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Weapons Possession Restrictions under Utah Law

A person charged with possessing a weapon as a restricted person under Utah law can face stiff criminal penalties, including prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. If you are facing charges for possession of a weapon by a restricted person, it is vital to have an experienced Utah criminal attorney on your side. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has defended clients in thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor cases. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

The penalties for possession of a weapon by a restricted person in Utah can range for a second degree felony (punishable by up to 15 years in prison) to the class A misdemeanor level (punishable by up to a year in jail). The severity of the offense can depend on the nature of the weapon possessed (firearm, knife, or other "dangerous weapon") as well as the "category" of restricted person to which the defendant belongs.

Category I and Category II Restricted Persons in Utah

Utah law provides that a person is considered to be a "Category I" restricted person if the person:

  • has been convicted of any violent felony as defined in Section 76-3-203.5;
  • is on probation or parole for any felony;
  • is on parole from a secure facility as defined in Section 62A-7-101;
  • within the last 10 years has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a violent felony as defined in Section 76-3-203.5; or
  • is an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

A person is considered to be a "Category II" restricted person under Utah law f he/she:

  • has been convicted of any felony;
  • within the last seven years has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a felony;
  • is an unlawful user of a controlled substance as defined in Section 58-37-2;
  • is in possession of a dangerous weapon and is knowingly and intentionally in unlawful possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance as defined in Section 58-37-2;
  • has been found not guilty by reason of insanity for a felony offense;
  • has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony offense;
  • has been adjudicated as mentally defective as provided in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536 (1993), or has been committed to a mental institution;
  • has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces; or
  • has renounced his citizenship after having been a citizen of the United States.

Penalties for Possession of a Weapon by a Restricted Person in Utah

A Category I restricted person who possesses a firearm may face second degree felony criminal charges. Possession of a dangerous weapon other than a firearm by a Category I restricted person results in a third degree felony. For a Category I restricted person, these penalties apply broadly to any such restricted person who "intentionally or knowingly agrees, consents, offers, or arranges to purchase, transfer, possess, use, or have under the person's custody or control, or who intentionally or knowingly purchases, transfers, possesses, uses, or has under the person's custody or control" a firearm or other dangerous weapon.

A Category II restricted person found in possession of a firearm can be charged with a third degree felony. A Category II restricted person who possesses a dangerous weapon other than a firearm can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. The acts proscribed for a Category II person are somewhat more limited, but still prohibit the purchase, transfer, possession, use of, or exercising custody or control over a firearm or dangerous weapon.

Note that Federal law also imposes additional restrictions on a person's right to carry a firearm. One of the most common restrictions under federal law involves domestic violence. Even a misdemeanor conviction for a domestic violence offense will restrict your right to possess a gun, rifle, or other firearm.

Finding an Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake

Utah prosecuting attorneys and judges take weapons charges seriously. If you are facing criminal prosecution for possession of a weapon by a restricted person, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. As a Utah criminal attorney based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has achieved not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals for clients facing some of the most serious criminal charges on the books in Utah.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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