UTAH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DEFENSE LAWYER
Call Utah Aggravated Assault Criminal Defense Attorney Jake Gunter now for a Free Consultation.
Assault and Battery in Utah usually has a viable defense. Especially where there are always two sides to the story. Or where the parties involved have had a conflict ridden past. Calling an experienced Assault & Battery criminal defense attorney can make the difference.
Utah Aggravated Assault & Battery criminal defense lawyer Jake Gunter offers flexible pricing and 15 years of experience defending people accused of crimes.
Simple Assault and Battery in Utah:
Simple Assault and Battery is just the mere unwanted touching of another person done in an intentional, reckless or knowledgeable manner. The alleged victim need not prove harm, but merely that they were touched against their will, or the other person attempted to touch them against their will.
No Injury Required:
The principle of a simple unwanted touching being enough for simple assault in Utah is demonstrated by Utah’s sexual assault statute. Slapping or touching a person on their bottoms, even so slight is highly offensive when unlawful or unwanted and hurting the person is not a required element.
ELEMENTS OF SIMPLY ASSAULT.
The government or prosecutor must prove simple assault in Utah beyond a reasonable doubt. The entire jury must either say “not guilty” or the entire jury must vote “guilty” to find you innocent or guilty of simple assault in Utah. A good Utah simple assault criminal defense attorney will find cracks in the government’s case, finding places to attack one or more elements of simple assault that the government must prove.
The elements of simple assault which the government must prove are:
(a) An attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
(b) An act, committed with unlawful force or violence that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another.
MENS REA (The Mind Set) OF SIMPLE ASSAULT.
You cannot accidentally commit a simple assault and battery under Utah law. The prosecution has to prove that you intentionally, or with knowledge, or recklessly assaulted someone.
EXAMPLE: The Provo police department was responding to an alleged crime on Center Street, near the bar. You are accused of throwing a beer bottle in the air just to see it break. As you took your swing with your arm, you negligently hit someone who was coming out of the bar, causing them injury. You have been negligent or reckless in throwing beer bottles, but you did not knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly intend to hit that person with the back swing of your hand. This is not assault and battery in Utah.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIMPLE ASSAULT AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT.
The big difference between simple assault and aggravated assault is the following:
a. The use of a deadly weapon.
b. Applying a choke hold to the neck of another person.
c. Intending to cause serious bodily injury to another person.
Basically you have to commit a simple assault plus use a deadly weapon, use a choke hold or intend to cause serious bodily injury. The serious bodily injury additional element of aggravated assault can only be accomplished with intent. Unlike simple assault where you can recklessly or with knowledge commit a simple assault, you can’t recklessly or with knowledge cause serious bodily injury.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT—DEFINITION OF DEADLY WEAPON.
“Dangerous weapon” means:
(a) any item capable of causing death or serious bodily injury; or
(b) a facsimile (fake/copy) or representation of the item, if:
(i) the actor’s use or apparent intended use of the item leads the victim to reasonably believe the item is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury; or
(ii) the actor represents to the victim verbally or in any other manner that he is in control of such an item.
As you can see, the statute is written very broadly to encompass just about anything the prosecuting attorney wishes to prosecute.
EXAMPLE: Aggravated Assault in Utah. You are in a bar in Orem, Utah. Your girlfriend is insulted by a drunk man. You get mad and hit the drunk man over the head with a glass beer bottle, causing a cut and bruise on the drunk man’s face. This could be considered aggravated assault because you hit the man with a deadly weapon, i.e., the beer bottle. Even though a simple beer bottle by itself would not be considered a dangerous weapon, but when used to hit someone in the head, it would qualify.
Utah aggravated assault is a third degree felony if you cause serious bodily injury, or you choke someone out. Aggravated assault is a first degree felony if you target a law enforcement officer. A third degree felony can carry 0-5 years in Prison.
In Utah, a simple assault & battery is a Class B Misdemeanor. If during the assault you cause “substantial bodily harm” then it is a Class A misdemeanor. It is also a Class A Misdemeanor if you assault a pregnant women who you know is pregnant.
A Class A Misdemeanor can put you in jail for up to one year, where a Class B can put you in jail for up to six months.
Assault and aggravated assault often have significant defenses. Unless there is video, who started the fight is always disputed. Self-defense always has to be critically examined by your assault & battery criminal defense attorney.
A good criminal defense attorney once hired will immediately subpoena or request all possible video from the incident location. Most stores have video surveillance but it is expensive to store electronically, so the recycle or delete most video footage after 15 days.
Assault and Battery Examples.
EXAMPLE: You are at your Provo apartment with your live in girlfriend. You are both drunk and are in a verbal altercation. Your girlfriend tries to leave the apartment and you grab her, hold her down and slap her. This would be assault, and possible more charges like domestic violence.
EXAMPLE: You are at the Orem mall and someone accidentally bumps into you in the busy areas. You turn around and punch him in the face. This would be assault in Utah.