How Are Assault And Battery Charges Defined In Utah?

In Utah, there is no distinction between an assault charge and a battery charge. An assault can be defined as an attempt to do bodily injury to another with unlawful force or violence, an act committed with unlawful force or violence that causes bodily injury to another, or as an act that creates substantial risk of bodily injury to another. It can be the use of unlawful force or the attempted use of unlawful force that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another.

What Are The Different Levels Of Assault Charges In Utah?

There are different levels when it comes to the classification of assault. Simple assault is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Utah, and it occurs between two people that don’t have any prior relationship with one another. For example, a fist fight between two strangers would be considered a simple assault. If the victim of a simple assault is a pregnant woman, then the charge can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor.

What Are The Factors That Would Enhance Assault Charges?

If there is substantial bodily injury or a weapon involved, then a Class B misdemeanor could be enhanced to a felony. An assault with a weapon is pretty broadly defined under the code, but it can enhance a charge of simple assault to a charge of aggravated assault, which is a third degree felony. A third degree felony is the lowest degree of felony in Utah. The order of charges from least serious to most serious is as follows: Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, third degree felony, second degree felony, first degree felony. Felony level charges are very serious, especially assault charges.

Who Would Be Classified As A Special Victim In An Assault Case?

A special victim is a person who is over the age of 65 and/or somewhat incapacitated. Assault on a police officer can enhance an assault charge. Sometimes assault on a minor can enhance an assault charge, but there would also be a charge of child abuse. A person can potentially be charged for assault and child abuse if they assault someone who is under 18 years of age.

How Does The Degree Of Injury Affect The Level Of Assault Charges?

The degree of injury can make a difference. Simply shoving someone is considered an assault, but it won’t necessarily result in bodily injury. However, if you punch someone and break their nose, then there is clear bodily injury and the charge could be enhanced as a result. If you severely injure someone, then the charge could be enhanced to a felony. A charge can also be enhanced for the age of the victim, the use of a weapon, the degree of the assault and the degree of the injury. Many variables can go into a prosecutor’s decision regarding which level of assault to charge a defendant.

Does An Alleged Victim Have To Be Injured In Order To Bring Assault Charges?

No, an alleged victim does not have to show injury for an assault to have occurred. According to the statute, even an attempt to assault someone is considered an assault. Similarly, creating a substantial risk of bodily injury is considered an assault. So, a person could be charged with an assault without having actually injured or even touched another person. People have to be very careful when dealing with situations that could lead to assault.

For more information on Assault & Battery Charges In Utah, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 309-6966 today.

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