8 Utah Traffic Crimes That Are More Severe Than an Infraction

When it comes to the laws governing the roads in Utah, most of the time a crime such as speeding or rolling through a stop sign will only result in an infraction and a fine. However, there are situations and circumstances where traffic crimes are more severe and are classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Here are eight Utah traffic crimes that are more severe than an infraction.

Using a Handheld Wireless Communication Device while Operating a Moving Motor Vehicle

A person is guilty of this crime if they use a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle on a highway to do the following:

There are some allowable exceptions that include things like using GPS, using a device for voice communication, or reporting criminal activity. For the full details of this crime, see the Utah code.  

Classification

Class C misdemeanor; or

Class B misdemeanor—if the person inflicts serious bodily injury upon another or has a prior conviction within three years

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

A person is guilty of this crime if they do not stop and remain at the scene of an accident in which they are involved until they have fulfilled certain requirements, which include things like exchanging information, notifying law enforcement, and rendering reasonable assistance to those injured.

Classification

Depending on the severity of the property damage and/or injuries, the following penalties are possible:

Damage to property: class B or class C misdemeanor

Injury to any person: class A misdemeanor

Serious bodily injury or death: third-degree felony

Failure to Respond to Officer's Signal to Stop

A person may be charged with this crime if, when an officer asks them to stop, they drive with willful disregard and interfere with or endanger the operation of any vehicle or person, or attempt to flee or elude a law enforcement officer by vehicle or other means.

Classification

Third-degree felony; or

Second-degree felony—if in the process of committing the crime they cause serious bodily injury or death to another person (not amounting to murder or aggravated murder).

False Accident Report

A person is guilty of this crime if, while giving an accident report as required by law, they knowingly give false information, or have reason to believe the information they are giving is false.

Classification

Class A misdemeanor

Reckless Driving

This crime is defined as willful or wanton (cruel/violent) disregard for the safety of persons or property. It also includes committing three or more moving violations within a single continuous period of driving covering three miles or less.

Classification

Class B misdemeanor

Careless Driving

This is a notch below the crime of reckless driving, and it is if a person commits two or more moving violations within a single continuous distance of three miles or less. A person is also guilty of this if they commit a moving violation other than a speed restriction while distracted by an activity within the vehicle, including searching for an item or attending to personal hygiene.

Classification

Class C misdemeanor

Speeding in a School Zone

If a person drives faster than 20 miles per hour in a reduced speed school zone, they are guilty of this crime.

Classification

Class C misdemeanor

Speed Contest or Exhibition on Highway

This crime is defined as a person engaging in a motor vehicle speed contest or exhibition of speed on a highway.

Classification

Class B misdemeanor

Finding a Lawyer for Your Utah Traffic Crime Case

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony traffic crime in Utah, the expert defense lawyers and Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat are here to help. We have decades of experience navigating these laws, and we will help you fight back.

Call us today at (801) 532-5297 for a free consultation so we can get started on your case.

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