The Salt Lake City criminal defense firm Brass & Cordova has extensive experience defending clients charged with serious felonies in all county and district courts in Utah. If you or a family member has been charged with a felony, you are likely frightened and intimidated by what lies ahead, from your arraignment to trial to prison, if convicted. Our goal is to ease the stress and minimize the penalties associated with felony charges by providing strong, effective representation through every stage of the criminal justice process.
Types & Classes of Felony Charges
A felony involves allegations of serious misconduct, and is punishable by a prison sentence. The charge or charges may be related to an alleged offense against a person or property, for example:
- Aggravated Assault - Aggravated assault is assault using a dangerous weapon, or assault using other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury. If serious bodily injury results, the offense will likely be charged as a second degree felony, and if there is no bodily injury, the offense is usually charges as a third degree felony.
- Aggravated Arson - A person may be charged with aggravated arson if he or she is suspected of intentionally and unlawfully damaging a habitable structure, or any structure or vehicle where a person is inside (who is not a participant in the offense), with fire or explosives. Aggravated arson is generally charged as a felony in the first degree.
- Robbery - Robbery charges involve the alleged unlawful and intentional taking or attempt to take another person's property against his will by use of force or fear with the intent of depriving the person permanently or temporarily of the property. Robbery may also be charged if force or fear of immediate force is allegedly used in the course of committing a theft. Robbery is classified as a second degree felony.
- Burglary - A person may be charged with burglary if he or she allegedly enters or remains in a building with the intent to commit a felony, theft, assault, lewdness, sexual battery, or voyeurism. Burglary is classified as a third degree felony, unless committed in a dwelling, and then it may be charged as a second degree felony.
- Felony Theft - Theft of property valued at $5,000 or more is classified as a second degree felony, and theft of property worth more than $1,000 but less than $5,000 is classified as a third degree felony.
The felony classifications in Utah carry sentencing guidelines that are meant to create uniformity in the criminal justice system. Capital offenses are punishable by life in prison, life in prison without parole, or death; first degree felonies are punishable by five years to life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines; second degree felonies are punishable by one to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines; and third degree felonies are punishable by zero to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that these are only guidelines for sentencing and not mandatory sentencing requirements. An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can use factors such as a clean criminal record and availability of rehabilitation alternatives to obtain optimal results in the face of even the most serious felony charges.
Seek Strong, Experienced Defense Representation
If you or a loved one faces felony charges in any court in Utah, the defense attorneys at Brass & Cordova can help you. Please contact our offices for a free initial consultation to discuss your rights and options. We offer flexible hours, including evening and weekend appointment times.