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Criminal Defense in Utah

After a criminal accusation, it is important to seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP, with offices in Salt Lake City and Beaver, UT, represent clients charged with a variety of misdemeanor and felony offenses prosecuted throughout the state.

Call (801) 532-5297 today to discuss your case. Our criminal defense attorney represent clients on a variety of offenses.

Types of Criminal Offenses in Utah

After a criminal accusation, it is important to understand both the type of criminal offense charged and the maximum and minimum mandatory penalties for that offense. In Utah, criminal offenses are classified into three categories:

The category of the crime is described in the Utah Code or the appropriate city or county code. For the most part, the criminal statutes specify how the crime is classified.


In Utah, an infraction is a minor offense punishable by a fine only of up to $750. Examples of infractions include city traffic violations and some disorderly conduct offenses.


In Utah, a misdemeanor is an offense that is less serious than a felony. A misdemeanor can be punished by a county jail term of up to one year and/or a fine. Many city and county ordinances and some state laws are misdemeanors.  Under Utah Code §76-3-204 and §76-3-301, there are three different categories of misdemeanors including:


Under Utah Code §76-3-203 and §76-3-301, a felony is a major crime which can be punished with imprisonment and/or a fine. Utah law provides for four different types of felonies:

The Structure of Criminal Penalties in Utah

If you are charged with a crime in Utah, it is important to understand the way criminal penalties are structured. If a person is convicted of a crime in Utah, then the criminal offense has certain statutory maximum provisions.

Some crimes also have minimum mandatory provisions. Before imposing a sentence, the judge considers a number of factors. The sentence the judge imposes can include incarceration in the county jail or the state prison, probation, a fine, community service, restitution, or a combination of these penalties.

To determine the sentence, the court uses Utah Sentence and Release Guidelines which provide for both aggravating and mitigating factors which can be considered at sentencing. The mitigating factors are findings that can make the punishment less severe, including whether the defendant:

The aggravating factors are findings that can make the punishment more severe, including whether:

The penalties can also be enhanced if the person:

Sentencing Non-Capital Felony Cases

A defendant convicted of a crime has the right to be sentenced in no fewer than two and no more than 45 days after the conviction. The defendant can waive that time frame and be sentenced on the day of conviction. The alleged victims in the case have a right to speak at the sentencing hearing. Remarks by the alleged victims can be considered along with the pre-sentence report and other evidence.In felony cases, the judge often orders the Department of Corrections' Division of Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) to prepare a pre-sentence report. The pre-sentence report is a confidential report provided to the judge that includes:

Collateral Consequences for Employment and Licenses

As we all know, most criminal convictions do entail adverse collateral legal consequences. If a person is convicted of particular crimes, the person might become statutorily ineligible for certain employment positions and licenses including:

Additional Resources

Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (UACDL) - With offices located in Salt Lake City, the UACLD serves the comprehensive needs of the criminal defense bar for attorneys at the public defender's office and in private practice. The website provides its members with information about upcoming seminars and networking opportunities.

Criminal Law Section of the Utah State Bar - Members of this section represent all aspects of the criminal justice system including public defenders, private defenders, prosecutors, the judiciary, academics, juvenile justice, the military, law enforcement and corrections. The purpose of the Criminal Law Section is to make recommendations to the Bar concerning criminal justice, law enforcement, the juvenile justice, and related issues. The section also develops educational programs to promote professionalism and improve the practice of criminal defense.

Utah Courts on Criminal Penalties- Find information from the Utah Courts on criminal penalties for felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Find information on how a sentence is determined and the sentencing process for felony and misdemeanor cases in Utah.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah - Visit Lawyer Legion, an online directory, to find the top rated criminal defense attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah. Search by name and learn more about the attorney's involvement in the legal community and criminal defense organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

If you are accused of a crime in the State of Utah, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP. With offices conveniently located in Salt Lake City in Salt Lake County, we are here to help.

The attorneys in our firm are active in the legal community. Our attorneys are members of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (UACDL), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML). By focusing entirely on criminal defense, we can provide the best representation to our clients.

The attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP represent clients throughout Salt Lake County including Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville, West Jordan, West Valley City and the town of Alta.

We also represent clients in the counties surrounding Salt Lake County including Davis County, Morgan County, Summit County, Wasatch County, Utah County and Tooele County. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Call (801) 532-5297 today to discuss your pending charges.

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Mark has represented our son for over ten years. We have a difficult situation but we have never doubted that Mark, and now, Mike, care about him and our family. Their caring advice has been a lifeline for us.

- Diane

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Very satisfied with the outcome of my case due to all the hard work Kristin Wilson put in before, during, and after the matter. Very attentive, professional and reliable. If I called she answered and did everything it took to achieve the desired result for my legal situation.

- Kevin F.

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Mike Holje was there for me and helped me get the charges dismissed. He was fantastic. I am so thankful for this firm.

- Gary C.

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Jim Bradshaw worked with me on a case and was helpful, realistic and very professional. I found him to be one of the best attorneys (and person) I have encountered.

- Victor

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I have been using BBM and Ann Taliaferro for the past year. They are great at communicating in court with judges and are always thinking about their clients. I highly recommend using this firm.

-Ernie S.

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