Justice Court is held each Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., except for holidays and other days as determined by training requirements.

The court clerk is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except holidays.

Wellsville Justice Court
75 East Main
P.O. Box 6
Wellsville, Utah 84339

Court phone: (435) 245-3686

Judge: Terry Moore
Court Clerk: Laurie Christensen

Prosecuting attorney: contact the prosecuting attorney though the city offices at 245-3686.

FINE AND BAIL SCHEDULE

Wellsville Traffic Citation Information

Your CITATION is Your Notice to Appear in Court.

You will NOT receive a courtesy bail notice or additional documents from the Court before a late fee and/or arrest warrant is issued. It is YOUR responsibility to contact the Court in not less than 5 days and not more than 14 days from the date you received your citation.

Unless your offense is listed in the Uniform Fine and Bail Schedule as a “Mandatory Apperance” offense, you may forfeit bail instead of coming to court. If your offense is listed as a “Mandatory Apperance” offense, you must appear in court before the Judge to resolve your case. If your offense is not listed, you must contact the Court Clerk for further information.

Click here to view the Uniform Fine and Bail Schedule (this link takes you to the Utah State Court web site).

If your charge(s) is not a “Mandatory Appearance” offense, and you wish to forfeit bail instead of appearing in Court mail payment for the full bail amount with a copy of your citation to: Wellsville Municipal Justice Court, 75 East Main, P.O. Box 6, Wellsville, UT 84339. The phone number is (435) 245-3686. Keep a copy of all documents, checks, etc for your records.

If you wish to forfeit bail, payment must be received within 14 days after the issuance of the citation or you may contact the Court Clerk to make other payment arrangements

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR TRAFFIC MATTERS

If you have been charged with committing a traffic violation in Wellsville, the following information may help you through the criminal justice system. Bear in mind that traffic violations are criminal matters by nature. The Court follows all applicable rules, statutes, and codes governing trial procedure. However, the following general information is provided as a guide to assist you. For specific legal advice concerning your case, you must consult an attorney. Neither the Judge nor the Clerk may provide legal assistance to you.

Some traffic violations have been designated as non-mandatory appearance matters. If you are cited for violating a traffic ordinance for which your appearance in court is not mandatory, you may contact the Court  to find out the amount of the bail for your offense(s). If you do not dispute the citation, you may choose to simply pay the bail amount. You may pay by check or money order through the mail. If you would like to pay by cash, or you want to set up a payment schedule, you must come to court during regular business hours. If you do not post bail within fourteen days, a late fee will be assessed and a warrant for your arrest may be issued.

If you wish to dispute the citation or if you are cited for violating a traffic ordinance for which your appearance in court is mandatory, you must appear at the Court in not less than five (5) days and not more than fourteen (14) days after issuance of the citation. Open court is held Mondays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Additional information may be provided to you by the clerk concerning your hearing or case. Usually, you will watch a short video explaining the court proceeding and your Constitutional Rights. You will be given a form to request that your case be called. READ and complete the form. You will give this form to the court clerk or Judge when your number is called.

If the offense(s) with which you are charged requires a mandatory appearance and you fail to appear for arraignment a warrant for your arrest will be issued.

How can I keep this ticket off my Driving Record?

Utah State law requires that all convictions be forwarded to the Department of Public Safety, Driver’s License Division. The only way to keep a ticket off your record is not to be convicted of the ticket. If you are found not guilty after trial, you will not have a conviction.

TRAFFIC SCHOOL AND PLEAS IN ABEYANCE

The Wellsville Justice Court does not offer Traffic School nor Pleas in Abeyance for traffic violations.

POINTS

Points are assessed to your driving record for traffic violations by the Drivers License Division of the Department of Public safety. Excess points may lead to the suspension of your driving privilege. In limited cases, the Court may make recommendations to the Driver’s License Division, but they are not required to abide by these recommendations. Defensive driving school offered by the Driver License Division may decrease the number of points on your record. You are advised to check with the Drivers License Division  to find out when and where schools are offered. The Court Clerk or Court can provide you with a phone number and more information if you would like.

RADAR AND LASER SPEED MEASURING EQUIPMENT

Speeding cases are by far the most common case heard in the Wellsville Justice Court. In those speeding cases, testimony of speed measurement is often offered. Two instruments in particular are generally used to measure speed for traffic enforcement, Radar and Lasers. Radar speed measuring equipment operate by sending radio waves which bounce off an object and are returned to the equipment. Speed is determined by measuring the compression or expansion of the returning waves. Laser speed measuring equipment uses similar technology, but instead of radar waves, it uses invisible light pulses. The light pulses travel at the speed of light and a laser gun can obtain an accurate measurement of a vehicle’s speed in as little as one third of a second. A laser gun can measure a vehicle’s speed at distances up to 3500 feet, more than half a mile away.

While the use of technology can be compelling, it is still the burden of the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. However, conclusionary, blanket statements by the defendant, such as “I know I wasn’t speeding” or “my car doesn’t go that fast” without some logical basis in fact, do little to help the Court determine what actually happened in your case.

Can I Resolve Matters Through the Prosecutor?

If you have a good driving record and you have been charged with a non-mandatory appearance crime, you may be able to resolve it through the prosecutor’s office. You may request to have your case set for a Traffic Pre-Trial Conference so that you can meet with the prosecutor’s office when you contact the Court. If you qualify, your matter will be scheduled for an appointment with the prosecutor. You must bring with you a certified copy of your driving record from Utah Driver’s License Division. You should also bring with you any documents or records which will help you, such as proof of registration, proof of insurance, driver’s license, and of repair (in the case of equipment violations).

If after reviewing your record and the offense for which you were charged, the prosecutor finds that you qualify to have your matter resolved, you may receive a reduction in the fine or be offered an opportunity to request that the Court hold your plea-in-abeyance. If you agree to forfeit bail to a lesser charge, you may do so immediately.

 ARRAIGNMENT

The first step in the judicial process for traffic matters is an arraignment. A video presentation explaining your Constitutional rights will be played.  In addition, a waiver of Constitutional Rights form is available for you to fill out and read. An arraignment is an opportunity for you to respond to the charge(s) before entering a plea. At the arraignment, you will be notified of the charge(s) brought against you, the location, the date and time at which the traffic violations are alleged to have occurred. You may then enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest at this time.

 BE SURE THAT YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE RIGHTS YOU WILL GIVE UP BEFORE YOU ENTER YOUR PLEA.

By entering a plea of NOT GUILTY, you are telling the court you did not commit the offense(s) with which you have been charged and the court will set this case for trial.  The Judge will set bail, typically in the amount of the bail of the ticket.  Bail will be refunded to you when you appear for your trial.  If you fail to appear for your trial, bail will be forfeited and a warrant issued for your arrest.  If you cannot or will not post bail or bond you may be held in jail until your trial. If a bond is posted by a bail bondsman, the Judge will determine when the bond exonerated.  The Judge may not hear anything about the case at this time as he will be the trier of the facts at the trial.  Either you or the prosecution may request that your matter by set for a pre-trial conference in lieu of an immediate trial setting.  Generally, a pretrial conference is helpful if there is evidence available which can be used to resolve a charge without a trial, such as providing proof of insurance, driver’s license or registration. Once bail has been posted, a date for your trial will be set.  You are presumed innocent and it is the prosecution’s burden to prove your guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

 By entering a plea of GUILTY, you are admitting to the court you are guilty to each and every element of the offense(s) to which you were charged.  If you plead GUILTY, you waive your right to trial; to confront witnesses, to protect yourself against self-incrimination, and your right to presumption of innocence. If you choose to plead GUILTY and waive these rights, you will be allowed to explain to the Court the circumstances of what happened.  The Judge may wish to discuss your case further and based upon the explanation and discussion, sentencing will be imposed today, or you have the right to return another day, determined by the Judge (within 2 to 45 days) to be sentenced.

 By entering a plea of NO CONTEST, you are not admitting any guilt but choose not to contest the charges against you.  If you plead NO CONTEST, you waive your right to trial, to confront witnesses, to protect yourself against self-incrimination, and your  right to a presumption of innocence.  If you choose to plead NO CONTEST and waive these rights, you will be allowed to explain to the court what happened.  The Judge may wish to discuss your case further and based upon the explanation and discussion, sentencing will be imposed today, or you have the right to return another day,  determined by the Judge (within 2 to 45 days) to be sentenced.

 If you plead guilty, or no contest, you have the right to delay hearing your sentence for two days, but you may waive that right and be sentenced at arraignment.  If you plead guilty or not contest, you will be giving up important Constitutional rights.

 You may request the appointment of an attorney to represent you.  If you believe that you qualify for a court appointed attorney and would like to ask the Court to appoint one to you, you must ask the Clerk or Judge for a Application for Appointment of Counsel and Affidavit of Financial Condition. The Judge will review the application and decide from the information provided if you qualify for a court appointed attorney. If an attorney is appointed, you may required to repay some or all of the cost of the court appointed attorney.  If an attorney is not appointed, you may hire your own attorney or represent yourself. 

 An attorney will only be appointed to assist you of you cannot afford one and your offense is jail able if convicted. Attorneys are rarely appointed in traffic matters, except DUI’s and some serious multiple offenses like a third or more Driving on Suspension.  Most traffic offenses do not result in actual jail time being served.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCE

If your matter is set for a Pretrial Conference, you will have the opportunity to discuss your case with the prosecutor. The Judge may not be involved in this discussion. The prosecutor may offer to reduce the charge in exchange for your guilty plea or no contest plea (“plea bargain”). The prosecutor is not obligated to offer a plea bargain and you have no right to a plea bargain. You are not obligated to accept the offer made by the prosecutor. The Court will not reduce the charge  against you on its own motion.

If you and the prosecutor are unable to resolve your case at the pretrial conference, your case will be set for a jury trial or bench trial. The pretrial conference provides you a chance to show the prosecutor any evidence which might convince the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss your charge(s). For example, you may have proof of a driver’s license or registration. You may have proof of insurance or a receipt showing repair of an equipment violation.

After reviewing your evidence/proof, the prosecutor may offer to reduce or dismiss your charge(s). Again, the prosecutor is not obligated to do so, nor are your obligated to accept their offer. If you are unable to resolve the matter, a trial will be scheduled.

PROCEDURES AND RULES FOR TRIAL

In a bench trial, the Judge will hear the evidence presented by both sides, then decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. In a jury trial, a panel of four jurors will hear the case, then they will decide if you are guilty or not guilty. You only have a right to a jury trial if you can be jailed if found guilty. Usually, traffic offenses are not eligible be heard by juries. Non-lawyers who desire a jury trial are encouraged to 1) get an attorney or 2) study the applicable rules, laws and codes governing jury trials. You can jeopardize your rights or liberty if you do not follow the rules.

Typically opening statements are not offered in traffic cases. Since the prosecution has the burden of proof to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, they have the first opportunity to present the case to the Court. The prosecutor will offer evidence to prove that a crime was committed and that you committed the crime.

After the prosecution is done, you will have the opportunity to present your side of the story. Either side may present testimony by witnesses or submit documents, subject to the Utah Rules of Evidence and the Utah Code and Rules of Criminal Procedure. After you finish presenting your side of the story, then both sides will have the opportunity to rebut the other side. This is done by presenting additional testimony or evidence. Again, the prosecutor goes first, then you will have a chance to speak. After each side is done, closing arguments are made.

During closing arguments, each side will have the opportunity to tell the Court why they are right. The prosecution proceeds first, then you will get to argue your case, followed by a final argument by the prosecution. The case is then submitted to the Court or jury for a determination as to guilt. If you are found not guilty. Then you are free to go and the proceedings with end.

 POSSIBLE SENTENCES AND PUNISHMENTS

If you are found guilty, then you will have the right to be sentenced in not less than two days nor more than forty-five days. In most cases, you may waive this right and receive your sentencing immediately. The Court may order that you report for a pre-sentence evaluation. If the Court so orders, then you will be instructed to report to an agency which will prepare your report.

It is important that you follow the instructions given to you as your failure to comply with the Court’s order may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

The following table shows the range of penalties which the Court may impose:

Class of Offense        Jail           Base Fine
Class B misdemeanor   0 - 180 days   $0 - 1,000.00
Class C misdemeanor   0 -  90 days   $0 -   750.00
Infractions           0 days         $0 -   750.00

State law requires that defendants convicted of certain crimes pay a surcharge of either 35% or 85% of the base fine depending on the crime. In 2004, the Utah Legislature passed a law which requires justice courts to collect a $32 Court Security fee on certain offenses. The Court can explain the base fine, surcharge, Court Security fee and moving violation surcharge associated with any fine imposed by the Court. The maximum fine for any one offense heard in justice courts is $1,882. You can view the Uniform Fine and Bail Schedule to find out the recommended fine or bail for your offense(s).

You may receive probation from the Court in lieu of a jail term. If the Court imposes probation, the Court will explain to you each of the terms and conditions of your probation. Probationers are not permitted to leave the State of Utah without prior permission from the Court. Probationers are required to notify the Court of any change of address within 48 hours. You must full comply with each term of your probation.

Failure to do so can result in revocation of your probation and incarceration in jail.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR CRIMINAL MATTERS

“If you’ve been charged with committing a crime in Wellsville, the following information may help you through the Criminal justice system. The Court follows all applicable rules, statutes, and codes governing trial procedure. However, the following general information is provided as a guide to assist criminal defendants. For specific legal advice concerning your case, you must consult an attorney. Neither the Judge nor the Clerk may provide legal advice to you.

Some crimes have been designated as non-mandatory appearance matters. If you are cited for crime for which your appearance in court is not mandatory, you may contact the Court to find out the amount of the bail for your offense(s). If you do not dispute the accusation, you may choose to simply pay the bail amount. You may pay by check or money order through the mail. If you would like to pay by cash, or you want to set up a payment schedule, you must come to court during regular business hours. If you do not post bail within fourteen days, a late fee will be assessed and a warrant for your arrest may be issued.

If you wish to dispute the accusation or if you are accused of a crime for which your appearance in court is mandatory, you must appear at the Court in not less than five (5) days and not more than fourteen (14) days after issuance of the citation. Open court is held Mondays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Additional information may be provided to you by the Clerk concerning your hearing or case. Usually, you will watch a short video explaining the court proceeding and your Constitutional Rights. You will be given a form to request that your case be called. READ and complete the form. Give it to the court clerk or Judge when your number is called.

If the offense(s) with which you are charged require mandatory appearance and you fail to appear for arraignment a warrant for your arrest will be issued.

ARRAIGNMENT

The first step in the judicial process for criminal matters is an arraignment. At the arraignment, you will be notified of the charge(s) brought against you, the location at which they are alleged to have occurred, and the date and time at which the crimes are alleged to have occurred. You may enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest at this time. You are not required to enter a plea at this time.

You may request appointment of an attorney to represent you. An attorney will only be appointed to assist you if you cannot afford one and if you can be jailed if you care convicted of the crime(s) charged. If an attorney is not appointed, you may hire your own attorney or represent yourself.

If an attorney is appointed, you may be required to repay some or all of the cost of the attorney if you are convicted. If you believe you will qualify for a court appointed attorney and would like to ask the Court to appoint one to you, you must ask the Clerk for a Application for Appintment of Counsel. Complete the Application for Appointment of Counsel and submit it to the Court Clerk in the courtroom.

If you plead not guilty, your case will be set for a pretrial conference. If you plead guilty or no contest, you may be sentenced immediately or you can ask the court to delay sentencing for at least two days. If you plead guilty or no contest, you will be giving up important Constitutional rights.

BE SURE THAT YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE RIGHTS YOU WILL GIVE UP BEFORE YOU ENTER YOUR PLEA.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCE

At the Pretrial Conference, you will have the opportunity to discuss your case with the prosecutor. You are not required to discuss your case with the prosecutor. However, it is an opportunity to tell your side of the events. The prosecutor may offer to reduce the charge in exchange for your guilty or no contest plea (“plea bargain”). The prosecutor is not obligated to offer a plea bargain and you have no right to a plea bargain. You are not obligated to accept the offer made by the prosecutor. The Court will not reduce the charge against you on its own motion. If you and the prosecutor are unable to resolve your case at the pretrial conference, your case will be set for a jury or bench trial.

TRIAL PROCEDURES

In a bench trial, the Court will hear the evidence presented by both sides, then decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. In a jury trial, a panel of four jurors will hear the case, then they will decide if you are guilty or not guilty. YOU ONLY HAVE A RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL IF YOU CAN BE JAILED IF FOUND GUILTY. Non-lawyers who desire a jury trial are encouraged to 1) get an attorney or 2) study the applicable rules, laws and codes governing jury trials. You can jeopardize your rights or liberty if you do not follow the rules.

Since the prosecution has the burden of proof to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, they have the first opportunity to present the case to the court. The prosecutor will offer evidence to prove that a crime was committed and that you committed the crime. After the prosecution is done, you will have the opportunity to present your side of the story. Either side may present testimony by witnesses or submit documents, subject to the Utah Rules of Evidence and the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure.

After you finish presenting your side of the story, then both sides will have the opportunity to rebut the other side. This is done be presenting additional testimony or evidence. Again, the prosecutor goes first, then you will have a chance to speak. After each side is done, closing arguments are made.

During closing arguments, each side will have the opportunity to tell the Court why they are right. The prosecution gets to speak first, then you will get to argue your case, followed by a final argument by the prosecution. The case is then submitted to the Court or jury for a determination as to guilt. If you are found not guilty, then you are free to go and the proceedings will end.

If you are found guilty, then you can ask the court to delay your sentencing for at least two days. In most cases, you may waive this right and hear your sentence immediately. The Court may order that you take a blood test or report for a pre-sentence evaluation. If the Court so orders, then you will be instructed to report to an agency. It is important that you follow the instructions given to you as your failure to comply with the Court’s order may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

The following table shows the range of penalties which the Court may impose:

Class of Offense        Jail           Base Fine
Class B misdemeanor   0 - 180 days   $0 - 1,000.00
Class C misdemeanor   0 -  90 days   $0 -   750.00
Infractions           0 days         $0 -   750.00

In addition to the base fine, the State requires those convicted of certain crimes to pay a surcharge of either 35% or 85% of the base fine depending on the crime. Certain offense require that a $32 Court Security fee be imposed. The Court can explain the base fine, surcharge, Court Security fee and moving violation surcharge associated with any fine imposed by the Court. The maximum fine for any one offense heard in a justice court is $1,882.

You may receive probation from the Court. If the Court imposes probation, the Court will explain each of the terms and conditions of your probation to you .You must fully comply with each term and condition of probation. A consequence for failing to comply with probation terms could be a warrant issued for your arrest.