Utah Criminal Law FAQs

Experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys answer your frequently asked questions

With more than 60 years combined experience, the lawyers of Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen have represented thousands of individuals facing criminal charges. The following are some of the questions we are asked most frequently. For more information on our criminal defense services, do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Don’t gamble with your future. Let the lawyers of Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen support you.

With a top-notch legal team that provides comprehensive criminal defense services, Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen offers unparalleled representation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call our firm at 801-758-8728 or contact us online today. Conveniently located in West Valley City, we represent clients throughout Salt Lake County and the surrounding areas of northern Utah, including Summit County and Davis County, Provo, Ogden and Park City.


What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Utah?

Misdemeanors are lesser crimes than felonies. Whereas misdemeanors have a maximum penalty of up to one year in county jail and up to $2,500 in fines plus fees with convictions, the penalties for felonies are much more severe. Incarceration for felonies occurs at a Utah State Prison, and fines and fees can easily be upwards of $5,000.

[Back to top]

Is DUI a misdemeanor or a felony in Utah?

A first time DUI is considered a misdemeanor, as is a second-time DUI charge with a previous conviction within the last 10 years. With two previous DUI convictions within ten years, a third- time DUI charge becomes a third degree felony. Additionally, if your DUI resulted in the injury or death of another individual or if you have been previously convicted of vehicular homicide at any time, the charge is automatically deemed felony DUI.

[Back to top]

What is the difference between impaired driving and drunk driving in Utah?

Impaired driving is a lesser offense than drunk driving or DUI. While you cannot be officially charged with impaired driving at the time of your DUI arrest, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you attain the reduced penalties that go along with an impaired driving offense. The most common way to downgrade a DUI charge to impaired driving is via a plea bargain.

[Back to top]

What is the penalty for a petty theft in Utah?

Petty theft such as shoplifting is the least severe type of theft charge. It is a class B misdemeanor, meaning that the value of the stolen property is $500 or less. With a first time theft conviction, the person found guilty can be held responsible for up to 180 days in jail as well as fines and fees of $1,940.

[Back to top]

How can I remove my criminal record in Utah?

If you have a criminal record you would like sealed from the public, you can pursue an expungement. The expungement process is complicated, and you must meet a number of criteria in order to qualify. You should definitely consult a criminal defense attorney for help obtaining an expungement.

[Back to top]

What are the penalties for my criminal charges?

Penalties for criminal charges depend largely on the nature of the crime and the number of crimes with which you have been charged in the past. Generally speaking, misdemeanor charges involve less extreme penalties, with class C being the least serious type of misdemeanor and class A being the most serious. Felony charges involve more extreme penalties, with third degree being the least severe type of felony and first degree and capital felonies being the most severe.

[Back to top]

Do I need an attorney to handle my criminal case?

If you are charged with a crime, you have the right to legal representation. A criminal defense attorney provides protection and support throughout your case. Furthermore, a lawyer can defend you from the most severe penalties if you end up being convicted. You should, at the very least, have a legal professional assess your case before making a decision regarding representation.

[Back to top]