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Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102.9

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102.9

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102.9: Propelling a bodily substance–Penalties

1. As used in this section, a listed substance or material is:
a. saliva, blood, urine, or fecal material;
b. an infectious agent as defined in Section 26-6-2 of a material that carries an infectious agent;  or
c. vomit or a material that carries vomit.
2. Any person who knowingly or intentionally throws or otherwise propels any bodily substance or material listed under Subsection (1) at another person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, except as provided in Subsection (3).
3. A violation of this section is a class A misdemeanor if the substance or material propelled is listed in Subsection (1), and:
a. if the substance is the person’s saliva, the person knows he or she is infected with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C;  or
b. the substance or material comes into contact with any portion of the other person’s face, including the eyes or mouth, or comes into contact with any open wound on the other person’s body.
4. If an offense committed under this section amounts to an offense subject to a greater penalty under another provision of state law than under this section, this section does not prohibit prosecution and sentencing for the more serious offense.

Class A Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are a category of crimes that are generally less serious crimes (as opposed to felonies). Within the definition of misdemeanor, there are also levels of seriousness. Each jurisdiction may have its own classification system. This means that each state in the U.S., as well as the federal government, has its own method of classifying misdemeanors. Many states, as well as the federal government, use a letter classification system. These systems may still vary. In some states, the classes include only A, B, C and D. Other states may include more letters, and, therefore, more classes. Generally, in most states, as well as at the federal level, a class A misdemeanor is the most serious, and carries the greatest consequences. The last letter in the sequence indicates the least serious category of misdemeanor. Some jurisdictions use other methods of classification, for example, some use a number classification system. A misdemeanor is typically punishable by a jail sentence of no more than one year, and a fine of a certain amount. This would generally be for a Class A misdemeanor, since that is generally the most serious level of misdemeanor. Lower-level misdemeanors may carry sentences of only months or days. If an offense requires more than a year of jail time, it will typically be considered a felony. Conviction of a felony can result in a sentence in a federal prison. Misdemeanors sentences, however, are most often carried out in a local or county jail. Class A misdemeanors, being the most serious type of misdemeanor, can involve sentences that are similar to a less serious category of felony.

Common Examples of Class A Misdemeanors

Misdemeanor classifications can vary a lot by jurisdiction. Not only do they vary in their classification systems in whether they use letters, numbers, and how many, but different jurisdictions may place different crimes at different levels of seriousness. For instance, one state may categorize simple assault (assault without aggravating circumstances, such as using a weapon) as a Class A misdemeanor, while other states may choose to categorize it differently based on what makes sense for their own system of law. However, a lot of commonalities may still be seen across jurisdictions regarding how crimes are classified.
Here are some examples of crimes that are commonly considered to be Class A misdemeanors (or the equivalent):
• Simple assault;
• DUI/DWI (depending on number of offenses);
• Conspiracy;
• Burglary;
• Resisting arrest;
• Obscenity;
• Prostitution;
• Perjury;
• Possession of a controlled substance;
• Property theft of certain dollar amounts;
• Making a false report;
• Shoplifting;
• Unlawful possession of a weapon;
• Vandalism; and
• Violating a restraining order.
It is important to remember that aggravating factor can elevate a crime from a misdemeanor to a felony, and therefore result in much more serious penalties.

Penalties for Class A Misdemeanors

Since Class A misdemeanors are the more serious category of misdemeanor, they accordingly carry the highest penalties. This means that the greatest punishment one can receive for a misdemeanor will typically involve a Class A misdemeanor. The common penalties for Class A misdemeanor or the equivalent are:
• Fines. These may be as little as $500 or as much as several thousand dollars;
• Jail sentences of one year or less;
• Community service; and
• Rehabilitation programs.
How Long does a Class A Misdemeanors Stay on Your Criminal Record?
Class A misdemeanors are not automatically removed from your record after a certain period of time. In some cases, they can be removed from your record, either if a court seals your record, or if you have the offense expunged from your record. You will likely need to apply for the expungement. In order to be a candidate for expungement, you must meet all terms of the sentence given to you, including completion of any probation. Whether you are granted expungement will also depend upon the nature of your crime.

How can a Lawyer Help Me with a Class A Misdemeanors Charge?

Since this is the most serious type of misdemeanor, with the most serious consequences, you should consult with an attorney, who can:
• Explain the charges and possible consequences;
• Appear at any pretrial meetings and see if a plea deal is possible;
• Represent you at trial; or
• Generally make sure you are treated fairly, and do what is possible in terms of reducing your penalty.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Class A Misdemeanor Charges?
A Class A Misdemeanor is a serious crime, with a possible jail time of a full year. If you have been charged with this crime, you should contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately. Your attorney will be able to represent you in any court proceedings, and advise you throughout the process.

Difference between Misdemeanors vs. Felony

A misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony. Felonies are the most serious crimes you can commit and have long jail or prison sentences, fines, or permanent loss of freedoms. Misdemeanors usually involve jail time, smaller fines, and temporary punishments. Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions. Under federal law and in most states, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense that carries a potential jail term of less than one year. Some states define a misdemeanor as a crime that is not a felony or an infraction Just as infractions are sorted into classes misdemeanors are as well. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the classes are divided up by the maximum imprisonment for the offense.
• Class A misdemeanor – one year or less, but more than six months;
• Class B misdemeanor – six months or less, but more than thirty days; or
• Class C misdemeanor – thirty days or less, but more than five days.
Typically, jail time is served in a local county jail instead of a high security prison. Prosecutors generally have a great degree of flexibility in deciding what crimes to charge, how to punish them, and what kinds of plea bargains to negotiate.
A felony is the most serious type of crime. The term felony is not uniform throughout the United States, while the federal government defines felony as a crime with a punishment of more than one year; states are less strict about the definition. Typically, though a sentence of more than one year that will be served in a state or federal prison will be considered a felony. As with misdemeanors, Federal law breaks down classifications for felonies using sentencing guidelines by the amount of prison time.
• Class A felony – life imprisonment or the death penalty;
• Class B felony – twenty-five or more years;
• Class C felony – less than twenty-five years, but more than ten years;
• Class D felony – less than ten years, but more than five years; or
• Class E felony – less than five years, but more than one year.
Since the punishments can be so severe, a criminal procedure must be strictly observed so that the defendants’ rights stay protected. Felonies are usually crimes that are viewed severely by society and include crimes such as murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping, or arson. However, felonies can also be punished in a range of ways so that the punishment matches the severity of the crime.

Types or Categories of Crimes

Most criminal systems in Utah divide their crimes into several different categories depending on the seriousness of the crime. The major categories are: infractions; misdemeanors; and felonies. However, within these categories there may be different levels or classes. The major categories are almost always determined by the amount of jail time that is possible. It’s important to know how the court system treats a particular case in order to understand the differences. As a general rule, however, when trying to figure out what the difference is between a misdemeanor and a felony, you can look to the maximum potential jail time for the crime for the answer.


In general, infractions are the least serious type of crime. An infraction is the violation of a rule, ordinance, or a law. In most jurisdictions, there is no jail time associated with an infraction and it will not appear on a criminal record. Typically, payment of a fine will be the only punishment, but federal law classifies an infraction as a crime with a jail sentence of not more than five days. Traffic tickets are examples of an infraction, but other offenses may also be categorized as infractions, such a trespassing, littering, disturbing the peace, and other petty offenses. Generally, a peace officer will see someone doing something wrong, write a ticket and hand it to the person. The person then has to pay a fine. Infractions usually involve little to no time in court (much less jail). However, infractions can turn into a more serious crime if left unaddressed or unpaid. It is not uncommon that an infraction has different classes (i.e. moving violations, non-moving violations, and other petty offenses). The law typically provides for an increasing range of fines and potential penalties for the different classes within the infraction category.

How Judges Set Bail

Judges set bail based initially on a “bail schedule,” but they can raise or lower the amount, based on the circumstances of the case. Judges ordinarily set a bail amount at a suspect’s first court appearance after an arrest, which may be either a bail hearing or an arraignment. Judges normally adhere to standard practices (for example, setting bail in the amount of $500 for nonviolent petty misdemeanors). However, judges can raise or lower the standard bail, or waive bail altogether and grant release on the defendant’s “own recognizance.” Defendants do not need a lawyer to arrange for bail. They can either post cash bail personally, or phone a bail bond seller and arrange for a bond. Relatives or friends can come to a jail or court and post cash bail for an arrested person or purchase a bond from a bail bond seller.

Factors That Influence Bail Amounts

In addition to the seriousness of the charged crime, the amount of bail usually depends on factors such as a defendant’s past criminal record, whether a defendant is employed, and whether a defendant has close ties to relatives and the community.

Setting Bail By Algorithm

In recent years, courts have started using math to inform decisions about pretrial release. In these jurisdictions, select information about the defendant is entered into a program and a score or recommendation comes out. These bail algorithms, which consider factors like age and criminal history, are supposed to assess the risk that the defendant will commit another crime or fail to appear in court. Judges may legally deny bail altogether in some circumstances. For example, if another jurisdiction has placed a warrant (hold) on a defendant, a judge is likely to keep the defendant in custody at least long enough for the other jurisdiction to pursue its charge. And bail may be denied to a defendant who is likely to flee the jurisdiction before the case concludes.

Bail Schedules

In many areas of the country, defendants can post bail with the police even before they are brought to court for a bail hearing or an arraignment. Many jails have posted bail schedules, which specify bail amounts for common crimes. An arrested defendant can obtain release immediately after booking by paying the amount of bail set forth in the jailhouse bail schedule. Bail schedules can vary considerably according to locality, type of crime, and residency. As a general rule, bail for offenses classified as felonies is five to ten times the bail required for misdemeanors. The more serious and dangerous the crime, the higher the amount of bail is likely to be. As a general rule, a jailhouse bail schedule is inflexible. The police will not accept bail other than as set forth in a schedule; suspects wanting to pay less must go before a judge. As an alternative or in addition to jailhouse bail schedules, some areas have duty judges. A duty judge is available to fix bail over the phone, without the necessity for a formal court hearing. Like a jailhouse bail schedule, using a duty judge is an option for arrested persons who are anxious to bail out of jail before going to court.

Police Practices That Affect Bail Amounts

Unfortunately for many suspects who want to bail out of jail quickly, the police tend to arrest suspects for the most serious criminal charge that can possibly be supported by the facts at their disposal. For instance, the police may treat possession of a small amount of marijuana (a misdemeanor in most states) as an arrest for possession of marijuana with intent to sell (a felony in all states). Even though such a charge will almost certainly be reduced to a misdemeanor later in the case, it is a felony for the purposes of the bail schedule, and bail will be set accordingly.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you need legal help from a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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