Can You be Charged with Multiple Counts of Assault in Utah?
If you committed assault, it might come as a shock that you can be charged with multiple counts of assault for a single incident. The type of assault you committed will also play a role in determining the type of penalties you may receive. For example, using a weapon when committing assault can lead to several years in prison if you are charged with multiple assaults. If you or a family member was arrested for assault, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City assault defense lawyer. Darwin Overson is prepared to help you fight against multiple counts of assault. Overson Law is here to explain how you can be charged with multiple counts of assault in Utah.
How is it Possible to Receive Multiple Assault Charges?
If you were arrested for a single incident of assault, it is possible to receive multiple assault charges. In Utah, assault is defined as attempting to cause or causing another person to suffer bodily injury. This means that if you assault multiple people in a single incident, you can face more than one assault charge. For example, if you are involved in a bar fight, and you cause bodily injury to five people, you can face five different counts of assault.
It is even possible to be charged with multiple and different forms of assault. Aggravated assault is another type of assault in Utah. Aggravated assault is committed when an offender assaults or tries to assault a person while using a dangerous weapon. This offense can also be committed if the offender performs some action that stops another person from breathing or affects the person’s blood circulation (e.g., choking someone). Returning to our bar fight scenario, if you used a bottle of alcohol to cause serious bodily injury to two of the five victims, you might receive three counts of simple assault and two counts aggravated assault.
To learn more about assault charges in Utah, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer.
How are the Penalties for Multiple Counts of Assault Handled?
The penalties for multiple counts of assault will depend on how many counts and types of assault that you committed. It is important to note that if you are convicted of multiple counts of assault, your sentence may not run concurrently. This means that the penalties for each count will be added together, and you will have to serve the total amount of years for each offense back to back.
Assault or simple assault can be a class B misdemeanor, or it can be a class A misdemeanor if the victim was seriously injured or the offender knew the victim was pregnant. Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum jail term of six months and up to $1,000 in criminal fines. Class A misdemeanors are the most severe type of misdemeanor and are punishable by up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
Aggravated assault is typically charged as a third degree felony. Third degree felonies carry a maximum prison term of five years and up to $5,000 in fines. Aggravated assault can also be a second degree felony if a victim suffers a serious injury or the offender causes someone to lose consciousness. If you are convicted of a second degree felony, you can receive up to 15 years in prison and owe $10,000 in fines. If you commit aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, you can be charged with a first degree felony. First degree felonies are punishable by life in prison.
If you are charged with multiple counts of assault, the penalties for these crimes can add up quickly. For example, if you cause serious injury to three different people, that is one year per count and three years total. Even if you are charged with two class B misdemeanor assaults, you risk being in jail for a year. Additionally, if you decide to commit the offense using a dangerous weapon, which can be a large number of items, you will face five years for just one count of third degree aggravated assault. Two or three of these offenses could result in you spending a significant portion of your life in prison.
It is also important to note that multiple counts of assault will typically be handled in one court case. However, if the assaults arise out of multiple incidents, then you may have to endure multiple trials.
Contact an Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Attorney to Handle Your Multiple Assault Counts
If you or a family member was charged with multiple counts of assault, you should contact an experienced Lehi criminal defense attorney. With over 16 years of criminal law experience, Darwin Overson can help you handle your criminal case. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Overson Law at (801) 758-2287.