Rules of Criminal Procedure

URCrP 12. Motions. Amend. Describes the process for motions to suppress, including the contents of the motion and whether a written response is required.
URCrP 21A. Presentence investigation reports; Restitution. Renumber from URCrP 21.5 and amend. Changes designation of PSI report from “controlled” to “protected” to conform with statute.
URCrP 27. Stays pending appeal . Amend. Requires a party to serve the Attorney General when seeking a certificate of probable cause from appellate court in a felony case.
URCrP 38. Justice court appeals. Repeal and reenact. Repeals the existing rule and creates a different process for trial de novo. The most significant feature is that a justice court conviction will be automatically vacated upon the filing of a notice of appeal.

Utah Courts

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9 thoughts on “Rules of Criminal Procedure
  1. Robin Reese

    The change to rule 12, URCrP, requires the allowance of time after the hearing for the parties to respond in writing. Often, the hearing on the motion to suppress must be set just before a trial. Allowing time after the hearing for additional written memoranda would require a continuance of the trial. I prefer to require both parties to file detailed memoranda in advance of the hearing so that I can rule immediately after. I do like the provision that requires the moving party to explain the rationale supporting the motion. The rule should also require the moving party to provide a statement of the facts that it relies on in bringing its motion. Thanks for your consideration.

  2. Jay Carey

    The proposed change to URCrP 38. Trials de novo of Justice Court proceedings causes ambiguity with respect to the reporting of traffic violations. Sections 41-6-173(b) and 53-3-218(2)(a) U.C.A. require the courts to submit convictions to the Drivers License Division (DLD) within 10 days after conviction. If the judgment of the justice court is to be vacated immediately upon the filing of an appeal, what happens to the report of conviction that was already sent to the DLD? The statutes that govern the reporting of convictions have no provision recalling the conviction on an appeal except for section 53-3-218(4). This section directs the DLD to reinstate a suspended license “[w]hen a person secures a judgement of acquittal or reversal in any appellate court after a conviction in the court of first impression…” This language clearly does not anticipate vacation of a conviction with its associated license suspension prior to the finding of the appellate court.
    One also needs to consider the further complexity of cases involving a defendant with an out of state driver’s license.
    Just some food for thought. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  3. Sandi Johnson

    Regarding the proposed change to Rule 12 of the URCrP, I also agree that memoranda should be submitted prior to any evidentiary hearing, and then supplemental briefing should be allowed only upon the request of the judge. Often the motion to suppress hearing is set within weeks of the trial, and to allow additional time for briefing only requires another continuance of the trial. I support the addition of requiring a motion to specify the legal basis in sufficient detail, and agree with other comments that a statement of facts upon which the motion relies should be included.
    Regarding the proposed change to Rule 38 of the URCrP, I have concerns about eliminating the determination of probable cause to appeal by the justice court. Appeals are often untimely, or request a trial de novo, when the appellant is only entitled to a hearing de novo. Eliminating that procedural safeguard seems inefficient.

  4. Judge Acomb

    Regarding changes to URCrP 38, line 13: To require the court to act in behalf of pro-se defendants who file appeals, by sending their appeals to the District Attorney, is unreasonable in my view. We are required to go through a huge colloquy when defendants decide to represent themselves, about the “pitfalls” of self-representation. This falls into that category. Once a defendant opts to self-represent, the court should not then act as counsel. They are expected to follow the rules without the court doing it for them. Certainly, if they ask about a process,the court should explain it fully. Otherwise, it should be the defendant’s responsibility.

  5. Michael W. Crippen

    Rule 38 Appeals from the Justice Courts
    The language used in the change seems to suggest that the district court will have
    available to it the full range of sentencing options allowed by law. Presently the district courts are
    bound by the justice court’s sentence. If it is not the intent to grant the district court expanded
    sentencing options why use the words, “(a)(3)the prosecution shall thereafter go forward in the
    district court as if an information had been filed therein.” If it is the intent that such sentencing
    options be increased than that intent should be made clear.
    Further, the above quoted language suggests that the prosecution of the case should be by
    the county attorney’s office and not the prosecutor from the justice court having original
    jurisdiction in the matter. I am sure this is not the intent however, the language of (a)(3) lends
    itself to that interpretation.
    Lastly, the rule change is confusing because (b)(4) requires the case to be remanded to the
    justice court. -78-5-120(6) says, ” The district court shall retain jurisdiction over the case on trial
    de novo.” -78-5-120(5) states when remand is to occur otherwise the case stays with the district
    court. Is it intended that after the trial de novo the case be remanded to the justice court for the
    collection of the fines and other necessary ministerial acts to carry out the sentence imposed by
    the district court. If that is not the intent why is the language of (b)(4) present.

  6. Terry Moore

    URCrP 38 In many cases this new rule may allow defendants who are a threat to themselves/ victims/community to be released on bail pending a trial de novo. Current rule works very well in all but .1% of cases.

  7. Chase Kimball

    I am concerned about the rewrite of URCP 64B dealing with replevin. The new law is terse, giving very basic information about when a writ of replevin may be ordered. The current version of 64B gives a great deal of guidance on procedure and enforcement, much of which appears to be covered in new rule 64. However, I cannot find any instructions dealing with retrieval of the replevined property similar to what is currently noted in 64B(h)(1), which gives the officer the authority to enter a building by force if necessary, and seize the wrongfully held property. This is a very important power for the officer to have in the many cases where deadbeats refuse compliance with court orders. This issue needs to be addressed in the new rule.

  8. Joseph Jardine

    The proposed rule change for URCrP 38 is exactly what is needed to preserve the delicate balance between essentially unchecked power of the justice courts and the rights of the accused. By immediately vacating the sentence of the justice court judge, the court is on notice that its sentence must fall within reasonable bounds or the judgment will be of no effect once an appeal is perfected. This rule cures the injustice that occurs currently when a person may be sentenced to jail time, forwith, appeals and is later aquitted. The process can take more than 30 days before such a person is released from jail. It nearly makes a de novo appeal a moot point in that the individual who is later aquitted has already been punished for the crime he or she was accused of. I strongly support this rule change, and hope it will be implemented as soon as possible.

  9. L. Zane Gill

    A Justice Court conviction should stand until the defendant has complied with the existing requirements for a Certificate of Probable Cause. I predict that by vacating the sentence automatically, there will be more appeals to the District Court. I also fear that some persons who pose a threat to the community, e.g., a repeat DUI offender, will continue behaviors dangerous to the community if they can immediately escape the consequences of the Justice Court sentence by filing an appeal. As it stands now, a Justice Court judge may deny a Certificate of Probable Cause and require the defendant to serve jail time or enter treatment if the balance of evidence is against an immediate stay of sentence.