This paper investigates the use of deep belief networks (DBN) for semantic tagging, a sequence classification task, in spoken language understanding (SLU). We evaluate the performance of the DBN based sequence tagger on the well-studied ATIS task and compare our technique to conditional random fields (CRF), a state-of-the-art classifier for sequence classification. In conjunction with lexical and named entity features, we also use dependency parser based syntactic features and part of speech (POS) tags . Under both noisy conditions (output of automatic speech recognition system) and clean conditions (manual transcriptions), our deep belief network based sequence tagger outperforms the best CRF based system described in  by an absolute 2% and 1% F-measure, respectively. Upon carrying out an analysis of cases where CRF and DBN models made different predictions, we observed that when discrete features are projected onto a continuous space during neural network training, the model learns to cluster these features leading to its improved generalization capability, relative to a CRF model, especially in cases where some features are either missing or noisy.