What is the Penalty for a Class B Misdemeanor in Utah?
Being arrested, charged, and convicted of a crime can have a severe impact on your personal life and career. While the penalties for being convicted of a misdemeanor will not be equal to those handed down by a felony conviction, a misdemeanor conviction should not be taken lightly. If you or a family member was arrested and charged with a crime, consult with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer. At Overson Law, PLLC, we understand the stress associated with being the subject of a criminal investigation and we are ready to help you manage your case. Darwin Overson is here to explain the penalties for class B misdemeanors in Utah.
Possible Penalties for a Class B Misdemeanor Conviction
When a person is arrested, they could be charged with a crime that correlates to the circumstances of their offense. For example, driving while under the influence of alcohol will result in being charged with a misdemeanor, however, injuring another person while driving under the influence would escalate the crime to a felony.
If a defendant is convicted of a crime, the judge presiding over the case will hand down a sentence that the defendant must serve. While the judge has a wide range of discretion when it comes to sentencing, the penalties for a certain grade of offense must be kept within a certain range. For example, a defendant cannot be given a sentence of five years in prison if they only committed a crime that has a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
It is important to understand what penalties can accompany a certain offense when a defendant is convicted. The following is a list of crimes that are considered misdemeanors:
A misdemeanor identifies a grade of crime that is less severe than a felony. If a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor, they can potentially go to jail for at least 364 days, but no longer than a year. This is unlike felonies which typically carry a minimum of one year in prison.
Misdemeanors are organized into three categories, referred to as class A, class B, or class C misdemeanors. Class A carries the most severe penalties for a defendant that was convicted. Specifically, a defendant can be sentenced to 364 days in jail and ordered to pay up $2,500 in criminal fines.
Class B misdemeanors fall under class A misdemeanors and carry more moderate penalties in comparison. If a defendant is convicted of a class B misdemeanor, they can serve up to six months in jail and owe $1,000 in fines.
Class C misdemeanors carry the least severe penalties out of all three categories. When a defendant is convicted of a class C misdemeanor, the judge can sentence them to a maximum of 90 days in jail and require them to pay $750 in fines.
It is important to note that the judge has the discretion to impose the full length of a sentence or to impose a lower sentence. For example, the judge in a case may decide to sentence a defendant to two months in jail instead of the maximum six months for a class B misdemeanor conviction.
There are multiple factors that a judge may consider when determining a defendant’s sentence. Some factors may be deemed as aggravating factors that could increase the penalties for a crime, while others could be mitigating factors that help your cause. It is important to work with a criminal defense lawyer that understands the value of presenting mitigating evidence to defend you.
Misdemeanor Penalty Alternatives
It is important to note that there can be alternatives for certain penalties that accompany a conviction for a misdemeanor. For example, instead of paying $1,000 in criminal fines as a result of a class B misdemeanor conviction, a defendant could be ordered to complete compensatory service.
Compensatory service is unpaid volunteer work that is performed for a state agency, a nonprofit organization, or similar types of legal entities to avoid a criminal fine. Each hour worked by a defendant will be discounted from their total criminal fine until the fine is paid off.
Compensatory service is valued at $10.00 for each hour of work performed. This means if you were sentenced to pay $1,000 in criminal fines, you would have to perform 100 hours of compensatory service work to pay off your fine.
Contact Our Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Class B Misdemeanor Crime
If you or a family member was charged with a class B misdemeanor, you should contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson has litigated a wide range of criminal cases and he would be honored to help with your criminal defense. To schedule a free legal case evaluation, contact Overson Law, PLLC at 801-758-2287.