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Utah Defendants: Do You Know Your Jail Rights in a Pandemic?

Due to the confined nature of prisons and jails, these areas are “Petri dishes” during a pandemic. COVID-19 spreads like wildfire when it gets into a Utah jail or prison. This is why you need a criminal defense attorney who will defend your rights if you are in a Utah prison, or awaiting trial in a Utah jail. There are situations in which you can avoid jail time or receive early release due to a public health emergency.

Overcrowding in Utah Jails

“Social distancing” is basically impossible in a jail or prison setting. Utah’s counties are working to reduce jail overcrowding during COVID-19 by issuing citations for certain crimes, rather than jailing defendants. If you have been arrested for a non-violent crime, it is possible for a criminal defense lawyer from Wasatch Defense Lawyers to help you avoid any jail time during the coronavirus pandemic. This is why you must contact our office immediately if you are arrested for any reason.

COVID-19 and Your Health

We now know that COVID-19 can be a death sentence for anyone with common pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. If you or a loved one of yours is in jail awaiting trial, or in a Utah prison following a conviction, you must be open and honest with your criminal defense attorney about your health. There are many situations in which early release can be secured for a prisoner or defendant. If you have a pre-existing health condition, tell your lawyer. Jail time should not be a life-threatening experience for anyone!

COVID-19 and Your Age

Age is also a factor that can have a major impact on securing early release or avoiding jail time. The older a defendant or prisoner is, the more likely it is that they will suffer more severe consequences if they contract COVID-19. If you have an elderly loved one serving a prison or jail term in Utah, contact us at Wasatch Defense Lawyers to discuss their situation.

Early Release Conditions

As Utah counties and prisons work to reduce overcrowding, there are additional opportunities right now to secure early release for many defendants or prisoners. Some of the options that criminal defense attorneys Utah can fight for and secure include:

  • Early release with GPS ankle monitoring
  • Reduced sentence for good behavior
  • House arrest
  • Early release for age and/or pre-existing health conditions

Visitation Rights for Utah Prisoners

Prison visitations have been suspended in all 50 states to try to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in the prison system. However, no correctional facility can take away your right to maintain contact with your loved ones. You have a constitutional right to alternative means of visitation. Prisons and jails are required to provide more free phone calls or even video conference calls with loved ones. If you are being denied these contact rights by any jail or prison facility in Utah, contact our office immediately. Wasatch Defense Lawyers will fight for your constitutional rights!

Call Wasatch Defense Lawyers Today

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique opportunities for defendants to spend less time in jail or even to reduce prison sentences. But to take advantage of these opportunities, you must contact our law firm. We are Utah’s top criminal defense attorneys and we will provide you a free consultation to review your case as quickly as possible.

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Craig R. Chlarson
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