Utah’s Habitual Violent Offenders Statute

Repeat Offender in Utah

Authorities are looking for a man they believe is connected to the fatal shooting that took place on Saturday in Uintah County. Bruce Silva is suspected of shooting and killing James Edward Carey and wounding Jared Hurley. According to police there was a large group of people at the home where the shooting took place and there was an argument in regards to a drug sale. Silva reportedly started shooting after arguing that the drug sale had taken place on his territory. Silva has served time in federal prison for a shooting in 2007 and is currently on probation for assaulting a fellow prisoner in 2010. Silva has also been convicted of assault on a police officer, for a gang-related riot in 2006. If Silva is found to be guilty of the shootings that took place on Saturday, his prior convictions will have an effect on his sentencing.

Utah’s Habitual Violent Offenders Statute

In Utah if a person has been convicted of a violent felony then any subsequent offense will be treated more harshly. U.C.A. 76-3-203.5 For example if a person who is convicted of a violent felony by plea or verdict is then found guilty of a third degree felony then their penalty will be as if it were a first degree felony. This sentencing enhancement can have serious repercussions for the offender and expresses the states desire to stop the chain of crime that is prevalent in repeat offenders.

Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

As shown from the story above the type of criminal conviction a person receives can be very important. In the statute referenced above a violent felony is defined as a number of different offenses from rape to stalking. In a lot of situations charges can be reduced through the help of a lawyer who can determine the strength of the prosecutions arguments. If these charges can be reduced then it could help in the long run if there is any other situations where a previous conviction could affect sentencing. Make sure and get the help of a Criminal Defense so you don’t find you self with a more serious charge than you deserve. If you are facing a violent felony charge in Salt Lake City, Provo, or Ogden, call us for more information.

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