Utah Felony Basics
Utah defines felony offenses as any kind of criminal offense that is
punishable by incarceration or death sentencing. Felony offenses are
more severe than misdemeanor offenses. Many states separate their
felonies into alphabetical or numerical class distinctions. Utah
instead classifies its felonies into classes of degrees.
Often times two individuals will be involved in the same crime and one
will receive a harsher punishment, or class degree, than the other.
This is often the case when one individual is viewed as an accessory to
the crime rather than the instigator. Under these circumstances the
individuals will be charged with the same offense but in different
The state of Utah has four degree classes in which it separates its
felonies. The most severe of these classes is the capital felony
offense. An individual will be charged with this kind of offense for
the crimes of rape, aggravated murder, arson, or kidnapping. Capital
felony offenses can earn sentences of life in prison with out parole
possibilities, imprisonment sentences of twenty years or more, and the
possibility of death sentencing.
A felony in the first degree can also have the same offenses as a
capital felony but are less severe and is based on the circumstances of
the crime. Criminal charges for first-degree felonies include
kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, and drug crimes -- including
marijuana possession and distribution. First-degree felonies can earn
up to fifty years of incarceration with or without a maximum fine of
ten thousand dollars.
A second-degree felony is far less severe than a capital felony or a
first-degree felony. These degrees of felonies can earn anywhere from
one year to fifteen years of incarceration with or without a maximum
fine of ten thousand dollars. Second-degree felonies include sexual
crimes, burglary, theft, driving under the influence felonious crimes,
robbery, white collar crimes, aggravated crimes, and minor enticement
with intentions to commit a felony in the first degree.
The final category of Utah felonies is the third-degree felony class.
Crimes considered third-degree felonies include the practice of
medicine without the proper licensing, theft, forgery, and domestic
crimes. Felonies in the third degree can earn several months to five
years in prison with or without a maximum fine of five thousand dollars.
Unlike some states, Utah does allow the expungement of some felony
crimes. However some kinds of felonies are always excluded from
eligibility and include capital felony offenses, felonies in the first
degree, forcible felonies in the second degree, sexual crimes against
minors, and all other felonies that exclude individuals due to other
cases of ineligibility.
Some states set statutes of limitations on some felonious crimes. Utah
currently has not statute of limitation for crimes that are considered
capital felony offenses as well as those for manslaughter, murder,
child kidnapping, and child abuse homicide. Utah also has four-year
limitations for negligent homicide.
There is a three-year limitation for official misconduct as well as a
two-year limitation for bribery. Cases of sodomy, sexual abuse, child
sexual abuse, and rape need to have charges filed within four years of