Water Law Crimes in Southern Utah
Water in St. George and the rest of Southern Utah is a precious resource. Living in a desert is hard but because of technological advances and infrastructure developments, the St. George area can thrive like an oasis in the desert sands. Residents of Washington County and the surrounding Southern Utah area can use water on a daily basis without even realizing the difficulty of getting it to them. Just as important as home consumption, farming uses of water has also contributed to the development of Southern Utah. Extensive irrigation has allowed farmers to turn the dry and arid climate into one capable of sustaining life. Water is so important that the Utah state legislature has enacted legislation to protect the flow of water to those authorized to use it. A violation of the law can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. Since penalties can be harsh, people accused of interference with water flow needs to call a St. George criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer can protect you from all types of property crime charges.
Interference with Water Flow
Utah law says that “Every person who knowingly or intentionally interferes with or alters the flow of water in any stream, ditch, or lateral while under the control or management of any water commissioner is guilty of a crime.” The statute is written broadly enough to include many different types of behavior regarding water. There is no volume requirement so even the slightest altering of a stream could result in a criminal charge. Though water in a stream, ditch, or lateral must be under the control or management of a water commissioner, most water ways are so it is hard to find a water source not affected by a commissioner.
Interfering with a water flow may seem like a stupid or petty crime but the legislature does not consider it one. This crime can be charged as a third-degree felony if the value of the water diverted or property damaged is $2,500.00 or greater and the person being charged has previously been convicted of violation the same provision. A felony can result in prison time and monetary fines so it is important for those accused to contact a St. George criminal defense lawyer.
Call Us Today for Criminal Defense Help
Though interfering with water flow doesn’t seem like a serious crime such as an assault or sex crime, it can still result in penalties as harsh as something like a violent crime. If you have been charged with interfering with water flow contact a St. George criminal defense lawyer from St George Criminal Defense Lawyer. Our attorneys will protect your legal rights and will fight to keep you out of jail. Call 435.215.1101 to set up your free consultation today.