A felony is defined by any crime where the possible punishment is more than one year incarcerated. There are four levels or degree of felonies in Utah the first or most severe felony is a capital felony. A capital felony is punishable by life in prison, life in prison without parole, or death. The next level of felony is a first degree felony which is punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A second degree felony is punishable by one to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A third degree felony is punishable by zero to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. In a felony case your case is tried in the district court which is a long process that is discussed here. (put link to misdemeanor page)
It is also illegal for a felon to possess a firearm or electronic defense weapon. A firearm is defined as a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged. A person convicted of a felony is not eligible for a concealed weapons permit or a permit to carry a pistol or revolver and the certificate or permit is automatically revoked for conviction of a felony. In addition, the person must transfer any pistols or revolvers to someone eligible to possess them. It is also likely that you would lose a professional license because many statutes authorize government agencies to revoke or suspend licenses or permits for conviction of a felony. You may also not be eligible for student loans because a student is not eligible for federal assistance if he is convicted under federal or state law of a crime involving possession or sale of a controlled substance. This includes grants, loans, or work assistance. For a conviction of possession, a person is ineligible for one year for a first offense, two years for a second offense, and indefinitely for a third offense. For a sale conviction, a person is ineligible for two years for a first offense and indefinitely after a second offense. A student can regain eligibility before the end of the specified period if (1) he satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program with certain criteria or (2) the conviction is reversed and otherwise removed.
It sounds cliche’ but when you are charged with a felony your world stops and you feel overwhelmed. It’s important to remember to remain calm and polite, assert your right to remain silent, and contact an attorney right away. It’s important to acknowledge that being overwhelmed and the feeling of hopelessness are completely valid; what you can’t let happen is letting that hopelessness paralyze you. Being charged with a crime means that the state or federal government has narrowed its focus on you with the sole purpose of punishing you. The punishment might be as little as a fine and it might be as serious as taking away your liberty; but there’s no doubt that once the government invests the time to charge you, it is not going to stop until you’ve been punished or the judge orders them to stop. If there’s a modern-day equivalent to David and Goliath, it’s the power dynamic between an average citizen and the government. The power dynamic between people and its government is why you need an advocate to defend you and assert your rights. Being accused of a crime will probably make you feel like the whole world is against you; during that time you need an ally and an advocate that won’t let a moment in time define who you are for the rest of your life and we will always advocate for our clients and not let them stand alone.
Give us a call today at 801-849-9300 and let’s discuss your situation.