LDA lawyers advocate without compromise to protect the individual rights of our clients, improve the quality of justice, and work for greater fairness in the justice system. Our attorneys review the discovery provided by the city and state prosecutors, conduct independent investigation, and locate helpful evidence and witnesses. LDA attorneys appear in court daily and are highly skilled at all aspects of trial work. Our attorneys advise our clients about potential plea offers, negotiate for better resolutions, and honestly advise our clients about the strength and weaknesses of their case. They are vigorous advocates at sentencing and devise alternative recommendations designed to keep our clients out of jail and prison. We fight for our clients at bail hearings, preliminary hearings, motion hearings, sentencings, jury trials, oral arguments and on appeal. We strive to be informative, to give the best possible advice and to be honest in our assessments, but we always remember that the ultimate decision about how a case resolves rests with our clients.
Social service professionals assist our attorneys in investigating and litigating the mental health issues that may arise in our clients’ criminal cases. Their work includes screening clients for competency issues, preparing diminished mental capacity and insanity defenses, investigating mitigation on capital homicides, Mental Health Court screenings, preparing sentencing plans, coordinating with community service providers, and obtaining psychological and psychosexual reports from experts.
Please tell your attorney about any mental health diagnosis or treatment you have received, so that we can utilize our social service professionals to get you the best legal outcome possible.
Our Substance Abuse Treatment Coordinators assist in coordinating treatment throughout the state with our community partners. They also arrange for incarcerated clients to be transported directly from the jail to in-patient treatment beds and track clients who have been ordered to complete the Salt Lake County Jail’s CATS (Correctional Addiction Treatment Services) program, to ensure that those clients obtain treatment and are released in a timely fashion.
Clients in need of substance abuse treatment can meet with Mark and Erin, our substance abuse treatment coordinators. Screening and referral resources are available on a first come, first served walk-in basis every Wednesday from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m. Please ask your attorney to fill out a Substance Abuse Referral Form in advance.
The Criminal Investigations Division of the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association is comprised of highly professional and experienced investigators equipped with an array of skills to provide high quality criminal defense investigations for our clients. This Division is highly qualified in investigating misdemeanor to felony criminal cases including homicide, gangs, sex crimes, assault, property, and domestic crimes. Legal Defender investigators have specialized knowledge in crime scene evidence gathering, photography, interviewing witnesses, court arraignments, and social media investigations. This Division provides expansive translation services, in several languages including Spanish, French, Tongan, Samoan, Japanese and Haitian Creole. They value the building of partnerships with external stakeholders to establish respected working relationships with the District Attorney’s Office, Salt Lake County Jail, court staff, pretrial services and judges to improve the criminal justice system. Legal Defender investigators’ collaboration with attorneys, social workers and legal assistants in team settings serves to cultivate an efficient and effective practice enabling them to provide the necessary investigative tools to promote favorable outcomes for clients and to ensure their constitutional rights are protected.