonder about an appeal - and that's not what this article is about. There will usually be several requirements you need to comply with or risk getting put in jail. I have below outlines some of the most common.
If the judge suspended any jail time, that means that if you comply with probation you will not have to serve the jail time. However if you violate probation, then you will face the judge again and he can force you to serve the suspended jail time. Sometimes GPS Monitoring may be ordered through the Utah County Jail, or through a private probation service such as Crossroads.
Fines must be paid in accordance with the schedule given by the ju dge. You can pay the fine by going in to the court clerk's office or by going online. You will need your case number to pay online.
If bail was paid on your case, you can file a request with the court to receive the refund. The same person who posted the bail will need to sign the form to get the check back.
Sometimes the judge will take any fines out of the bail that was paid before refunding it. The court should have a copy of the bail refund request sheet, or ask the court clerk for that court's specific policy.
There are two types of probation. Court probation is informal, and is the less severe. Court probation means that you will not have any formal reporting requirements, only whatever the judge orders you to do. Adult Probation and Parole probation is a formal probation, and means you will have a probation officer who will supervise you.
If you violate the terms of your probation and it comes to the attention of the court, a hearing will be scheduled and you will face jail time.
Violate no laws
You must not violate any criminal laws or you will violate your probation and will face jail time. Minor traffic offenses such as parking tickets and speeding do not usually trigger a violation of your probation.
If the court ordered you to do treatment or an evaluation, it is best to start that right away so you can complete it on time. If you are on supervised probation, you must work with AP&P to determine where to go for your evaluation and treatment. If you are on unsupervised court probation, you can select from a list of many different providers. Sexual Treatment providers can be found here or by searching “Sex Offender Treatment Providers – Utah Department of Corrections”.
Other treatment providers can be found here, or by searching “Utah Certified JRI Treatment Providers”.
Obligation to keep court informed of your address
If you move or change address you must inform the court. You can call the court clerk or go in to do this.
Some convictions will be enhanceable by the court if you are convicted subsequently for a new case. This applies to many different types of offenses and consequences may include being charged with a higher degree of offense, required jail time, being listed on the sex offender registry, etc. depending on your conviction type.
Do I need to save any documents?
Some individuals do not want to keep records of criminal activity around where others can find those sensitive documents. Some documents and reports such as criminal histories are not allowed to be disseminated by your lawyer. If you will need them in the future, consider obtaining certified copies of important documents and storing them securely. One reason for saving documents like those mentioned below is if you will have an immigration proceeding in the future where you may need to present them, or if you are applying for a security clearance.
Some of the most important documents you may need are the "Information" (charging document), any "Amended Information", the "Docket" (line by line court record of the proceedings), any "Plea Statement" (this may not exist in paper form for misdemeanor cases but should exist for felony cases), and "Judgment" documents, if any (some courts only do this on the docket while others may have a separate document.) The reason why it is a good idea to keep a certified copy of these documents is because you do not want them to become unavailable. Some court records will be destroyed pursuant to the court's retention policy, but the court may save scans of your file for a long time, and at least a digitial record, or "docket" of your case perpetually. Your police report should be available from your defense attorney. If you represented yourself you may have to file a gramma request with the particular police department that wrote your report. The city police departments will have their own policy and the County Sheriff and Highway Patrol have their own separate procedures as well.
If the court ordered you to do community service, you need to do it at a non-profit organization, and you need to have proof of the dates and hours you served, along with a signature of the person at the non-profit. A great place to do this service is United Way, which has an office right across the street from the Provo Fourth District Court. The United Way of Utah County has a searchable database of volunteer opportunities. Keep in mind that some opportunities, such as working with children, may be restricted due to your type of conviction. Access the United Way of Utah County database here.
Post Conviction Work
Many clients want to know how to modify these charges in the future. Who wants their record publicly available to anyone, especially to a police officer who has just pulled you over for speeding, for example?
In certain situations, sometimes it may be possible to terminate probation early. This can be beneficial, because the sooner probation ends, the sooner you can reduce the offense and the sooner you can expunge it. There may be a way to reduce the offense severity through a 402 motion after successful completion of probation. Some individuals can expunge their cases after a certain period of time, usually several years. Please call my office or see my website for articles on these options.