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Utah Code 76-3-205 - Infraction Convictions

Penalties for an Infraction Conviction in Utah

Most criminal offenses in Utah are designated either as felonies or misdemeanors. A criminal offense for which no designation is given will usually be treated as a class B misdemeanor. But there are some offenses which are specifically designated as infractions.

The penalty for an infraction is limited by Utah Code 76-3-205. This section of the Utah criminal code provides that a "person convicted of an infraction may not be imprisoned." Instead, this statute provides that a person convicted of an infraction in Utah can be subjected to "a fine, forfeiture, and disqualification," or any combination of said penalties.

Utah Code 76-3-205 provides that a fine for an infraction conviction is the same as the potential fine for a class C misdemeanor. As of January, 2015, this fine could be up to $750 plus a 35% surcharge (for a total maximum of $1,012.50).

If you are facing any criminal charge, regardless of the level of the offense, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that you understand your rights and the potential consequences you may face. Contact us now to arrange for an initial confidential consultation with Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.

How are fines for an infraction enforced?

Fines imposed for an infraction conviction are enforced using the court's contempt power. While a jail term cannot be imposed as a part of the original sentence on an infraction, the court may impose jail time as a sanction if a person is found in contempt of court for failing to pay the fine imposed for the infraction conviction.

Can I be placed on probation for an infraction?

A court imposing sentence for an infraction has the discretion to impose the full fine, or to suspend a portion of the fine. If a part of the fine is suspended for an infraction, a judge may impose conditions of probation.

Some judges may view a violation of the terms of probation for an infraction as grounds simply to impose the remainder of the suspended fine. Other judges may view the violation as a basis for a contempt finding and try to impose a jail sentence as a sanction. If you are facing an order to show cause for a probation violation, it is wise to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Is an infraction considered a criminal charge in Utah?

Yes, and no. But mostly yes. An infraction does not carry a potential jail or prison sentence. So many people do not view an infraction as a "criminal" charge. But if an infraction charge is based on a violation of the Utah criminal code, it is likely to be viewed as a criminal charge. An infraction conviction may also show up on an official Utah criminal history report.

Some prosecutors will reduce the level of a misdemeanor charge to the infraction level, for the purpose of eliminating the right to a trial by jury. The trial will instead be a "bench" trial, where the judge acts as the fact finder. Using this technique, charges ranging from domestic violence to shoplifting can become infraction convictions on a person's criminal record.

Do infraction convictions count against me for expungement eligibility?

Although an infraction may be considered a criminal conviction, it does not count against you for purposes of determining expungement eligibility. While there are limits to the number of felony or misdemeanor charges that can be expunged, an unlimited number of infractions should be expungeable under Utah law.

For some individuals a 402 reduction (reducing the level of a prior conviction) can be useful in restoring expungement eligibility. For example, a person with three class B misdemeanors and three class C misdemeanors (arising from separate criminal episodes) would not be eligible for expungement. However, if the class C misdemeanors were each reduced by one step to the infraction level, expungement eligibility would be restored.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you have been charged with a crime in Utah, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be vital to achieving the best results for your case. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients' rights in cases ranging from murder to shoplifting, and virtually everything in between.Mr. Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah.

Contact us today for an initial consultation with Utah criminal attorney Stephen Howard.

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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
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, 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.

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