Most criminal statutes in Utah list the elements that constitute the criminal offense and then classify it into one or more of 7 different categories or levels of criminal activity ranging from a capital offense to an infraction. In between these levels are felonies and misdemeanors which are the most common charges people face when being cited for criminal activity. An important tenant of the criminal justice system in Utah however is enhanceability which means that these charges may be increased based on past criminal convictions depending on the type of crimes committed.
What Offenses are Enhanceable in Utah?
In Utah there are two main types of enhanceable offenses, drug crimes and domestic violence offenses. The most common crime that we deal with is possession of marijuana, usually in amounts less than an ounce and charged as a class B misdemeanor. In a possession of marijuana case what enhanceability means is that when a person is charged with possession of marijuana and they already have a conviction on their record for possession of marijuana then what would normally be charged as a class B misdemeanor will now be charged as a class A misdemeanor. The same is true of Domestic Violence offense except that they include a wide range of charges that vary from Assault to Disorderly conduct as long as they fit the domestic violence mold of an offense against a person the defendant lives with.
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney | Understanding the Effects of Criminal Convictions
As you can tell enhanceability can be an important thing to understand when considering whether or not to take a plea deal that is being offered by the prosecution. If you did not know about enhanceability you could re-offend and be facing much more serious charges without even realizing the risk you were running. If you are facing criminal charges in Utah whether it be St. George, Orem, Sandy, or Layton; Salcido Law Firm can help. We work in all areas of the state and have helped hundreds of criminal defendants with their cases. We strive to provide our clients with the best possible understanding of their case so they can make informed decisions. Call or email us today for a free consultation.