Utah Weapons Crimes Defense
Know Your Weapons Rights
While Utah is generally more lax on gun control than other states, it still has complex laws for owning, selling, or carrying a weapon. Sometimes that complexity can make it confusing to understand what’s legal and what isn’t, in terms of carrying or using a weapon. If you are facing a weapons related charge, you need an attorney who knows and supports your Second Amendment rights.
You need Wasatch Defense Attorneys in Salt Lake City. Call us today for a free consultation.801.980.9965.
What are Weapons Related Charges
Weapon related charges could include the following:
- Homicide With a Gun
- Armed Robbery
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Possession or Sale of Illegal Weapons, such as defaced pistols or revolvers
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit
- Legal Discharge
Any of these charges can result in long jail sentences. Utah courts take weapon charges very seriously, and punish offenders harshly.
Possession of Illegal Weapons
Here in Utah, the possession of illegal weapons is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. Typically, illegal weapons are classified as weapons that have been defaced. A defaced weapon is one that has had its make, model number, or other identifying marks removed. However, if your firearm’s identifying marks become illegible or obliterated, you may apply to the Department of Public Safety for a new identification mark, or for permission to restore the original manufacturer’s mark.
Also, possession of a regulated weapon without proper clearance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (typically referred to as the ATF) will result in federal charges. The following weapons are classified as regulated by ATF:
- Machine Guns
- Short Barreled Rifles
- Short Barreled Shotguns
- Destructive Devices, i.e. grenades, bombs, missiles
Possession of any of the above weapons is illegal anywhere in the US and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Illegal Discharge of a Weapon
Discharging a weapon can be a criminal offense depending on the situation. In the state of Utah, it is a crime to discharge a firearm from an automobile or other vehicle. It’s also illegal to shoot a gun “from, upon, or across any highway” as well as shooting at:
- Road signs
- Railroad Equipment or Facilities
- Communications Equipment including lines, poles or other transmission equipment
- OR within certain distances of houses and other possible dwellings
Although this crime is usually classified as a misdemeanor, it can be a felony if the firearm is discharged in the direction of any person, vehicle, or “habitable structure”.
Minors and Guns
In Utah, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to carry or own a dangerous weapon, including firearms, unless accompanied by a parent (or legal guardian) or given explicit parental permission. A first offense is a Class A misdemeanor, but any subsequent offenses are charged as third-degree felonies. It is also a third-degree felony to sell a firearm to an unaccompanied minor.
Brandishing a Weapon, Gun or Firearm Laws in Utah
Utah law makes it a crime to threaten, or brandish, a dangerous weapon during a verbal or physical altercation when two or more persons are present. The weapon doesn’t have to necessarily be a firearm or other object specifically designed as a weapon, either — a fireplace poker, baseball bat, or barbecue skewer can count as a weapon when used aggressively. Unless extenuating circumstances exist, such as prior convictions, the Utah criminal code considers unlawfully brandishing a weapon to be a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500.
Frequently Asked Questions for Utah Weapons Crimes Defense
What to do if you have been charged with felony gun possession?
Penalties for felony possession of a weapon in Utah can be harsh, so you don’t want to leave your future to chance. Find skilled legal representation immediately.
Is brandishing a weapon a felony?
Utah allows for both misdemeanor and felony charges to be filed against those who have been arrested for using a weapon in a threatening manner. The difference is often very subtle, which is why contacting an attorney with significant experience in this type of charge is essential if you have been arrested for brandishing a weapon in Utah.
What is gun crime?
Gun crime in Utah ranges from Class A misdemeanors all the way to up to Class A felony charges. Misdemeanors include carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, carrying a gun with the intent of using it in the commission of a crime, and altering the serial number on a pistol in any way. Felony gun crimes include intentionally selling a weapon to a minor unless that individual is in the company of their legal guardian or parent, causing serious bodily harm to another as the result of discharging a firearm, or simply being in possession of a gun if you have a felony on your record.
Can a felon own a gun in Utah?
Under Utah law, crime victims who have been lawfully served with a subpoena do not have the right to refuse to testify. In most cases, it is believed the defendant has a right to their legal team cross-examining the accuser. There is ongoing controversy over whether a victim can be ordered to testify, sometimes in excruciating detail, as many believe that causes additional trauma to the victim.
How can a weapons crime defense lawyer help me?
Utah attorneys with experience in defending those with a weapon possession charge are current on all applicable laws as well as familiar with loopholes and other ways to maneuver through the legal system for the benefit of the defendant.
Can I be convicted of brandishing a firearm even though I used a fake gun?
Probably, unless it can be proven that others involved were aware that you were using a toy or otherwise fake gun.
What happens to the weapon or firearm if I am convicted?
If you’ve been convicted of a felony involving a firearm, the authorities will confiscate the weapon. However, if the conviction didn’t involve firearms, you may be able to sell them or legally transfer ownership to the party of your choice provided the sale itself is legal.
Weapons Crimes Defense In Salt Lake City
At Wasatch Defense Attorneys, our lawyers know your rights and will aggressively defend them. Only our experienced, local attorneys can explain to you how these laws apply to your unique situation. Don’t hesitate. Contact us today about our no-obligation case review! 801.980.9965
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