Q: Is it a bad idea to move out of state before a court hearing for a class B misdemeanor for shoplifting under $500?
I've recently been charged with a class B misdemeanor for shoplifting under $500. I don't have a court date yet but I need legal advice. This is my first charge with anything. I was trying to move to Colorado at the end of September and I still want to but I don't know if it'd be a good idea now with having to set up a court date. I've heard that court dates can be scheduled 3-4 months in the future now with COVID-19, which is why I'm worried about moving out of state. I need help on how I should go about all of this and if it'd be a good idea to move out of state or not.
A: Consider contacting a Utah criminal defense lawyer. A person convicted of a Class B misdemeanor can face up to six months in jail. Usually, a criminal defendant for a class B misdemeanor needs to make an initial court appearance within 14 days, even it is by video. If the defendant fails to appear, the judge will issue a bench warrant which means that the defendant can be arrested by any law enforcement officer. Most courts are doing video hearings by Webex in Utah with COVID-19. I usually have clients come to my office for court appearances by video. After an initial appearance, the judge may impose certain travel conditions when the defendant is on pretrial release. In some situations, a person could move to another state but may need to come back to Utah for court appearances. There may also be conditions if the person is on probation or parole.
Mike Branum agrees with this answer
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