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Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102.3

Utah Criminal Code 76-5-102.3

Utah Code 76-5.102.3: Offenses Against The Person- Assault And Related Offenses –Assault Against School Employees.What Must Support Personnel Do In These Circumstances?

• You must write a referral, which is the formal complaint. You may also press criminal charges, but this is not required.
• You must turn in an accident report if you were the victim of a battery, or if you suffered emotional trauma if you were the victim of an assault. Be sure to clearly state the nature of the student’s act (such as “The student punched me (battery),” or “The student committed an assault by making statements threatening me with physical harm (assault).”
What If You Suffer Physical Or Emotional Injuries Because Of The Assault Or Battery?
• You must receive sick leave without reduction in pay or sick leave days. You must present a certificate from a physician certifying that you are disabled because of the assault or battery.
• You have the right to press criminal charges against the person who committed the battery or the assault, but you are not required to do so.
• You have the right to file a civil suit for money damages against the person who committed the assault or battery, (or against the parent / guardian, if the person is a minor). But you are not required to do so.
If the student is a special education student, there are state and federal laws and regulations that must be followed. Don’t be discouraged by this, just recognize that it becomes an IEP issue as well as a discipline matter. You still have the right to press criminal charges (unless the child has a disability that prevents him / her from understanding his/ her actions (such as some forms of autism).

Different Levels of Assault

In Utah, an assault charge can range from a Misdemeanor B to a 2nd Degree Felony.
A Misdemeanor B charge requires either:
• an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another
• a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
• an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another
Any of these actions can become a Misdemeanor A charge if:
• the person causes substantial bodily injury to another; or
• the victim is pregnant and the person has knowledge of the pregnancy.
These actions can become a 3rd Degree Felony if:
• the person uses a dangerous weapon, or
• other force or means likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.
And, finally, a 3rd Degree Felony Assault can become a 2nd Degree Felony Assault if it actually results in serious bodily injury. Also, there are several more “specific” kinds of assault, such as Assault Against an Officer, Assault of a School Employee, Assault by a Prisoner, etc.
Note: there isn’t a “battery” crime under Utah state statute (except for sexual battery), because the assault statute now includes things that were typically considered “battery.”

Possible Penalties for an Assault Conviction:
• 2nd Degree Felony: 1-15 years in prison, $10,000 fine.
• 3rd Degree Felony: 0-5 years in prison, $5,000 fine.
• Misdemeanor A: 1 year in jail, $2,500 fine.
• Misdemeanor B: 6 months in jail, $1,000 fine.
It is unusual for judges to impose a “maximum” jail/prison sentence, but it is a possibility. More likely is some combination of jail/prison, community service, fines, probation, and possibly anger management classes. Utah law does provide a “defense” to the crime based on a claim of self defense, specifically: “A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person or a third person against another person’s imminent use of unlawful force.”
Some of the relevant factors under the self-defense law are:
• the nature of the danger
• the immediacy of the danger;
• the probability that the unlawful force would result in death or serious bodily injury;
• the other’s prior violent acts or violent propensities; and
• any patterns of abuse or violence in the parties’ relationship.
It’s important to note that the defense may not work if you provoked the altercation or you were the “initial aggressor.” Typically, this is a very fact-specific determination that must be argued and resolved at a trial, so it helps to have a good assault attorney helping you out. Most people think of assault as, at the least, a shove or punch some sort of physical contact but that’s not the case. Assault certainly can include a shove or punch, but it also can include “an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another “or “a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another.” So, technically, you could be convicted of assault if you tried to throw a brick at someone’s head, but missed. You could also be convicted if you got up in someone’s face and threatened to beat them up. However, threatening someone over the phone probably would not be an assault crime (although it may be another crime) because it’s hard to make a show of immediate force or violence over the phone. In most states, an assault/battery is committed when one person: tries to or does physically strike another, or acts in a threatening manner to put another in fear of immediate harm. Many states have a separate category for “aggravated” assault/battery when severe injury or the uses of a deadly weapon are involved. Assaults and batteries can also be pursued via civil lawsuits (as opposed to criminal prosecution).

Assault: Action Requirement

Even though contact is not generally necessary for an assault offense, a conviction for assault still requires a criminal “act”. The types of acts that fall into the category of assaults can vary widely, but typically an assault requires an overt or direct act that would put the reasonable person in fear for their safety. Spoken words alone will not be enough of an act to constitute an assault unless the offender backs them up with an act or actions that put the victim in reasonable fear of imminent harm.

Assault: Intent Requirement

In order commit an assault an individual need only have “general intent.” What this means is that although someone can’t accidentally assault another person, it is enough to show that an offender intended the actions which make up an assault. So, if an individual acts in a way that’s considered dangerous to other people that can be enough to support assault charges, even if they didn’t intend a particular harm to a particular individual. Moreover, intent to scare or frighten another person can be enough to establish assault charges, as well. Although the statutes defining battery will vary by jurisdiction, a typical definition for battery is the intentional offensive or harmful touching of another person without their consent. Under this general definition, a battery offense requires all of the following:
• intentional touching;
• the touching must be harmful or offensive;
• no consent from the victim.

Battery: Intent Requirement

It may come as some surprise that a battery generally does not require any intent to harm the victim (although such intent often exists in battery cases). Instead, a person need only have an intent to contact or cause contact with an individual. Additionally if someone acts in criminally reckless or negligent manners that result in such contact, it may constitute an assault. As a result, accidentally bumping into someone, offensive as the “victim” might consider it to be, would not constitute a battery.

Battery: Action Requirement

The criminal act required for battery boils down to an offensive or harmful contact. This can range anywhere from the obvious battery where a physical attack such as a punch or kick is involved, to even minimal contact in some cases. Generally, a victim doesn’t need to be injured or harmed for a battery to have occurred, so long as an offensive contact is involved. In a classic example, spitting on an individual doesn’t physically injure them, but it nonetheless can constitute offensive contact sufficient for a battery. Whether a particular contact is considered offensive is usually evaluated from the perspective of the “ordinary person.” Some jurisdictions have combined assault and battery into a single offense. Because the two offenses are so closely related and often occur together, this should probably come as no surprise. However, the basic concepts underlying the offense remain the same.

What Are The Different Types Of Misdemeanor Offenses In Utah?

Practically every jurisdiction makes a distinction between felony and misdemeanor crimes in criminal law. While felony status is accorded to more serious offenses, misdemeanors denote a relatively lesser offense. Some crimes can even wobble between felony and misdemeanor levels depending on the severity of the situation. Under Utah law, there are several classes of misdemeanors to cover different types of prohibited conduct.

Penalties For A Misdemeanor

Utah’s criminal law system sets out a maximum sentence for a misdemeanor crime. A person convicted of a misdemeanor, regardless of class, can be remanded to the county jail for a maximum time of one year. In contrast, convictions for one or more felonies can land a defendant in prison for a number of years. Courts can also impose a fine for certain misdemeanor violations.

Assault Class C Misdemeanors

Class C crimes are the least serious of the misdemeanor level offenses. As example, of Class C an offense includes drinking in public or careless driving. Per law, Class C convictions can result in a jail sentence of 90 days or less. A court can also impose fines amounting to $750 or less in addition to jail time.

Assault Class B Misdemeanors

In Utah, a Class B misdemeanor is the middle ground for this level of offenses. Examples of Class B crimes include prostitution or gambling. A person convicted of this type of misdemeanor can face a maximum of six months in a county jail. He or she can also be required to pay $1,000 or less in fines.

Other Types Of Assault Offenses

A crime most citizens are probably most familiar with is the infraction. Most types of tickets (traffic or parking) are considered infractions. An infraction is an offense that is less serious than a misdemeanor. Infractions are also not punishable by jail time. In Utah, an infraction can be punished by a fine not exceeding $750. Some courts will also allow a defendant to complete community service to satisfy the fine.

Utah Criminal Code Lawyer

When you need a criminal lawyer in Utah, 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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