Criminal Law

Criminal Law

criminal law

Criminal Law

Being investigated or arrested for any crime is a difficult experience to go through.  When faced with criminal charges, from a DUI, to a misdemeanor, to a felony, it is important to have a knowledgeable and understanding lawyer at your side to walk you through the complex and intricate details of criminal law. Attorney Chad B. McKay has over two decades of experience providing personalized, efficient legal counsel throughout the state of Utah, and he can help you reach a favorable result in your criminal law case.

Criminal Law Purposes

Criminal law is distinctive for the uniquely serious potential consequences or sanctions for failure to abide by its rules. Every crime is composed of criminal elements. Capital punishment may be imposed in some jurisdictions for the most serious crimes. Physical or corporal punishment may be imposed such as whipping or caning, although these punishments are prohibited in much of the world. Individuals may be incarcerated in prison or jail in a variety of conditions depending on the jurisdiction. Confinement may be solitary. Length of incarceration may vary from a day to life. Government supervision may be imposed, including house arrest, and convicts may be required to conform to particularized guidelines as part of a parole or probation regimen. Fines also may be imposed, seizing money or property from a person convicted of a crime.

Classification of Criminal Law

Crimes are classified into three categories: felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. To determine what category a crime falls into, you need the experienced counsel of Attorney Chad McKay.  For more information, look at the law in the Utah Code (if state law), or the appropriate city or county code. Most criminal statutes specify how the crime is classified.

Contact the law office of Chad B. McKay today to discuss your options for any charge in the state of Utah, including the following areas of criminal law:




Assault and Battery

Domestic Violence

Juvenile Offenses

Drug Offenses

Quick Overview of Criminal Law Areas

If you have been charged with a criminal law offense in Utah, it is very important that you take the necessary steps to defend yourself, your rights and your freedom. Though facing criminal charges can be upsetting and embarrassing, a skilled and knowledgeable Utah criminal law defense lawyer could be able to give your case the necessary edge that will get you the results that you want. If you have been charged with any type of criminal law offense ranging from DUI up through first degree murder, Attorney Chad B. McKay will be able to work with you and give you the hard-hitting and aggressive defense that you need.


DUI (driving under the influence) is a criminal offense that involves operating a motor vehicle while with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater or while one’s abilities are impaired due to alcohol or drug use. There are many types of DUI offenses that vary in severity including simple DUI, DUI with injury and DUI manslaughter. Our firm handles these cases with vigor, representing clients in all phases of the court process, and at their MVD hearing.

Drug Crimes

Possession, trafficking, distribution, manufacturing and cultivation are all types of drug crimes, and a defendant in Utah may face serious penalties depending on the type and amount of drug involved. Simple possession without prior offenses may qualify individuals for probation or other alternative sentences. Chad McKay has dealt with all types criminal law offenses involving illegal narcotics and prescription drugs.

Violent Crimes

Crimes of violence – assault, manslaughter, domestic violence, robbery, etc. – are serious criminal law offenses that may have a tremendous impact on a defendant’s life if convicted. In these matters, our criminal defense firm fights to protect our clients’ rights. Many crimes that involve the use of violence or excessive force are considered aggravated offenses which could increase penalties.


An act, attempt or threat of violence against another person may constitute the criminal law offense of assault. This may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, usually depending on whether a weapon was involved. Individuals can be arrested for assault even if there was no physical violence, but merely threatened violence.


Murder and manslaughter are two of the most serious criminal law offenses that an attorney handles. In these cases, a defendant may face years to life in prison for unlawfully taking another’s life. Murder involves a premeditated crime while manslaughter involves the death of another but without premeditation.

Weapon Crimes

A defendant may face various criminal law charges for offenses related to weapons and firearms. Unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of an illegal weapon and unlawful distribution or sale of weapons may all constitute weapon crimes. There are many types of deadly weapons other than guns and other firearms such as knives, brass knuckles, etc. If a weapon is used in conjunction with another criminal law violation, it may be considered an aggravated offense with more severe penalties.

Federal Crimes

Criminal law offenses against the federal government, committed across state lines or national borders and committed on federal property may be investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI or CIA and charged in federal court.

Felony Crimes

All crimes are classified according to the particular penalties that may be imposed upon a conviction. Typically, a felony is the most serious type of criminal law offense one can be accused of committing, and penalties may range from one year to life in state prison. Felonies are separated by classes, with a Class 1 felony being the most serious.

Theft Crimes

Taking another’s property without permission, by force or by deception may constitute the criminal law offense of theft. There are various types of theft crimes – shoplifting, robbery, burglary, fraud, identity theft, etc. – and criminal law attorney Chad McKay handles them all.


Kidnapping is a felony offense that involves taking and holding or moving another person against their will, without consent or by fraud/deception. This crime may be charged in state or federal court, depending on the particular situation. Kidnapping charges are also common in custody cases. An experienced criminal law attorney can help sort out the criminal law regarding kidnapping.

Juvenile Crimes

When a minor under the age of 18 is accused of committing a crime, he or she will face juvenile court proceedings. In some serious cases, however, the minor may be tried as an adult. The serious impact of a juvenile criminal law offense makes involving a criminal law lawyer absolutely essential.

White Collar Crimes

Embezzlement, identity theft, fraud and counterfeiting are all examples of white collar crimes, which generally include non-violent theft crimes committed in a business, financial or political setting. Many white collar crimes are tried in a federal court of criminal law.

Sex Crimes

Criminal law offenses of a sexual nature, involving forced sexual activity, sexual conduct with minors and deviant sex acts, are some of the most serious criminal law offenses a person may be accused of committing. A conviction will mean mandatory listing on the sex offender registry as well as extended imprisonment and fines.

Domestic Violence

Spousal abuse, child abuse and any form of violence against a family member, spouse or ex-spouse or person one lives with may be considered domestic violence. In Utah, an experienced criminal law attorney like Chad B. McKay can make your criminal law case go much easier.

Probation Violations

Failure to report to one’s probation officer, drug or alcohol abuse, associating with known criminals and committing a crime are all examples of potential criminal law probation violations. Challenging these is important if you wish to avoid serious criminal law penalties. An experienced attorney can make the difference in your case.

Resisting Arrest

Attempting to resist lawful arrest by a law enforcement officer is illegal, even if one believes the arrest is unjustified. Our firm provides experienced criminal law representation to those accused of resisting arrest.


A criminal law record may negatively impact one’s reputation, employment and housing, educational and financial opportunities. Fortunately, there may be a way to clear or seal your criminal law record. Only certain criminal law cases can make a person eligible for an expungement. Speak with Attorney Chad B. McKay to learn if you meet the qualification standards.

For more information on criminal law in Utah, click here.