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salt lake city criminal defense lawyerThere are multiple situations where a person may face criminal charges. All charges should be taken seriously, since a conviction can result in penalties such as fines, time in prison, periods of probation or home confinement, and other consequences. However, some offenses, such as sex crimes, are more serious than others, and they can not only lead to criminal consequences, but multiple other areas of a person’s life may be affected, including their personal reputation and their ability to obtain a job or find a place to live. Sexual assault or rape is one of the most commonly prosecuted sexual offenses, and those who have been accused of these crimes will need to understand the nature of the alleged offense and their options for defending against these charges.

Charges and Penalties for Rape in Utah

The Utah Criminal Code defines rape as engaging in sexual intercourse with a person without receiving consent. This offense may involve any acts of sexual penetration. Rape is a first-degree felony, and at the lowest level, it carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. If a person allegedly caused a serious bodily injury to the victim, or if they were under 18 years old at the time of the offense and had previously been convicted of sexual assault or sexual abuse, the minimum sentence is 15 years. If a person over the age of 18 had previously been convicted of a “grievous” sexual offense, they may face a sentence of life in prison without parole.

When defending against accusations of sexual assault, the issue of consent is one of the most important concerns to address. The Utah Criminal Code details multiple circumstances in which an act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact may be without consent, including:

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salt lake city DUI lawyerMost people understand the dangers of drunk driving, and they know that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. However, violations of the law do occur, and whether this happens because a person made a mistake, because they struggle with substance abuse, or for other reasons, being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can put them in a difficult situation. For those who have never previously faced accusations or charges of DUI, understanding what to expect can be difficult, and they may be unsure about the potential consequences they may face. Fortunately, by working with a criminal defense lawyer, they can determine their best options for dealing with this situation.

First-Time DUI Charges

The first thing to understand about DUI cases in Utah is that the state has a lower legal limit for drunk driving than most of the rest of the United States. Whereas drivers in other states are allowed to drive as long as their blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .08 percent, drivers in Utah may face DUI charges if they have a BAC of .05 percent or more. In fact, DUI charges may even apply if a person’s BAC is below the legal limit, since Utah law states that a person is prohibited from being in physical control of a vehicle in any situations where alcohol, drugs, or combinations of multiple substances have made them incapable of operating a vehicle safely.

A first-time DUI charge is usually considered to be a Class B misdemeanor, although charges may be increased to a Class A misdemeanor if a driver had a passenger in their vehicle who was under the age of 16, if the driver was over the age of 21 and had a passenger under the age of 18, or if the person was driving on the wrong side of the road.

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bountiful criminal defense lawyerMarijuana use is common throughout the United States, and this drug is generally considered to be less harmful than many other types of controlled substances. In fact, marijuana has been found to have multiple types of benefits for certain people, and it may be used to treat a number of medical conditions. Several states have taken action to relax their laws surrounding the possession, use, and sale of marijuana, and some have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical use. Unfortunately, those who are unaware of how the laws may vary from state to state may face criminal consequences for the possession of this drug. By understanding the laws surrounding marijuana in Utah, residents can be sure they will be able to address potential drug charges correctly.

Criminal Charges for Marijuana Possession in Utah

While recreational marijuana has been legalized in several nearby states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Oregon, it remains illegal in Utah. However, Utah does allow for the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes. People with qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder, may apply for a medical cannabis card. Those who are approved to use medical marijuana may possess up to 113 grams of unprocessed marijuana or up to 20 grams of THC.

Outside of medical use, the possession and distribution of marijuana are illegal in Utah. Marijuana is considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance. In most cases, possession of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for a first or second offense, and a person may face a prison sentence of up to 364 days and/or a $2,500 fine. A third conviction within seven years is a third degree felony, and a person may face a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine. Possession of 100 pounds of marijuana or more is a second degree felony, which may result in between one and 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

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