Facing a criminal charge is scary and frustrating, and if you have been charged with assault and/or battery in Utah, then you likely have questions. In Utah, prosecutors take assault and battery charges very seriously. Although a misdemeanor charge, those convicted face up to a year behind bars and a fine of $2,500. Your first step is to work with an assault and battery attorney to formulate your best assault and battery defense is important. While most criminal cases do not end up in trial, having a competent attorney represent your interests in court is important, even if you end up pleading to a lesser charge.
The state of Utah defines assault as an illegal act of violence that either injures or creates a risk of injury to another individual. State law also includes threats of bodily harm as assault. Some examples of assault charges may include:
The battery is the physical act of attacking another person. In Utah, most of the crimes that would be considered battery are classified as assault. The one exception to this rule is sexual battery, or the intentional touching or groping of another’s genitals, buttocks, anus, or breasts with the understanding that their actions will likely cause alarm. Sexual battery is classified as a Class A misdemeanor and can land you up to a year in jail, along with a $2,500 fine. Those convicted of the sexual battery may also be required to register as a Utah Sex Offender.
Although there’s no distinction between assault charges and battery charges, assault charges do fall under different levels. Simple assault charges, which occurs between two people who don’t know each other (such as in the case of a fistfight between strangers) is considered a Class B misdemeanor. However, if the victim of a simple assault is pregnant, the charge may be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor.
Likewise, if the assault resulted in substantial bodily injury or involved a weapon then the classification could be enhanced to a felony. Charges in order from least serious to most serious are as follows:
Possible Defenses for Assault and Battery
Although most criminal cases end up with the accused pleading to a lesser offense, you should always go with an experienced trial attorney when facing assault and battery charges. Your liberty is on the line, and a negative outcome can result in you losing your freedom and spending a significant amount of time in jail. Even in probated cases, a conviction will remain on your criminal record, haunting your efforts to get a job or even rent a home. Trust us to handle your case with compassion and expertise. Our an experienced criminal defense attorney the experience that you need behind you as you navigate the unpredictable legal system. Schedule your case consultation now.