Utah has various laws that deal with the illegal possession of guns and other dangerous weapons. A weapon possession offense can involve several different circumstances. Some laws address individuals who cannot possess a weapon, and others address the right to carry a firearm in certain areas. If you or a family member was arrested for first time weapon possession in Utah, you should contact an experienced Salt Lake City gun possession defense lawyer today. Overson Law’s defense attorneys have extensive experience dealing with various types of weapon crime cases. Our lawyers explain the penalties for first-time weapon possession in Utah.
Utah Weapon Possession Laws
If you plan to own a gun in Utah, you should ensure that you are not restricted from owning a firearm. There are two categories of people that are restricted from owning guns in Utah: Category I and Category II “restricted persons.” You are considered a Category I restricted person if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You were convicted for any violent felony.
- You are currently on probation for committing a felony.
- You are on parole from a detention center.
- You committed a violent offense as a minor within the last 10
- You are in the United States illegally.
- You are on probation for committing an offense involving a controlled substance.
A Category II restricted person is an individual who meets any of the following criteria:
- You were convicted of any felony.
- You committed an offense as a minor in the last seven years that would have been a felony if the offender was an adult.
- You used controlled substances without a prescription.
- You were judged insane during a felony hearing.
- You were judged mentally incompetent during a felony hearing.
- You possessed a Schedule I or Schedule II drug (g., marijuana, heroin).
- You were dishonorably discharged from the military.
- You were convicted of domestic violence against a spouse.
There are also other circumstances not listed above that may disqualify you from owning a gun in Utah.
Outside of the restricted list of individuals who cannot own a gun, Utah also has various other gun and dangerous weapons laws that you should know about. A dangerous weapon is defined as an object that may cause death or serious injury depending on how it is used. The main offenses in Utah involving possession of a weapon are split into a few categories:
- Carrying a concealed weapon – If you illegally carry a concealed weapon in public, you can be charged with a class B misdemeanor. This law also applies to unloaded firearms. If the concealed weapon was a loaded firearm, the charge could be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor.
- Possessing a gun in unauthorized areas – Under some circumstances, it can be illegal to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle, on a public street, or in an area that has signs prohibiting firearms. This offense is a class B misdemeanor.
- Carrying a dangerous weapon with the intention of committing a crime – If you are carrying a dangerous weapon because you intend to commit a crime with it, you may be convicted of a class A misdemeanor.
There are other weapon offenses that are not listed above. To learn more about firearm offenses in Utah, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer.
What are the Consequences for First Time Gun Possession Crime
The penalties for first-time weapon possession will vary depending on the offense you are charged with. If you are a Category I restricted person, and you own a firearm, you can be charged with a second degree felony. If you are a restricted person and own a dangerous weapon that is not a gun, you can be convicted of a third degree felony.
In Utah, second degree felonies carry a possible prison term of up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in criminal fines. Third degree felonies carry a prison term of up to five years and $5,000 in fines.
Category II restricted individuals who possess a firearm can be convicted of a third-degree felony or a class A misdemeanor for possessing a dangerous weapon. Class A misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
The other three offenses listed above – carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a gun in certain areas, or carrying a weapon to commit a crime – are charged as class A or B misdemeanors for first-time offenses.
It is important to note that carrying modified weapons like a sawed-off shotgun can result in being charged with a second degree felony.
Contact an Experienced Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or a family member was arrested for possessing a dangerous weapon, you should contact an experienced Salt Lake City unlawful discharge of a firearm lawyer. Utah criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson is here to help you pursue a favorable outcome in your weapons offense case. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Overson Law at (801) 758-2287.