Salt Lake City, UT asked in Criminal Law for Utah

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.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Craig
Brian Craig
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Logan, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

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

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.