The crime of assault is a serious offense, but it is also one of the more common charges people face in Utah. Assault is more than just one offense and covers a broad category of offenses that fall under the basic definition of assault. Your assault charges might vary depending on how the assault occurred and who the victim was.
Being charged with assault can be a very scary experience. People accused of assault are often labeled as violent or dangerous by their neighbors and fellow community members. If you have been charged with an assault crime, contact our Ogden assault defense lawyer. We can help you defend yourself against your charges and clear your name. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 and ask about a free legal consultation with our team.
Definition of Assault and Related Offenses in Ogden
Assault is defined under § 76-5-102 of the Utah Criminal Code. Assault is an attempt to cause physical or bodily injury to another by use of unlawful force or violence. It may also be a use of unlawful force or violence that causes injury or creates a great risk of injury to another person.
An assault that is more serious or dangerous is referred to as aggravated assault. Aggravated assault entails an attempt to cause bodily harm to another by unlawful force or violence, a threat to do bodily harm along with a show of immediate force or violence, or an act that causes bodily injury or creates a great risk of harm using unlawful force or violence. Aggravated assault must also include a dangerous weapon, an action by the defendant that hinders the defendant’s breathing or blood circulation (such as choking), or some other action that would cause serious harm or death.
Assault charges can be upgraded depending on who the victim is. If you assault an employee of a school and are aware they work for a school, you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor. If you assault a member of law enforcement or the military while on duty, you can also be charged with a class A misdemeanor. However, suppose you cause the member of law enforcement or the military serious bodily harm or you were previously convicted of a class A misdemeanor for assault. In that case, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. Those charges could be upgraded to a first-degree felony if a dangerous weapon is used. In addition, if an incarcerated prisoner commits an assault, they can be charged with a third-degree felony.
Whether your assault charges are serious felonies or less severe misdemeanors, reach out to our Ogden assault defense attorney for assistance with your case.
What Happens After Being Arrested for Assault in Ogden
After you are arrested for assault, you will be taken into police custody. This is typically followed by the booking process, during which you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and asked about personally identifying information. Depending on how and when you are arrested, you might be booked and held in jail or booked and then released.
If you are not immediately released after booking, you will likely be questioned by the police regarding the alleged assault. Constitutionally guaranteed Miranda rights protect anyone held in police custody who is questioned or interrogated about a crime. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. It is in your best interest to invoke both these rights and speak to the police only after speaking to an attorney first. Our Ogden assault defense lawyer can help you through police questions and protect your rights.
Penalties for Assault in Ogden
Generally, assault is classified as a class B misdemeanor. However, these charges may be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor if the defendant actually causes bodily harm to another person or the victim was pregnant at the time of the assault and the defendant knew about the pregnancy. For an assault that is a class B misdemeanor, a defendant may be sentenced to a maximum prison term of 6 months. For a class A misdemeanor conviction, a defendant faces no more than 364 days in prison.
Aggravated assault will generally be charged as a third-degree felony. However, aggravated assault may be a second-degree felony if the offense results in serious bodily harm or a victim’s loss of consciousness. For any felony assault charges of the third degree, a convicted defendant can be punished with a maximum prison sentence of 5 years. A defendant convicted of assault as a felony of the second degree may be punished with a prison term of no less than one year but not more than 15 years.
Defenses to Assault in Ogden
It is possible to defend yourself against your assault charges and get the charges reduced or even dropped. Assault by definition includes the use or attempted use of unlawful force or violence. We may be able to argue against your assault charges by claiming your use of force was not unlawful. If you believed the force was necessary to protect yourself or someone else from imminent harm, the charges against you might be dismissed.
Similarly, if we cannot have the charges dropped or dismissed, we might have them reduced instead. Assault charges are upgraded when the victim is someone like a school employee or a law enforcement member. However, to upgrade your charges, prosecutors must demonstrate that you knew the victim was a school employee or a member of law enforcement. If we can show you did not actually know this about the victim, we can prevent your charges from being upgraded and keep your penalties lower. For help determining the best defense for your case, contact our Ogden assault defense lawyer.
Get in Touch with Our Ogden Assault Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with any form of assault, including aggravated assault, get in contact with our Ogden assault defense attorney as soon as possible. Call (801) 758-2287 and speak to our staff at Overson Law, PLLC to schedule a confidential and free legal consultation regarding your charges.