Defendants charged with assault often face uphill battles as courts and prosecutors are unlikely to show leniency. A skilled lawyer can help you fight your charges while protecting your rights as a defendant.
Assault is a broad criminal charge and encompasses both simple and aggravated assault. Simple assault is often less serious and involves less severe injuries. Aggravated assault often involves greater injuries and the use of a weapon. Penalties vary based on the circumstances but are influenced by how the assault allegedly occurred and who the victim is. You should go over your case with a lawyer to determine the best defense. Common defense tactics include suppressing evidence, highlighting mitigating factors, and downplaying aggravating factors.
If you are charged with assault or a related offense, our Provo, UT assault defense attorneys can help you fight the charges. Contact Overson Law, PLLC for a free case evaluation. Call (801) 758-2287 today.
Assault Charges in Provo, UT
Many people understand the general idea of assault as a violent crime that involves some bodily harm. The reality is more complex, and assault can be charged in several different ways depending on the circumstances. Our Provo, UT assault defense lawyers have handled a wide variety of assault cases and can help you fight your charges.
The basic offense of assault, sometimes called simple assault, can be found under Utah Code § 76-5-102(1). The law defines assault as attempted use of unlawful force that causes the victim bodily harm. It can also be an act committed with an unlawful use of force that causes bodily injury or creates a significant risk of injury.
Assault is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor but may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor if there is substantial bodily harm to the victim or if the victim was pregnant and the defendant knew about the pregnancy.
Assault can also be charged as a Class A misdemeanor if it is committed against a school employee while that employee is acting within the scope of their job. For example, assaulting a school administrator or teacher while they are at school actively working would be a Class A misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault is defined under Utah Code § 76-5-103(a)-(b) and includes elements similar to simple assault and new elements and increased penalties. To understand aggravated assault, you must examine it as two crucial components. First, aggravated assault must include one of the following:
- An attempt with unlawful force to cause bodily injury to another person,
- A threat to do violence to another accompanied by an immediate show of force, or
- An act of unlawful force that causes bodily harm to someone else or creates a substantial risk of harm.
The second component of aggravated assault must include one of the following elements:
- A dangerous weapon is used,
- There is an unlawful use of force that prevents the victim from breathing or the circulation of blood and is likely to cause the loss of consciousness, or
- There is another use of unlawful force that is likely to produce death or serious injury.
If you are facing aggravated assault charges, our Provo, UT assault defense attorneys can review your case and your charges. Aggravated assault is very serious and can be charged as a third-degree felony. It can be charged as a second-degree felony if the victim suffers serious bodily injury or loses consciousness. If the victim of the assault is a law enforcement officer who suffers serious bodily harm, the defendant may be charged with a first-degree felony.
Penalties for Assault Charges in Provo, UT
Defendants facing charges fort assault may face anything from a Class B misdemeanor up to a first-degree felony. As such, there is a very wide range of potential penalties for assault charges. Our Provo, UT assault defense lawyers can explain what penalties you might face and the best way to defend yourself.
Some aggravated assault charges are first-degree felonies punishable by at least 5 years in state prison and up to life. A second-degree felony conviction for aggravated assault may lead to at least 1 year in state prison but no more than 15. A third-degree felony conviction for aggravated assault may be punished by no more than 5 years in prison.
Simple assault is typically charged as either a Class A or B misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor may be punished by up to 364 days in jail, while a Class B misdemeanor may be punished by up to 6 months in jail. Although these penalties might seem short compared to felonies, several counts of simple assault charges can quickly add up to a long time in jail.
How to Fight Assault Charges in Provo, UT
The best way to fight your assault charges depends on the unique factors of your case. You can review your case with our Provo, UT assault defense lawyers, and we can help you develop the most effective defense strategies possible for your case.
One common defense tactic is to suppress the evidence against you. Evidence suppression is possible when we believe that law enforcement seized evidence in violation of your rights. This often occurs when the police conduct searches and seizures without a proper warrant or valid exception to the warrant rule. Illegally obtained evidence is considered tainted, and we can motion to suppress it.
The degree of injures involved in your case can affect how you are charged. More severe injuries are more likely to lead to serious aggravated assault charges. We can work to prevent this by arguing about how serious the injuries are. If the alleged victim’s injuries are not as serious as the prosecutors make them out to be, we can argue for reduced charges.
Sometimes the use of force in an assault case is not unlawful. If you used force against another person and caused them bodily injuries, but you did so because they attacked you and you were defending yourself, you can claim self-defense. If your self-defense claims are successful, the charges might be dropped or dismissed.
Contact Our Provo, UT Assault Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with assault or a similar offense, our Provo, UT assault defense lawyers can help you fight your charges and avoid or reduce the penalties. Contact the team at Overson Law, PLLC for a free case review. Call (801) 758-2287 to get help.