Assault and aggravated assault charges are serious and could result in substantial jail and or prison time if convicted. To achieve the best results on your case, you need an experienced Utah criminal defense team on your side. Canyons Law Group’s criminal defense team has represented thousands of clients. They have the experience, skill, and determination to achieve real results for each of their clients. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and case analysis.
Elements of a Utah Assault Charge
A “simple” assault or sometimes referred to as “battery,” is a misdemeanor under Utah code. An assault charge in Utah begins as a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail. If there is evidence of “substantial” bodily injury to the other person or if the other person is pregnant and the accused knows that the person is pregnant, the charge can be enhanced to a class A misdemeanor.
Utah statutes define “assault” as (a) an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; (b) a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or (c) an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another. (Utah Code Ann. 76-5-102). Utah Statues define “Substantial bodily injury” as an injury that causes or creates protracted physical pain, temporary disfigurement, or temporary loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. (Utah Code Ann. 76-1-601.)
An assault that involves the use or threatened use of a weapon or results in a more serious injurycan be filed as a felony aggravated assault. Penalties for a Utah aggravated assault conviction are substantially higher and can include prison time.
Self Defense in Utah Assault Cases
You may be found not guilty of an assault, even if you committed the alleged acts. Under Utah criminal law, the use of force can be justified under some circumstances if done in self-defense, in defense of your home, or protection of your property.
The application of Utah’s self-defense laws is not always straightforward. The self-defense statute allows for the use of “reasonable” force in defending yourself against the use or threatened use of force by another. Suppose you believe that one of these defenses may apply to your case. In that case, you should contact an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible to determine how self-defense may play a role in your criminal case.
Finding an Experienced Criminal Attorney in Utah
If you are facing charges of assault or other criminal charges in Utah, it is critical to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Call us to see what the Canyons Law Group’s criminal defense team can do for you.