What is an Enhanceable Crime?
The Utah Legislature has taken it upon itself to give the district attorneys freedom to increase the category of a crime if the defendant has committed the same or similar crime in the past. For example, a crime that can be charged as a class B misdemeanor by itself may be charged as a class A misdemeanor or even as a felony if the defendant has committed that same or similar crime in the past.
What Are the Common Enhanceable Offenses?
There are a lot of enhanceable offenses in Utah, but there are a few that are more common than others.
- Domestic violence – If an individual is convicted of domestic violence in Utah he needs to understand that if he is charged with another qualifying domestic violence crime within a five year period it can be enhanced one degree higher. That can make a big difference in a case because it can mean the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony, jail time and prison time, and other penalties. See Utah Code 77-36-1.1.
- Theft – Theft in Utah is another enhanceable offense. It can be charged as a second degree felony if the actor has been twice before convicted of theft if each prior offense was committed within 10 years of the date of the current conviction or the date of the offense upon which the current conviction is based. See Utah Code 76-6-412.
- Drug offenses – Drug production and distribution are enhanceable offenses for for any second or subsequent conviction. Likewise, drug possession is an enhanceable offense for any second or subsequent conviction. See Utah Code 58-37-8.
- DUIs – A DUI is an enhanceable offense if you get three in a 10 year period. The Third DUI is a felony DUI and can result in prison time. See Utah Code 41-6a-503.
If you are facing an enhanceable offense in Utah, call our criminal defense lawyers at 801.618.1334 to find out your options and how we can protect your rights.