Most people consider an assault charge and battery charge to be the same thing.This may be because Utah merges the criminal offenses together.
In some states, an assault is simply a threat of violence or an attempt to do violence against another with the immediate ability to carry out the threat. In Utah, however, an assault can also include actually doing physical harm to another person. Assault is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine.
Assault Charges in Salt Lake City, Utah
Before convicting an individual of assault in Salt Lake City, the State must be able to prove all of the elements of assault found in Utah Criminal Code Section 76-5-101 beyond a reasonable doubt. Under 76-5-101, assault is defined in the following manner:
- The offender attempts, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
- The offender commits an act with unlawful force or violence that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another.
What is Unlawful Force
The term “unlawful force” is defined as an unjustified use of force.
Force is justified when a person reasonably believes that the use of force is necessary to prevent the imminent use of unlawful force or bodily injury from another person.
Lawful force also includes force used by a law enforcement officer acting within the authority of his or her position.
Aggravated assault is a more egregious offense than a simple assault, which increases the severity of the crime to a class A misdemeanor or a felony offense.
Aggravated assault is outline in Utah Criminal Code Section 76-5-103. Accordingly, the Statute defines aggravated assault in the following manner:
- The offender attempts, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another;
- The offender threatens, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence to do bodily injury to another; or
- The offender commits an act with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates as substantial risk of bodily injury to another;
The offender commits any of the above actions coupled with any of the following:
- A dangerous weapon as defined by Section 76-1-601;
- Any act that impedes the breathing or the blood circulation of another person by the offender’s use of unlawful force or violence that is likely to produce a loss of consciousness by applying pressure to the neck or throat; or by obstructing a person’s nose, mouth, or airway; or
- By other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.
Utah Penalties for Assault Convictions
Simple assault is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor.
Class A Misdemeanor –assault is a class A misdemeanor when the offender causes substantial bodily injury to another or if the victim was pregnant.
Class B Misdemeanors -are punishable by up to six (6) months in jail and up to $1,000 fine. Class A Misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. A 90% surcharge may also be added to the fine.
Aggravated assault is a felony offense. If charged as a third degree felony, the punishment is potentially 0-to-five (5) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines plus a 90% surcharge.
Aggravated assault can also be charged as a second-degree felony if, the assault cases serious bodily injury or produces unconsciousness. A second-degree felony is punishable by one- to- fifteen (15) years in the Utah State prison and up to $10,000 fines plus a 90% surcharge.
An aggravated assault can also be charged as a first-degree felony if the assault is targeted at a law enforcement officer and results in serious bodily injury. A first-degree felony is punishable by 5 years-to-life in prison and up to $10,000 fines plus a 90% surcharge.
Fist Fight Altercation
It is also important to note that a consensual altercation is not a defense to criminal assault charges. Many people believe that just because two individuals agree to be in a fight with one another that they will be immune from criminal prosecution.
76-5-101 –Visit the Utah Legislature’s site to review all of the statutory language associated with a simple assault charge and the penalties associated with a conviction.
For a criminal defense lawyer for assault in Utah call for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you clean your criminal record permanently!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Additional Criminal Law Resources
What Can Someone Expect After Getting Out of Jail
How Does a Prior Arrest or Conviction Impact a Criminal Case?