There are three levels of felonies that you can be charged with in Utah: first degree felonies, second degree felonies, and third degree felonies. First degree felonies are reserved for the most serious offenses while second degree felonies carry penalties that are a step up from third degree felonies. However, a third degree felony can still land you serious time in prison and substantial criminal fines. If you or a family member was arrested and charged with a third degree felony, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City third degree felony lawyer.
With over 16 years of criminal law experience, Darwin Overson has handled several criminal cases where the offender was charged with a serious felony. Darwin has intricate knowledge of Utah’s criminal justice system, and he is prepared to use that knowledge to fight for you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Overson Law at (801) 758-2287.
What is a Third Degree Felony?
Utah defines a felony as a major crime that is punished with a potential prison sentence of more than a year. As mentioned, there are three categories of felonies. However, Utah also defines a capital offense as a felony. A capital offense is a crime that is only punished by life imprisonment or death. The penalties for a third degree felony are less severe but should not be taken lightly. If you are convicted of a third degree felony, you can typically face up to five years in prison and $5,000 in criminal fines.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in Sentencing for Felonies
Whether you are sentenced to a full five year prison term depends on various factors. For example, there are aggravating and mitigating factors that can cause your sentence to be increased or decreased. Aggravating factors that can make your criminal sentence more severe include the following:
- Causing bodily harm to another person when you committed the offense
- Whether the crime you committed was “extremely cruel or depraved”
- Whether you were in a position of power over a victim when you committed the offense
- Whether the person harmed by the crime was highly vulnerable
- Using a dangerous weapon when you committed the crime
- Committing a crime in the presence of a child (e., 14 years old and under)
Alternatively, there are some mitigating factors that can reduce the severity of your sentence:
- Cooperating with law enforcement after committing an offense
- Being qualified for rehabilitation or treatment (this option is usually reserved for first- or second-time offenders)
- Having a developmental disorder
This is not an exhaustive list; there are various other factors that are considered when a sentence is being determined.
It is also important to note that a victim can speak at your sentencing hearing and have their remarks considered before sentencing. To learn more about third degree felonies in Utah, you should speak with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer.
Third Degree Felony Offenses
There are several offenses that can be charged as a third degree felony. Some offenses may start as a third degree felony or may be upgraded to a third degree felony depending on the circumstances of each case. For example, if you were driving while intoxicated and caused someone serious bodily injury, you will be charged with a third degree felony instead of the typical DUI offense. You would likely be charged with a class B misdemeanor instead if you did not injure someone and this was your first DUI offense, you.
Aggravated assault is another offense that can be charged as a felony of the third degree. An offender can be charged with aggravated assault if they do one of the following:
- Cause someone an injury
- Threaten to injure someone
- Use a dangerous weapon in the assault or commit some act that would kill or seriously injure the victim
Burglary is a property offense that can be charged as a third degree felony. Burglary occurs when an offender illegally enters a building with the intention of stealing an item or multiple items from inside the building. Burglary can be escalated to a second degree felony if an offender decides to break into someone’s home. There are many other crimes not listed here that can result in a third degree felony.
Work with an Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a family member was charged with a third degree felony, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. At Overson Law, we are dedicated to providing you with aggressive legal representation to help you fight your case. Darwin understands that Utah’s criminal justice system can be confusing and stressful, and he is here for you. To schedule a free legal consultation, call (801) 758-2287.