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Rule 17. The trial.


(a) Defendant?s presence. In all cases the defendant shall have theright to appear and defend in person and by counsel. The defendant shall bepersonally present at the trial with the following exceptions: 


(a)(1) In prosecutions ofmisdemeanors and infractions, the defendant may consent in writing to trial inthe defendant?s absence; 


(a)(2) In prosecutionsfor offenses not punishable by death, the defendant's voluntary absence fromthe trial after notice to defendant of the time for trial shall not prevent thecase from being tried and a verdict or judgment entered therein shall have thesame effect as if defendant had been present; and 


(a)(3) The court mayexclude or excuse a defendant from trial for good cause shown which may include tumultuous, riotous, or obstreperous conduct

Upon application of theprosecution, the court may require the personal attendance of the defendant atthe trial. 


(b) Calendar priorities. Cases shall be set on the trial calendar to be tried in the following order: 


(b)(1) misdemeanor cases when defendant is in custody; 


(b)(2) felony cases when defendant is in custody; 


(b)(3) felony cases when defendant is on bail or recognizance;and 


(b)(4) misdemeanor cases when defendant is on bail orrecognizance. 


(c) Jury trial in felony cases. All felony cases shall be tried by juryunless the defendant waives a jury in open court with the approval of the courtand the consent of the



(d) Jury trial in other cases. All other cases shall be tried without ajury unless the defendant makes written demand at least 14 days priorto trial, or the court orders otherwise. No jury shallbe allowed in the trial of an infraction. 


(e)(1) Number of jurors. In all cases, thenumber of members of a trial jury shall be as specified in Utah Code ?78B-1-104. 


(e)(2) In all cases the prosecution and defense may, with the consent of the accusedand the approval of the court, by stipulation in writing or made orally in opencourt, proceed to trial or complete a trial then in progress with any number ofjurors less than otherwise required. 


(f) Trial process. After the jury has been impaneled and sworn, thetrial shall proceed in the following order: 


(f)(1) The charge shall be read and the plea of the defendant stated; 


(f)(2) The prosecutingattorney may make an opening statement and the defense may make an openingstatement or reserve it until the prosecution has rested; 


(f)(3) The prosecutionshall offer evidence in support of the charge; 


(f)(4) When theprosecution has rested, the defense may present its case;


(f)(5) Thereafter, theparties may offer only rebutting evidence unless the court, for good cause,otherwise permits; 


(f)(6) When the evidenceis concluded and at any other appropriate time, the court shall instruct thejury; and 


(f)(7) Unless the causeis submitted to the jury on either side or on both sides without argument, theprosecution shall open the argument, the defense shall follow and the

prosecution may close byresponding to the defense argument. The court may set reasonable limits uponthe argument of counsel for each party and the time to beallowed

for argument. 


(g) Alternate jurors. If a juror becomes ill, disabled or disqualifiedduring trial and an alternate juror has been selected,the case shall proceed using the alternate juror. If no alternate has been selected, the parties may stipulate to proceed withthe number of jurors remaining. Otherwise, the jury shall bedischarged and a new trial ordered. 


(h) Questions by jurors. A judge may invite jurors to submit writtenquestions to a witness as provided in this section. 


(h)(1) If the judgepermits jurors to submit questions, the judge shall control the process toensure the jury maintains its role as the impartial finder of fact and does notbecome an investigative body. The judge may disallow any question from a jurorand may discontinue questions from jurors at any time. 


(h)(2) If the judgepermits jurors to submit questions, the judge should advise the jurors thatthey may write the question as it occurs to them andsubmit the question to the bailiff for transmittal to the judge. Thejudge should advise the jurors that some questions might notbe allowed


(h)(3) The judge shall reviewthe question with counsel and unrepresented parties and rule upon any objectionto the question. The judge may disallow a question even though no objection is made. The judge shall preserve the written question inthe court file. If the question is allowed, the judgeshall ask the question or permit counsel or an unrepresented party to ask it.The question may be rephrased into proper form. Thejudge shall allow counsel and unrepresented parties to examine the witnessafter the juror's question.


(i)Juries visiting off-site places.When in the opinion of the court it is proper for the jury to view the place inwhich the offense is alleged to have been committed, or in which any othermaterial fact occurred, it may order them to be conducted in a body under thecharge of an officer to the place, which shall be shown to them by some personappointed by the court for that purpose. The officer shall besworn that while the jury are thus conducted, the officer will suffer noperson other than the person so appointed to speak to them nor shallthe officer speak to the jury on any subject connected with the trial and toreturn them into court without unnecessary delay or at a specified time. 


(j) Admonition prior to recess. At each recess of the court, whetherthe jurors are permitted to separate or are sequestered, they shall beadmonished by the court that it is their duty not to converse among themselvesor to converse with, or suffer themselves to be addressed by, any other personon any subject of the trial, and that it is their duty not to form or expressan opinion thereon until the case is finally submitted to them. 


(k) Deliberations. Upon retiring for deliberation, the jury may takewith them the instructions of the court and all exhibitswhich have been received as evidence, except exhibits that should not,in the opinion of the court, be in the possession of the jury, such as exhibitsof unusual size, weapons or contraband. The court shall permit the jury to viewexhibits upon request. Jurors are entitled to take notes during the trial andto have those notes with them during deliberations. As necessary, the courtshall provide jurors with writing materials and instruct the jury on taking andusing notes. 


(l) Jury under officer?s charge. When the case isfinally submitted to the jury, they shall be kept together in someconvenient place under charge of an officer until they agree upon a verdict orare discharged, unless otherwise ordered by the court. Except by order of thecourt, the officer having them under the officer?s charge shall not allow anycommunication to be made to them, nor shall the officer speak to the juryexcept to ask them if they have agreed upon their verdict, and the officershall not, before the verdict is rendered, communicate to any person the stateof their deliberations or the verdict agreed upon. 


(m) Juror questions during deliberations. After the jury has retiredfor deliberation, if they desire to be informed on anypoint of law arising in the cause, they shall inform the officer in charge ofthem, who shall communicate such request to the court. The court may thendirect that the jury be brought before the courtwhere, in the presence of the defendant and both counsel, the court shallrespond to the inquiry or advise the jury that no further instructions shall begiven. Such response shall be recorded. The court may in its discretion respond to the inquiry in writingwithout having the jury brought before the court, in which case the inquiry andthe response thereto shall be entered in the record. 


(n) Incorrect verdict. If the verdict rendered by a jury is incorrecton its face, it may be corrected by the jury under the adviceof the court, or the jury may be sent out again. 


(o) Directed verdict. At the conclusion of the evidence by theprosecution, or at the conclusion of all the evidence, the court may issue anorder dismissing any information or indictment, or any count thereof, upon theground that the evidence is not legally sufficient to establish the offensecharged therein or any lesser included offense.


Effective November 1, 2015


Advisory Committee Notes