Salt Lake City

Justice Court

333 S 200 E, Salt Lake City UT 84111

Criminal Cases

The Salt Lake City Justice Court handles cases where Class B and Class C misdemeanor criminal violations and infractions are alleged to have occurred within Salt Lake City.

Court Appearances / Scheduling Appearances

Most criminal cases require an appearance before a judge.

  • If you received a citation, the citation may have a court appearance date and time listed.
  • If you don’t have a court date:
    • You can use the bookable online calendar to schedule your Arraignment / First Appearance
      • DO NOT use the online calendar if you have a case where you have been accused of DUI or Domestic Violence. In those cases, the court will schedule a hearing date for you on the 14th business day from the date of the alleged offense.
      • Hearings scheduled through the online calendar will take place online via WebEx. A WebEx link will be added to your calendar through email.
  • You can also contact the court with any questions about scheduling court appearances and to ask whether a hearing has already been scheduled. You can reach the court via phone, (801)535-6300, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am and 4:00 pm or by email at criminalsection@slcgov.com

First Appearance / Arraignment

After the defendant obtains their court date, the defendant’s first court appearance is called an Arraignment. At the Arraignment, the Judge will advise the defendant of their rights and advise the defendant of the charges against them.

  • Prior to your first appearance in court, watch a short video called, “The Rights of Criminal Defendants”. The video will help defendants better understand the process.

Pleading Not Guilty or Pleading Guilty

If the plea is “Not Guilty,” a Pre-Trial Conference is scheduled and other court hearings/trial dates may follow. A “not guilty” plea preserves all of the defendant’s options.

If the plea is “Guilty,” the court will ensure that the defendant understands the rights the defendant will be waiving. If the court is satisfied and the defendant understands the consequences, the court will accept the guilty plea. The court will schedule a date for sentencing or if the defendant chooses, he or she may waive that time and may be sentenced on the day of the plea. The defendant has the right to be sentenced within 2 to 45 days from the date of the guilty plea, unless waived.

There are also two other types of pleas:

  • No Contest: This has the same procedural effect as a guilty plea, but rather than admitting guilt, the defendant admits that the prosecutor would likely prevail at trial. A judge has discretion to reject this type of plea.
  • Alford plea: This plea may be used when the defendant wants the advantage of a plea bargain, but cannot or will not admit guilt. Instead, the defendant pleads to avoid the potential consequences of going to trial, and pleads without admitting guilt. A judge has discretion to reject this type of plea.

Pretrial

The court may hold a pretrial conference in which the prosecutor and defense attorney attempt to negotiate settlement of the case. A judge may refuse to approve a proposed settlement. Cases not settled are scheduled for trial.

Bench Trial

A Bench Trial is a hearing in which a judge makes all decisions. If a defendant is found Not Guilty, their case will be closed. If the defendant is found guilty, the defendant has the right to be sentenced in no fewer than two nor any more than 45 days following conviction. If the defendant chooses, he or she may waive that time and may be sentenced on the day of conviction.

Trial by Jury

A jury trial, or trial by jury, is a hearing in which a jury panel of 4 citizens within the community make a unanimous decision or finding of fact. If it is determined by a Jury panel that a defendant is Not Guilty, the case will be closed. If the Jury panel finds that the defendant is guilty, the defendant has the right to be sentenced in no fewer than two nor any more than 45 days following conviction. If the defendant chooses, he or she may waive that time and may be sentenced on the day of conviction.

Other Resources / Information

DUI and Domestic Violence Treatment Resources

Services and Tools

Community Service

You may request that the Court allow you to perform community service in lieu of paying some, or all, of a fine for class B, class C misdemeanors and infractions. Community service will be credited at a rate of $10/hour. If you would like to request community service in lieu of paying your fine, contact the court to make an appearance before the judge. You may also fill out the “Request to Judge” form found above. (UCA 76-3-301.7)

Help / Assistance

Interpreter Request

If English is not your primary language and you are unable to understand or communicate in English, the court will appoint an interpreter for you for all court hearings. You must request a court interpreter at least 3 days before the hearing, or the hearing may have to be postponed. To request a court interpreter, you may call the court at (801)535-6300, you may also email the court at criminalsection@slcgov.com, so that an interpreter may be scheduled to appear at your court hearing.

If you have been appointed a Legal Defender at Arraignment, the following is their contact information:

Salt Lake Legal Defenders
275 East 200 South
Salt Lake City UT 84111
Phone:  (801)532-5444     Website:  http://www.sllda.com/

Other Types of Legal Help

If you need legal help, click on the following link(s) for Legal Help.

Utah State Bar list of Legal Clinics

Modest Means Lawyer Referral Program

Utah.FreeLegalAnswers.org

Finding Legal Help

ADA Accommodation

ADA Notice:  If you are a party to a case, a witness or potential juror and you need special arrangements (including communication aids and services) during an upcoming proceeding, please call the Salt Lake City Justice Court at (801)535-6300, or fax the court at (801)535-6302 at least three business days before the proceeding.

Any questions not answered above? Use our website’s chat feature on our home page.