The Appellate Group

State v. Nelson

State v. Nelson, 2024 UT App 75 (Oliver, J.)

Criminal Law

Defendant was kayaking with no life jacket. Ranger told him to get out of the river, and Defendant eventually did. A jury convicted Defendant of failing to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, but the Utah Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial, holding: 

  • Defendant’s counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to move for a directed verdict when the State failed to present evidence that Defendant acted with the intent to avoid arrest.
  • Appellate Practice note: Remand for a new trial may be an inappropriate remedy where the State fails to present evidence of an element in the first instance. This may be considered giving the State another bite at the apple.

Read the full court opinion