Utah’s bindover standard for probable cause, does not allow courts to second-guess the prosecution’s evidence by weighing it against the totality of evidence to draw a reasonable inference.
State v. Jones, 2016 UT 4, 365 P.3d 1212.
The Utah Supreme Court reaffirmed that probable cause for arrest is the standard used to determine whether bindover is appropriate based on evidence provided by the prosecutor for allegations of a crime. In analyzing these cases, the court suggests the question to ask is “whether any officer, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, could reasonably conclude that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed it.”
A magistrate and the appellate court both made inferences on their decision based on the totality of evidence, not taking into account the limited role that courts must take in applying the probable cause standard in viewing the evidence in the most favorable light of prosecutors. The court further noites that “[t]he judicial role at this stage, however, is not to prejudge the likely outcome of trial. It is simply to ask whether there is a non-speculative basis in the evidence to sustain a reasonable basis for an arrest on the crime in question.”