Misdemeanors VS Felonies
There are two different classifications for crimes in most of the US. The two most common categories in most states are considered to be felonies or misdemeanors. There may be alternative categories that are called violations or infractions. It is very important to understand the qualifying circumstances to better understand the punishment, options for plea agreements and any jail or prison time.
What is a Misdemeanor?
To most Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney misdemeanors are widely considered some of the less serious of crimes. These crimes usually include things like traffic infractions or offenses, small dollar theft (under $1000) or DUI cases. Minor drug offenses sometimes fall into this category as well. In Utah there are different degrees or classes to each misdemeanor. You Have Class A B & C.
Class A Misdemeanors
- This would be the most severe or a misdemeanor. Typical Class A Misdemeanor crimes in Utah would be if you had over one ounce but less that one pound of marijuana, a crime of assaulting a police officer or criminal mischief. It would also be a crime if you stole anything between $500 and $1500. Class A also includes if you injury someone during a DUI incident, provide false or misleading information to a police offices or if you violate any civil stalking injunctions or protective orders.
- Class A Misdemeanors will most likely have jail time up to one year to be served in the county jail NOT PRISON time and a substantial fine.
Class B Misdemeanors
- These Criminal Charges can include possessing less than one ounce of marijuana, driving recklessly, multiple other traffic offenses, DUI charges, and theft that is less than $500 worth of property. This can also include carrying a concealed weapon.
- The penalties for Class B Misdemeanors can be up to 6 months in jail and close to $2000 in fines. Sometimes during sentencing you will have to attend classes and may be put on probation.
Class C Misdemeanors
- These Criminal Charges can include things like disorderly conduct and traffic offenses.
- The Jail time will usually fall around 90 days and may include a fine of up to $1000.
A good Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney can help today.
Misdemeanor proceeding do involve trials just like other charges. Normal rights within the case are given such as the right to an attorney and if you are not able to afford one you can have one appointed for you. You can also choose to be on your own and represent yourself. This is not highly recommended and most often the court will try to help you appoint an attorney. There is a chance that you may have a jury trial. It varies among the charges and most of the time the jury may be smaller in size or you may have a bench trial.
Misdemeanors VS Felonies
Felonies- Now that you know what a Misdemeanor is let us talk about Felonies.
Felonies are more serious crimes than a misdemeanor. They are also separated into 1st , 2nd and 3rddegrees. Some examples of felony crimes would be grand theft, any murder charges, rape and most sexual abuse cases and sometimes different kinds of fraud. Felonies carry harsher fines and usually prison sentences that exceed one year and possibly even include death.
Once a crime has been adjudicated and if the criminal has been convicted or plea’s guilty they will probably go to the federal or state prison or correctional facility. Sometimes the prison officials will move the inmates around within the prison system and the prisoner may be sent to a prison farther from where they were originally sentenced. Your Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney or your American Fork Criminal Defense Attorney can help.
All defendants who face felony criminal charges are eligible for a trial by jury. The court is still obligated to provide the defendant with an attorney if they cannot afford one. Sometimes the Juries are smaller but for the most part they have around 12 and they may have a few extra for alternate jurors. In some cases the jurors may be excused or changed out during a case for multiple reasons.
The conviction or plea of guilty to a felony may inhibit your ability to carry or possess firearms and sometimes it will not allow you to work in certain professions.
Sometimes the crime may require a register. Certain sexual crimes require that offenders register with the state. Financial Crime registries may stop you from licensing in different areas or working in certain fields. In some cases defendants are sentenced to mental health facilities and group homes.
If you are charged with a crime it is a serious matter and can affect the rest of your life. Please call one of our Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer or our American Fork Criminal Defense Lawyer today for your FREE consultation.