The Appellate Group

State v. Smith

State v. Smith, 2024 UT 13 (Durrant, C.J.)


Smith was charged with attempt crimes. After a preliminary hearing, Smith argued his actions showed solicitation or preparation, not attempt. The district court disagreed. Smith then filed a motion to dismiss on entrapment grounds, which the district court denied. Smith appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals, who affirmed. On certiorari, the Utah Supreme Court affirmed, holding: 

  • Bindover was appropriate because Smith’s conduct constituted substantial steps toward the commission of the underlying crimes.
  • Smith was not entrapped as a matter of law. 
  • Practice tip: Though entrapment cases tend to fall under two categories—(1) improper police conduct and (2) appeals to sympathy, pity, or close personal friendships or offers of inordinate sums of money—entrapment can occur outside these two categories.

Read the full court opinion