For nearly her entire legal career, Park City, Utah, criminal defense attorney Jessica W. Peterson has been committed to improving the criminal justice system and protecting defendants' rights. Jessica grew up in Tennessee and attended Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate. She attended the University of San Diego School of Law. Jessica is a member of the Utah Bar Association, Utah Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Washington, D.C. Bar Association, and is admitted to practice law in both Utah and Washington, D.C.
As a law student, Jessica realized her passion for criminal defense while being taught by a professor who played a key role in the landmark United States Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona. Upon graduation, she began working as a trial attorney at the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association. Jessica’s devotion to the criminal justice system led her to Washington D.C., where she worked to improve the criminal justice system both as a staff attorney at the D.C. Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission and as a policy advisor to the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.
While Jessica is proud of her work influencing policy, she derives the most satisfaction from making a difference for her criminal defense clients. Jessica has represented defendants in numerous criminal jury trials with a high rate of success. She has experience handling a variety of Utah criminal charges from misdemeanor assault and DUI to felony rape, drug and murder charges. As an attorney she has also successfully tried numerous cases and has an enviable record for achieving her clients' desired results. Her two favorite words to hear are “Not guilty.”
Jessica understands that every case and every client is unique. She begins each case with a personal consultation to get to know her client’s specific needs. Jessica knows that the best outcomes can only come when a charge is fought head on. She is meticulous in forming her case strategy, paying attention to every detail in the pretrial phase. Jessica insists upon complete collaboration with her clients and often says to them, “I can give you the map and compass, but you are steering the ship.” Jessica prides herself on advising her clients fully, but ultimately respecting the personal choices each client makes for him- or herself.