Questions Answered by Mike Branum

Q: Can I record mine and my step-child's in person conversations?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
Utah law only requires one party to the conversation be aware a recording is being made, so, yes, you may legally record the conversations with or without his knowledge. As far as helping your case, requesting the appointment of a guardian ad litem would probably be more advantageous than your recordings. A guardian ad litem is a non-attorney volunteer who will be the child's neutral advocate during court proceedings. It is helpful to have an outside party privately speak with the child and...

Q: Joint custody and child abused in other home... do we have to take her back there?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
You would need to file a petition in Juvenile Court. See https://www.utcourts.gov/abuse/child.html for the form or seek advice from a licensed attorney who practices in the Fifth District (Washington and Iron Counties).

Q: Hi my name is Breann Alexander my phone # is 385-404-2068 and my email is Breannalexander801@gmail.com

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Utah on
Answered on Apr 17, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
According to Utah Administrative Code you should have received a copy of the Utah Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Towing as soon as you were contacted by the towing company. If you did not, you can file a complaint with UDOT on their website (www.udot.utah.gov). You may have a claim for damages against the property manager if they requested the tow and you can demonstrate that they failed to provide notice of the parking regulations which would subject you to towing.

Remember, you CAN...

Q: Is Reprosecution Barred if my Jury Trial was terminated by the Judge after a Motion by the Defense for mistrial?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 17, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
The short answer is yes. Whether or not the prosecution is likely to attempt to refile charges will depend on whether or not you (or your previous counsel on your behalf) waived your right to a speedy trial. Arizona requires the prosecution to take a defendant to trial within 150 days of indictment unless the right is waived. If that deadline was already approaching when your last trial occurred there may be insufficient time for the prosecutor to acquire a second indictment, get you arraigned,...

Q: My grandson has been placed in kinship care in Arizona through DCS. Can we apply to adopt him before my daughter's right

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 15, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
My first question would be: "Have you spoken with DCS about your desire to adopt the child?" If you are offering to provide a safe, stable home for your grandson DCS may be interested in assisting you in reaching your goal. From there I would have a lot of other questions that would allow me to provide more specific assistance but, lacking any further information, my initial advice would be to obtain an appointment with whomever is managing your grandsons' case for DCS, sit down, and discuss...

Q: Can parents get there rights back if they were severed in arizona

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Appeals / Appellate Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 15, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
Anything CAN happen but termination of parental rights is not an action the court takes without substantial justification. If you are merely talking about visitation rights the matter is less complicated. Unfortunately it is still far too complicated to tackle using Justia Ask-a-Lawyer. If you are serious about regaining custodial rights you need to speak with a reputable Arizona attorney specializing in family law.

I wish you luck.

Q: Can a judge change decisions on bond to no bond if it was already paid ?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 15, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
Judges have an enormous amount of discretion in most matters. Without further information it is impossible to determine why the judge may have changed the decision but the short answer is yes, a judge can change a decision on bond even after a bond has been posted particularly where the judge believes the individual in question may either be a threat to him/herself or others or where information indicating an increased risk of flight has been brought to the judge's attention.

Q: My brother is in federal custody on a parole violation and was supposed to be released two weeks ago . Who do I call

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 15, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
As a basic starting point, I would suggest going to www.bop.gov/inmateloc and entering your brother's information. This will at least identify what facility he may be housed in. Once you know what facility he is in, you can do some further research to obtain contact information for the facility and inquire regarding an upcoming release date.

I hope that helps and good luck!

Q: I plead guilty to a plea deal and a week later the judge denied my plea deal after I already plead to a guilty charge

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 15, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
I agree with Mr. Reed. I would also offer that your guilty plea in relation to the agreement is not admissible against you should you change your plea to not guilty and proceed to trial.

Q: Do I have to accept a drug charge?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
You may plead no contest or guilty and petition the court, with the agreement of the prosecutor, for a plea in abeyance. With a plea in abeyance, if you stay out of trouble for a year you may have the charges dismissed.

Q: What does a written warrant have to contain of to be a legal search warrant

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
To OBTAIN the search warrant, an officer must attest to facts which prove to a judicial officer that the officer has enough probable cause for the warrant to issue. As far as what has to actually be contained within the warrant itself? The warrant must adequately describe WHAT the officer is authorized to search for and WHERE the officer is authorized to search.

Q: If the police use a stolen vehicle as means to obtain a search warrent (knowing the vehicle wasn't stolen)

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Arizona on
Answered on Mar 17, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
If you and your defense counsel can show by a preponderance of the evidence that law enforcement officials had knowledge the vehicle was not stolen when they obtained the warrant, then yes, you should be able to succeed in a motion to suppress any evidence obtained UNLESS the state can show they would have obtained the information through another means which would not have been a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.

As with many of these questions, there are a plethora of...

Q: I run a charity for military families. We wear multi-cam's with our patches fully identified upon them.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Military Law for Utah on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
I can not think of a law which would allow them to take action against you to restrain you from wearing an article of clothing merely because it resembles a military uniform. To provide you with more constructive legal advice I would need more information about who "A group of people" are and what authority they believe they have to control what your group does.

I never charge a consultation fee for military members or veterans. I will extend the same courtesy to a military / veteran...

Q: Do I have to use my military disability payments as income to file my consent decree?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
This is a somewhat complex question and varies state to state. You asked in the Arizona forum, so I will advise that in Arizona disability payments are separate (not community) property and thus not divisible in a divorce HOWEVER they would still be considered income for purposes of determining child support so if there are minor children from the marriage you must disclose all sources of income so that the court may determine child support obligations.

If you are actually in Fort...

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