The criminal section of the court handles Class B and C Misdemeanor criminal violations and infractions committed within the jurisdictional limits of Murray City. Most criminal violations require an appearance before the judge. If you have not received a court date notice after 14 days of receiving a citation, contact the court at (801) 284-4280.
The defendant’s initial appearance is called an Arraignment. At the Arraignment the Judge will read the charges against the defendant and ask them to enter a plea. A plea of not guilty, guilty or no contest may be entered.
If the defendant enters a not guilty plea, a Pretrial Conference will be scheduled on a future date.
If the defendant enters a guilty or no contest plea, the court will ask the defendant to read and sign a rights waiver. Upon completion, the defendant will be called back to the podium to be sentenced then or obtain a future sentencing date.
If the defendant enters a not guilty plea, the defendant’s second appearance will be a Pretrial Conference. This is a conference with the prosecutor in which the parties attempt to negotiate settlement of the case. Cases not settled will be scheduled for either a Bench Trial or a Jury Trial.
A Bench Trial is a hearing in which the Judge listens to all parties, including the officer and any witnesses, and makes a decision based on the facts. If the defendant is found not guilty, the case will be closed. If the defendant is found guilty, they may be sentenced that day, or come back on a future date, depending on the severity of the charges.
A Jury Trial is a hearing in which a jury panel, comprised of 4 citizens from the community, makes a unanimous decision or finding of fact. If it is determined by the Jury panel that the defendant is not guilty, the case will be closed. If the defendant is found guilty, they may be sentenced that day, or come back on a future date, depending on the severity of the charges.