Crimes Against Nature Laws in Utah
What is a Crime Against Nature?
Utah lawmakers repealed the State’s “crimes against nature” laws and replaced those with a new set of laws called Offenses Against Public Order and Decency. Prior to 1999, Utah’s laws had applied the State’s definition of crimes against nature to sexual acts between consenting adults. Four years after the state repealed those laws, The Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 that it is unconstitutional to ban consensual sex between adults, calling it a violation of the 14th Amendment. Utah laws do, however, continue to criminalize sexual acts involving minors, public sex, incest, prostitution, and bestiality.
If you have been charged with a crime against nature offense, you should obtain the advice of an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney in order to fully understand your legal rights and obligations in proceeding with your case.
Contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers for a free consultation to discover your best legal options.
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Bestiality Laws in Utah
Chapter 9 of the Utah Criminal Code, is the set of laws addressing Offenses Against Public Order and Decency. Part 3 of Chapter 9 is focused on laws against Cruelty to Animals. That section of the law defines bestiality, addresses the kinds of offenses that qualify as acts of bestiality, and identifies the classification of such acts as class B misdemeanors. Chapter 9, Part 3 of the code defines an animal as a living nonhuman vertebrate creature. And, it defines the crime of bestiality as any contact of human and/or animal genitals with the mouth or anus of the other species for purposes of sexual gratification of the person, or use of an object for contact with the animal’s genitals or anus.
Punishments for Crimes Against Public Order and Decency in Utah
A misdemeanor is an offense viewed under the Utah Criminal Code as less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction. Violations of various county or city ordinances or state laws are classed as misdemeanors in Utah. Misdemeanors are categorized as three levels of offenses, classes A, B, and C, with class A offenses receiving the most severe extent of punishment.
Bestiality crimes are identified as Class B misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Misdemeanor cases that are judged to involve aggravating factors may result in heavier penalties upon conviction, and those found to have mitigating factors may result in lighter penalties.
Contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers for a FREE Case Evaluation
For additional information about Utah bestiality laws, or if you have been charged with an Offense Against Public Order and Decency in Utah, contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Salt Lake City Utah defense lawyer. We are dedicated to working hard and succeeding for our clients throughout Utah.