Criminal Defense

When faced with criminal charges, you need an experienced and proven criminal defense lawyer on your side.  Our attorneys know that police officers and prosecutors may stretch the facts of cases in order to file serious charges that are not be justified.  With our attorneys on your side you do not need to be intimidated by overinflated charges that are not supported by the law or the facts of your case.  Of more importance, our attorneys will ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected.



We provide criminal defense for clients in several areas, including the following:


Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-102, assault can mean three different things: (1)  an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; (2) an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; (3) a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another.  In other words, in Utah a person could be guilty of assault if he/she commits an act of violence; attempts an act of violence, or threatens an act of violence.


Our lawyers know that a defendant is not guilty merely because an allegation of violence has been made.  A supposed victim may not be entirely forthcoming with police.  A stranger on the street may be confused about an altercation between the defendant and the supposed victim.  Furthermore, even where there was an act of violence, a defendant may have been justified in using force in self defense.


Our attorneys will give you a frank analysis of your case, based on the facts of the case and the laws of Utah. 


The offense of burglary is not limited to residential thefts.  A person is guilty of burglary, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-202 , he/she enters or remains unlawfully in a building or any portion of a building with intent to commit: (a) a felony; (b) theft; (c) an assault on any person; (d) lewdness; (e) sexual battery; (f) lewdness involving a child; or (g) voyeurism.  In essence, a person can be found guilty of burglary if he/she unlawfully enters or remains in a building with the intention of committing any felony, theft, violence, or a misdemeanor sexual offense. 

Child Abuse Charges

In Utah, a person is guilty of child abuse if he/she inflicts upon a child serious physical injury or, having the care or custody of such child, causes or permits another to inflict serious physical injury upon a child. Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-109.  

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly Conduct has a broad definition.  In Utah disorderly conduct is defined in Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-102 as: (a) the refusal to comply with the lawful order of the police to move from a public place; or (b) any of the following acts, if committed with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm:  (i) fighting, violent behavior, tumultuous behavior, or threatening behavior;  (ii) making unreasonable noises in a public place; (iii) making unreasonable noises in a private place which can be heard in a public place; or (iv) obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.  Given the breadth of its definition, disorderly conduct charges may be arbitrarily enforced.     

Domestic Violence Charges

A domestic violence offense in Utah means any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm, or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm, when committed by one cohabitant against another.  Cohabitant is defined in Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-102 as a person who is 16 years of age or older who:
     (a) is or was a spouse of the other party;
     (b) is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;
     (c) is related by blood or marriage to the other party;
     (d) has one or more children in common with the other party;
     (e) is the biological parent of the other party's unborn child; or
     (f) resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.

This definition excludes parent-child relationships and the relationships between siblings under the age of 18. 

Drug Charges

Drug charges frequently implicate the Constitutional rights of a defendant. Drug investigations neccessarily involve searches and seizures of a defendant's person, his/her residence, or his/her vehicle.  Police officers must observe the Constitutional rights of a defendant against illegal searches and seizures.  Accordingly, an officer may not stop a defendant without reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.  Similarly a police officer may not search a person or an automobile without probable cause of illegal activity. Further, an officer may not search the residence of a defendant without a search warrant, issued upon probable cause of illegal activity. Even where a search warrant has been issued, a police officer must reasonably execute that warrant for a search to be legal.


For more information:

Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8

Utah Code Ann. § 58-37a-5 

In Utah a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she controls a motor vehicle while having a breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater or while under the influence of a substance to such an extent that he/she is incapable of safely operating the vehicle.  A defendant can be guilty of a DUI in Utah even if he/she never actually drove a vehicle since "control" of a vehicle has been interpreted as meaning only that a defendant was readily capable of driving a vehicle.  Accordingly, police and prosecutors may charge a defendant who is sitting in a parked vehicle with the car keys in his/her pocket.


DUI charges also implicate a defendant's Constitutional rights against illegal searches and seizures.  Police must have a legally permissible reason for stopping a DUI suspect.  Once stopped, police must have reasonable suspicion to believe that a defendant is intoxicated before police may conduct field sobriety tests.  Further, a defendant must have failed at least one field sobriety test before her/she may Constitutionally be arrested for a DUI.


For more information:  

Utah Code Ann. § 41-6a-502

Detection of Impaired  Motorists

Standardized Field Sobriety Testing

DUI Guidebook 


A criminal record can make it difficult or impossible to find employment. Even if you have a job, you could lose your job due to an arrest or criminal conviction.  Under certain circumstances, a Utah criminal record may be expunged.  Call Kelly & Bramwell today to see if your are elibile to have your Utah criminal record expunged.  


Additional Information:

Eligibility for Expungements

Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification

Impaired Driving

Under certain circumstances a DUI may be reduced to Impaired Driving.  A charge of Impaired Driving is preferable to a DUI since Impaired Driving does not carry mandatory jailtime or mandatory driver's licence suspension.  Call for a free consultation to see whether your DUI charge is eligible for reduction to Impaired Driving. 


Click to read the Impaired Driving Statute 

Utah Code Ann. § 41-6a-502.5 

Public Intoxication

Under Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-701 a person is guilty of public intoxication if the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors, to a degree that the person may endanger the person or another, in a public place or in a private place where the person unreasonably disturbs other persons.

Retail Theft (Shoplifting)

Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-602a person commits the offense of retail theft when he/she knowingly:
     (1) Takes possession of, conceals, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the retail value of such merchandise; or
     (2) Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of such merchandise; or
     (3) Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of such merchandise; or
     (4) Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of the merchandise; or
     (5) Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment with the intent of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart. 


In Utah a person may be charged with Retail Theft even if he/she did not remove any merchandise from a retail establishment.  The statute requires only that a person take possession of merchandise with the intent of stealing it.  The facts surrounding a given case are very important.  Each case is different.  Call today for a free evaluation.   


A person commits theft if he/she obtains or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another with a purpose to deprive the owner thereof. Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-404.   


Under Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-206 a defendant is guilty of criminal trespass if:

(a) the defendant enters or remains unlawfully on property and:
             (i) intends to cause annoyance or injury to any person or damage to                 any property;
             (ii) intends to commit any crime, other than theft or a felony; or
             (iii) is reckless as to whether his presence will cause fear for the                             safety of another;
(b) knowing the person's entry or presence is unlawful, the person enters   or remains on property as to which notice against entering is given by:
             (i) personal communication to the actor by the owner or someone                    with apparent authority to act for the owner;
             (ii) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude                              intruders; or
             (iii) posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of                      intruders.

Unlawful Detention

In Utah a person is guilty of Unlawful Detention if he/she intentionally or knowingly, without authority of law, and against the will of the victim, detains or restrains the victim.  Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-304.  The offense of Unlawful Detention is often charged as a crime of domestic violence since it frequently involves people with a domestic relationship.  Call today for an analysis of your case.