What is an infraction?
An infraction is a minor offense that carries only a fine. This includes some traffic violations. The maximum fine for these is $750.
What is a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a lower offense than a felony. There are three classes of misdemeanors: A, B and C.
Class A misdemeanors, such as negligent homicide or criminal mischief, carry up to a $2,500 fine and up to year in jail.
Class B misdemeanors, such as resisting arrest or concealed weapon, carry up to six months in jail and a possible fine of up to $1,000.
Class C misdemeanors, such as driving on a suspended license or public intoxication, carry up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $750.
What is a felony?
A felony is a serious offense. Felonies are divided into four degrees: Capital, First, Second,and Third.
The only capital felony is aggravated murder, which carries a prison sentence of death or life in prison. A life in prison sentence can be one with or without the possibility of parole.
A First Degree felony, such as murder, child kidnapping or rape, carries a fine of up to $10,000. The prison sentence for these felonies is a minimum of five years and a maximum of life.
A Second Degree felony, such as robbery or forcible sexual abuse, carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of one to 15 years.
A Third Degree felony, such as aggravated assault or burglary of non-dwelling, carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years.
With the various fines and confinement times for felonies and misdemeanors, it is easy to see why a defendant would need a proper defense. Knowing how to apply various laws to your case might help you as you move through the criminal justice system.
Source: Utah State Courts, "Criminal Penalties" Sep. 17, 2014