Felony vs. Misdemeanor Gun Charges in Utah
Being charged with a gun felony or misdemeanor in Utah carries severe consequences. People charged with a gun crime could face hefty fines and incarceration. If you are found guilty of a gun crime, the conviction will remain on your criminal record. Unfortunately, this can hurt your chances of getting a new job, going to college, or getting a loan.
If you or a family member was charged with a felony or misdemeanor gun crime in Utah, you need immediate legal representation. Utah weapons crime defense lawyer Darwin Overson of Overson Law explains the differences and potential penalties of felony and misdemeanor gun charges in Utah.
Differences Between Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Utah
Commonly, there are two types of criminal charges you can face in Utah. Depending on the crime committed, you could face misdemeanor charges – which are lesser offenses – or felony charges – which are more severe.
Generally, the state divides misdemeanors into three different categories: Class C, Class B, and Class A. The penalties for misdemeanors in Utah are as follows:
Class C Misdemeanors
- Jail Sentence – Up to 90 days
- Fine – Up to $750
Class B Misdemeanors
- Jail Sentence – Up to 6 months
- Fines – Up to $1,000
Class A Misdemeanors
- Jail Sentence – Up to 1 year
- Fines – Up to $2,500
Felony charges are more serious crimes that carry severe consequences for convicted defendants. Typically, felony charges in Utah are divided into the following “degrees”
Third Degree Felonies
- Prison Sentence – Up to 5 years
- Fines – Up to 5,000
Second Degree Felonies
- Prison Sentence – 1 to 15 years
- Fines – Up to $10,000
First Degree Felonies
- Prison Sentence – 5 years to life
- Fines – Up to $10,000
As you can see, the penalties for misdemeanors and felonies can drastically vary depending on the level of crime committed.
Gun Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Utah
As stated, weapon and gun possession crimes in Utah can have different legal ramifications depending on the nature, extent, and classification of the crime. However, to illustrate examples of each type of criminal charges, we provide the following examples.
Misdemeanor Gun Charges:
The following are all examples of misdemeanor gun crimes in Utah:
Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Utah gun laws are lenient regarding owning certain types of firearms. However, you must have a valid permit to possess and carry a concealed weapon. According to Utah Code § 76-10-504, a person could be charged with a class B misdemeanor if they carry a concealed, unsecured, unloaded gun without a valid permit.
Possession of a Deadly Weapon with Criminal Intent
The Utah Code § 76-10-507 states that a person will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if he or she carries a dangerous weapon with the intent of committing a crime.
Alteration of Number or Mark on Pistol
Changing or in any way altering a weapon’s information – e.g., maker, model, or serial number – is a serious offense. In Utah § 76-10-522 makes it a Class A misdemeanor to make any alteration to a gun’s information. Unless you have express written permission from the Department of Public Safety, you cannot make any modifications to these identifying characteristics.
Felony Gun Charges:
The following are all examples of serious gun felonies in Utah:
Selling Weapons to a Minor
Utah law, through Utah Code § 76-10-509.9, prohibits the sale of guns to minors. If a person is caught selling firearms to children, they would be guilty of a third-degree felony. However, you could sell a gun to a minor if he or she is accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
Felony Discharge of a Weapon
Under Utah law, you cannot discharge your weapon, or you risk facing up to five years of prison time. A felony discharge of a firearm in Utah can be classified as an even more severe type of felony under some circumstances. Utah Code § 76-10-508.1 states that if you discharge your weapon and cause bodily injury, you could face a second-degree felony charge. Additionally, under the same conditions, if you cause serious bodily harm, your felony charge could be ramped up to a first degree felony charge.
Keep in mind; a first degree felony charge could mean spending five years to life in prison in addition to thousands of dollars in fines. While misdemeanor and felony charges are different, they share several things in common. For instance, if convicted, both felony and misdemeanor convictions will appear on your criminal record, which could hurt your job opportunities and social relationships. A Salt Lake City unlawful discharge of a firearm defense attorney can mean the difference between the best possible outcome in your case or suffering a life-altering prison sentence.
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Felony and Misdemeanor Gun Charges in Salt Lake City
If you or a loved was charged with a gun crime in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah, you need immediate legal assistance. The penalties for a misdemeanor or felony gun charge can be severe. Additionally, you could lose your gun possession privileges in the state. Do not wait another minute and get in contact with a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer. Call Overson Law to schedule your free consultation at (801) 758-2287 today.