Although many states divide the crime of murder into first and second degree murder laws, the Beehive State only has murder and aggravated murder. Aggravated murder carries heavier penalties and includes the crime of murder in addition to other elements that make it a more serious crime. The following is a brief summary of Utah murder laws.
Utah Murder Laws:
The following table outlines murder laws in Utah.
|Code Sections||UTAH CODE ANN. §§ 76-5-202, 76-5-203|
Murder is causing the death of another person under any of the following circumstances:
Aggravated murder is intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another person under any of the following circumstances:
If the defendant had reasonable belief of a legal justification or excuse for his or her conduct under the circumstances, then the crime may be reduced from murder to manslaugher or from attempted murder to attempted manslaughter. An example is if the defendant was acting under extreme emotion disturbance (a.k.a. heat of passion) at the time of the killing.
Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by life imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
Aggravated murder is punishable by death or life imprisonment. If the death penalty is sought, it is a capital felony. Otherwise, it is a first-degree felony.
Utah Murder Laws: Related Resources
If you or someone you know has been charged with murder, you may want to contact an Utah criminal defense attorney. You may also want to visit Findlaw's sections on Utah Capital Punishment Laws for more information on the death penalty in Utah. You can also visit FindLaw's sections on First Degree Murder Overview, First Degree Murder Penalties and Sentencing, Second Degree Murder Overview, and Second Degree Penalties and Sentencing for more articles and information on this topic.
Contact a qualified attorney.