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Utah Weapons Crimes Defense

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Utah Weapons Crimes Defense
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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
  • Suppressors
  • 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 are the penalties for weapons crimes in Utah?

Penalties for weapons crimes in Utah can vary from a Class A misdemeanor to a second-degree felony, depending on the nature of the crime. These penalties can include heavy fines and long durations of incarceration.

How can a defense attorney help with a weapons crimes case in Utah?

A defense attorney can play a crucial role in weapons crimes cases. They can scrutinize the evidence, challenge its legality, present strategic defenses, negotiate plea deals, and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the legal process.

Are there any specific laws regarding concealed carry in Utah?

Yes, Utah law requires individuals to have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon. The permit is issued by the Department of Public Safety and requires passing a background check and completing a firearms familiarity course.

What types of weapons are considered illegal or restricted in Utah?

Utah law restricts possession of several types of weapons, including automatic firearms, short-barreled rifles or shotguns, and dangerous weapons by a restricted person, such as convicted felons, individuals with restraining orders, or those with a history of domestic violence.

Can I legally own a firearm in Utah if I have a prior criminal record?

The ability to legally own a firearm in Utah depends on the nature of the prior criminal charges. Certain convictions, especially violent felonies, can permanently bar you from owning a firearm under Utah’s ‘restricted person’ laws.

What are the possible defenses for weapons crimes in Utah?

Possible defenses could include challenging the legality of the search and seizure, arguing that the weapon was not in the defendant’s possession, or arguing that the defendant was not aware they were carrying a weapon.

What is the process for obtaining a concealed carry permit in Utah?

The process involves completing a firearms familiarity course approved by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification, submitting fingerprints, a passport-quality photo, and the processing fee to the Bureau, and passing the background check.

Can I still own a firearm if I have been convicted of a felony in Utah?

Typically, being convicted of a felony in Utah results in the loss of your gun rights under the ‘restricted person’ laws. However, under certain circumstances and with legal assistance, it may be possible to restore these rights.

Are there any self-defense laws in Utah that protect individuals using weapons?

Yes, Utah law includes a provision known as the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, which allows individuals to use force, including deadly force, to protect themselves without the duty to retreat, under certain circumstances.

How can I challenge a weapons crime charge in Utah and potentially have the charges dropped?

Challenging a weapons crime charge in Utah requires a robust defense strategy. This might involve questioning the legality of the search and seizure, the circumstances of the arrest, or the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence.

Are there any circumstances where carrying a weapon in Utah can be considered legal?

Yes, in Utah, individuals are generally permitted to openly carry a firearm if they are over 18, can lawfully possess the firearm, and the firearm is not loaded. You can also carry concealed firearms if you have a valid Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP).

What are the potential consequences of a conviction for a weapons crime in Utah?

Consequences of a weapons crime conviction in Utah can be severe and may include hefty fines, imprisonment, loss of gun rights, and a felony or misdemeanor record that can affect employment and housing opportunities.

What are the requirements for purchasing a firearm in Utah?

The requirements include being at least 18 years old for long guns and 21 years old for handguns, presenting valid ID, and passing a background check. Some individuals are restricted from purchasing firearms, such as convicted felons and those with certain mental health conditions.

Can I use a weapon to protect my property in Utah?

Utah law allows for the use of force, including deadly force, to prevent or terminate someone else’s unlawful entry into or attack upon your habitation in certain situations.

How can I prove that I was not aware I was in possession of a prohibited weapon in Utah?

Proving a lack of knowledge can be challenging and will usually require legal representation. The attorney can guide on how to present it in court by scrutinizing the circumstances of your arrest and the prosecution’s evidence.

Are there any specific laws regarding the open carry of firearms in Utah?

Yes, Utah law allows for open carry of unloaded firearms without a permit. However, open carry of a loaded firearm in public areas is generally prohibited unless the individual has a Concealed Firearm Permit.

Can I have my weapons rights restored after a conviction for a weapons crime in Utah?

In certain situations, it’s possible to have your gun rights restored after a weapons crime conviction. This usually requires fulfilling certain conditions and petitioning the court, a procedure best handled by a seasoned criminal defense attorney.

What legal options do I have if I believe my rights were violated during a weapons crime arrest in Utah?

If you believe your rights were violated during your arrest, a criminal defense attorney can challenge the legality of the arrest, the search and seizure, or the conduct of law enforcement officers, potentially leading to dismissal or reduction of charges.

Can I carry a concealed weapon in certain places like schools or government buildings in Utah?

Utah law prohibits carrying weapons, even with a permit, in certain places like secure areas of airports, mental health facilities, and courthouses. Schools usually have specific policies regarding firearms on their premises.

How can I find a reputable defense attorney in Utah who specializes in weapons crimes cases?

Finding a reputable defense attorney in Utah who specializes in weapons crimes cases involves a few key steps. Start by researching local law firms that deal specifically with cases involving gun charges and weapon possession. Look for a criminal lawyer who has expertise in handling gun crimes and a deep understanding of Utah gun laws. Read client testimonials and reviews to assess their reputation and client satisfaction. It is also advantageous to schedule a consultation, many firms offer a free initial consultation, to personally gauge their approach and competency in handling your case.

Facts about Utah Weapons Criminal Defense Attorney

  • Utah Weapons Criminal Defense Attorney specializes in defending individuals who have been charged with weapons crimes in Utah.
  • They have extensive knowledge and experience in Utah’s weapons laws and regulations.
  • They provide legal representation and guidance to clients throughout the entire legal process, from the initial arrest to trial.
  • They work diligently to protect their clients’ rights and ensure a fair and just outcome.
  • They have a deep understanding of the various types of weapons crimes in Utah, including possession of a dangerous weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
  • They have successfully defended numerous clients facing weapons charges and have a track record of achieving favorable outcomes.
  • They are skilled negotiators and can often secure reduced charges or alternative sentencing options for their clients.
  • They are committed to providing personalized attention and tailored defense strategies to each client, taking into account their unique circumstances and goals.
  • They stay updated on the latest developments in Utah’s weapons laws and use their knowledge to build strong defense strategies.
  • They offer a free initial consultation to discuss the details of the case and provide an assessment of the available legal options.

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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