Compared to other states, Utah is fairly relaxed when it comes to restrictions on the purchase, possession, and use of firearms. However, even in gun-friendly Utah, illegal activities involving firearms can result in devastating criminal penalties, which can include many years in prison and very expensive fines. You can also lose your gun rights for life.
If you or one of your family members has been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in Salt Lake City or other areas of Utah, it is in your best interests to seek skilled legal representation immediately.
Contact a Utah Gun Crimes Defense Lawyer for Legal Help
An experienced and knowledgeable gun crimes attorney may be able to have your charges dropped, have the case dismissed, or persuade the prosecutor to charge you with a lesser offense subject to lighter, more lenient penalties.
To set up a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Overson Law right away at (801) 758-2287. Utah concealed carry lawyer Darwin Overson has more than 16 years of experience defending adults and juveniles charged with felonies and misdemeanors related to the unlawful use and possession of weapons.
Were You Charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Salt Lake City?
Carrying a concealed weapon is not necessarily a crime. However, in order to carry legally, you will need to obtain a concealed carry permit from the Bureau of Criminal Identification located in Salt Lake City. Without the appropriate permit, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or even felony.
State laws about concealed carry are governed by Utah Code § 76-10-504, which provides that, with several exceptions, “[A] person who carries a concealed firearm… including an unloaded firearm… or one that is readily accessible for immediate use which is not securely encased… in or on a place other than the person’s residence, property… vehicle in the person’s lawful possession… or business under the person’s control is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.”
In other words, it is a Class B misdemeanor to have a concealed gun on your person — for example, in your purse or back pocket — even if the gun is unloaded. It is also a Class B misdemeanor to possess a concealed firearm which isn’t securely locked up, unless the gun is kept:
- At your home.
- In your car.
- In another person’s car, with his or her knowledge and consent.
- At your place of business, provided you are the company’s owner and not one of its employees.
Under certain circumstances, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is more serious than a Class B misdemeanor. This offense can even be charged as a felony.
Penalties for felonies and misdemeanors in Utah are described in the next section, but first, it is important to explain Utah’s legal definition of a concealed firearm. A gun is considered “concealed” under Utah Code § 76-10-501(3) when it is:
- “[C]overed, hidden, or secreted in a manner that the public would not be aware of its presence.”
- “[R]eadily accessible for immediate use.”
Both of these facts must be proven by the prosecution in order for the weapon to be deemed a concealed weapon.
Penalties for Concealed Carry without a Permit in Utah: Fines and Prison
Carrying a concealed firearm in Utah ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the circumstances under which the offense allegedly occurred.
When the weapon is not loaded, this offense is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant can receive a fine of up to $1,000, and can also be sentenced to up to six months in jail.
While the above penalties are already severe, a concealed carry offense — and its potential consequences — becomes even more serious if the firearm:
- Was loaded. This crime is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $2,500 and a maximum jail sentence of one year.
- Was a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle (sawed-off). This crime is charged as a second degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years, as well as a fine as great as $10,000.
- Was used to commit a violent felony. Under Utah Code § 76-3-203.5(1)(c), violent felonies include but are not limited to the following offenses:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Burglary
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Child Abuse
- Child Endangerment
- Homicide (Murder, Manslaughter)
If the concealed weapon was used to commit any of the above crimes, the offense is a second degree felony, subject to a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
What to Do if You Were Arrested for Concealed Firearms
A criminal record of concealed carry violations can have disastrous repercussions for your career, your reputation, your freedom, and your personal life. Let an experienced Salt Lake City weapons lawyer defend your liberties while fighting the charges against you.
Call Utah criminal attorney Darwin Overson right away at (801) 758-2287 if you or one of your family members has been arrested for carrying a weapon without a permit. Darwin has represented thousands of defendants, and handles criminal cases throughout the state of Utah.