Utah Criminal Penalties

Felonies or Misdemeanors

Thanks to popular television and newscasters professional jargon is more commonly heard in our daily lives. We hear the fake doctors tell the face nurses on t.v. shows that they need so many “BP’s” of this and that they need that “stat,” and we hear about criminal penalties from law and order and common phrases of legal process. However, although we may hear these things on TV most of the time we still don’t understand them. One of the more common things that we hear but aren’t sure what it means is felonies and misdemeanors. In the criminal justice system offenses are actually divided into three categories not just two; they are felonies, misdemeanors and infractions (from most grave to least). Felonies and misdemeanors are then divided into sub classes; capital, first, second, and third degrees felonies; and class A, B, or C misdemeanors.

Punishment for Crime

The different classifications of crimes is not just so lawyers can have cool phrases like doctors but it serves a purpose by dividing up the penalties criminals may face. Going back to the beginning of our criminal justice system judges had free reign on sentencing. In theory a judge could sentence a traffic violator to life in prison and a murderer to community service. Obviously, without any rules in place for sentencing, uniformity was not one of the legal systems strong suits. Because of the desire for uniformity, the different class systems have set different ranges for penalties. For example a first degree felony could carry a penalty of five years to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Utah County Criminal Defense Attorney

Although, this offense classification system can be explained quite simply here in this blog, the use of this jargon and how it effects the filing of charges, settlement, and negotiation process can be much more complicated.  Because of these complexities it is important to have an attorney help you sail the uncharted legal waters that you may be facing. Call Provo Criminal Defense today to set up a free consultation, and see what we can do for you.


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