Price, UT asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Utah

Q: I got pulled.over a week ago or so for no registration. And I had a weed pipe on me and a bag of weed.

Utah state. I got possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia. Just weed, first charge ever in my 28 years. Also Failure to register registration. Warning. Is what the ticket says.

the officer gave me a break for just making it easy for him when he asked if I had anything on me. Could have toed my car, and made it a harder night for both of us. But i just got served court papers, and the courts or district attorney are charging me for both mesterminers and the failed to register car charge even though the officer said and put it on the ticket it was only a warning. So my question is, can they do that? I wasnt fighting the charges but now I feel I should because no registration but I had insurance. It was June 8th my registration ended the end may. So 8 or 9 days overdue. And that's a non-moving valuation or something of the sort not a reason to pull me over in the first place. Can the district attorney change the officers judgment and ticket?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: An attorney would have to inspect your documents to give you a good answer but my suspicion is that there was a communication breakdown between you and the officer. Failure to register is a non-moving violation and is generally dismissed if you produce evidence that you have corrected the problem. District attorneys have discretion on whether or not to bring charges against an individual but would not independently bring the type of charges you have mentioned in the absence of a citation from a law enforcement officer. It sounds like you were cited for these charges by the officer on the day you were stopped. Additionally, expired registration is absolutely probable cause to stop your vehicle and any crimes discovered legally as a result of such a justified detention can also be cited and prosecuted in the absence of any violation of your rights by the officer.

Brent J Huff agrees with this answer

Mr Aric M Cramer Sr.
Mr Aric M Cramer Sr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • St. George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: A prosecutor may, and often will, amend a citation to a different charge, even up to or during a trial.

Brent J Huff
Brent J Huff
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: The prosecutor can charge whatever they want, but they would likely drop the registration charge in exchange for a guilty plea. You need to show up at court with an attorney who can negotiate with the prosecutor and who can look at the evidence. If there is a way to fight the case, don't lie down and take it just because the cop was nice.

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