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Asking A Lawyer A Question I Didn’t Already Know The Answer To

August 15, 2022

Brad, what kind of law do you practice?

Brad lives in a town next to mine. We’ve commented on city council facebook articles. We typically are on the same side of issues. I need to get my end-of-life stuff in order. You know, Last Will and Testament, Living Will, instruction in the event of my death, the combination to the safe. Those type of things. I’m not in any danger of dying soon. At least I don’t think I am. But, the kids are all grown now. It’s time to update those “death” documents.

I knew Brad was a lawyer, but not what kind.

I’m a Felony Prosecutor for Utah County

That was definitely NOT the response I was expecting. Brad is not going to help me write my will. But, I realized I had a question for Brad that I didn’t even know I needed the answer to.

So, if by chance I had a family member who was facing charges, could you give me an idea of what the penalty might be?

Well, that depends on the charges. What is the person charged with?

  • 76-6-502 Possession of Forgery Writing/Device
  • 76-6-405 Theft by Deception
  • 76-6-501(2) Forgery
  • 41-1A-404 Failure to display license plate
  • 76-6-404 Theft
  • 76-8-305(1)(C) Interference with Peace officer
  • 76-6-405 Theft By deception
  • 76-6-501(2) Forgery
  • 41-6A-1716(2) Use of handheld device while operating a vehicle
  • 76-6-206 Criminal Trespass
  • 76-6-409.3 Theft of Utility Services
Yeah, those are the types of charges I deal with every day. It will depend on who the judge is and who the prosecuting attorney is, but I would say he’s definitely looking at jail time, possibly as much as a year, if not a prison sentence.

If you had the chance to learn how and when you were going to die, would you choose to know? Sometimes the uncertainty is the worst part. I’m not sure I would want to know when I will die, but it helps to know the possible outcome for my family member.

Of course, it would be better to NOT know. And to not know because the person wasn’t facing multiple felony charges. This experience has given me a chance to think about choices we all make, and how we judge those who make mistakes.

Where’s the line between enabling bad behavior and helping out someone in need? I wish I knew.

Regardless, I’ll support my family member. Not by condoning the commission of crimes, of course. But, to let the person know they are loved. That make bad choices doesn’t mean they are not family.

And I’ll be careful the next time I ask an attorney a question I don’t already know the answer to.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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