15 Ways 2022 Legislation Changed Utah Criminal Law

Every year, the Utah legislature resumes in January and adjourns in March. In the six-week session, a staggering number of bills are brought before the lawmakers proposing changes to a wide range of state laws. In the 2022 Utah legislative session, many of the proposed changes are to criminal justice law in the Utah code.

As Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys, we pay close attention to those bills and their potential impact on the rights of people charged with crimes in Utah.

If you have questions about any of these changes and how they might impact your current legal case, contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers at (801) 980-9165 for more information.

15 Legislative Changes to Utah Criminal Law in 2022

Here are 15 ways that voting decisions in the 2022 session of the Utah state legislature will now affect citizens charged with crimes in our state.

Acronyms: HB = House Bill passed. SB = Senate Bill passed.

Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

The definition of sexual exploitation of a minor has been modified and the behavior defined has been designated as a new form of sex crime against a minor. (SB0167S03)

Domestic Animal Protection

Protections have been added for animals in stalking and domestic violence situations. Emotional distress will include such suffering due to harming an animal, and protection orders may include animals. (HB0175 )

Preservation of Biological Evidence

A requirement to preserve biological evidence for a specified time frame in cases of violent felony crimes has been voted into law. (HB0065S01)

Expungement of Protective Orders

Utah law will now allow some stalking injunctions and protective orders to be expunged from the record of the accused. (SB0085S05)

Reckless Driving Law Changes

The law will now allow the seizure of an automobile racing on a highway that is not legal for street driving, and the change makes speeding at 105 mph or faster a reckless driving offense. (SB0053S05)

Using a Cell Phone or Other Wireless Device While Driving

The Utah legislature has now made it illegal to use a cell phone or other wireless communication device to take pictures or view them while driving. (SB0102S03)

Changes in the Criminal Justice System

The state legislature has voted to eliminate the requirement in Utah for a felony offense to occur in order to enforce attendance in a drug court program. (SB0179S05)

Supervisory Updates Regarding Parole and Probation Cases

The Department of Corrections (DOC) must now notify crime victims when an offender’s parole or probation ends and advise them of their options to obtain a continuing protective order. (HB0028S02)

Tracking Offenders on Parole and Probation

Some residential and vocational programs will now report to Juvenile Justice authorities and the Utah DOC for tracking offenders’ compliance with treatment requirements. (SB0179S05)

Juvenile Prison Until Age 25

The law is being modified to require that minors sentenced to prison in Utah will remain housed through the Division of Juvenile Justice Services until they reach age 25. (HB0138)

Probation and Parole Violations

The Utah DOC will be required to detain people who commit various kinds of violations of the conditions of their parole or probation. (HB0028S02)

Program to Protect the Confidentiality of Victims’ Addresses

The new law creates a program for maintaining the confidentiality of a crime victim’s address information, and it sets forth rules for eligibility and applying to the program. (HB0117S03)

Amendment for Release of Recordings by Law Enforcement

Authorities will now be required, in some types of situations, to release recordings of law enforcement incidents that result in bodily injury or death when a police officer fires a weapon. (HB0260S02)

Equal Access for Women to Correctional Education Programs

Incarcerated women in Utah will now have access to educational and career preparedness opportunities equal to those available for incarcerated men. (HB0194)

Funding Access for Inmate Educational Programs

A new Utah law will require practical access to financial aid, including grants, for funding male and female inmates’ educational programs. (HB0194)

To Discuss How 2022 Law Changes May Affect Your Case

If you are concerned that any of the new changes to state laws in the 2022 Utah legislative session may affect your current legal case, Wasatch Defense Lawyers can help you. Our experienced criminal law team is here to answer your questions and provide the legal guidance you will need to win your case.

If you are facing charges in Utah or are affected by changes to Utah law, call Wasatch Defense Lawyers at (801) 980-9165, or contact us here online for a free consultation.

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Craig R. Chlarson

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