When people think of assault, they probably think of it as a single criminal charge with a single definition. Most people learn about the crime of assault from TV and movies, and this idea of assault being a single offense is not entirely correct. Assault encompasses several different kinds of offenses. Criminal charges for assault will change depending on the circumstances surrounding the assault, such as injuries sustained by the victim or if any weapons were used.
Assault charges should be taken very seriously, no matter what the exact nature of the charges is. Our Salt Lake City assault defense attorney has the skills and experience necessary to defend your rights and advocate on your behalf in a court of law. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to schedule a confidential legal consultation about your case.
Simple Assault in Salt Lake City Explained
Simple assault in Utah is defined as using unlawful force or violence in an effort to cause bodily harm or injury to someone else. It is also committed when someone uses unlawful violence or force to actually cause bodily or physical harm or create a significant risk of harm to another. Simple assault is generally charged as a class B misdemeanor but will be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor if the victim sustains bodily harm or the victim was pregnant, and the defendant knew of the pregnancy.
Simple assault may also be increased to a higher charge if the victim meets certain criteria. If you commit an assault against a school employee while they are within the scope of their professional duties, and you are aware that they are indeed a school employee, your charges may be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor. The same goes for assaulting a peace officer or a member of the military. If you are facing an assault allegation, contact our Salt Lake City assault defense lawyer for help. We will work to prevent your charges from being upgraded to something more serious.
When Simple Assault Becomes Aggravated Assault
Simple assault, while not a minor offense, is not quite as severe as aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is similar to simple assault, but it is far more dangerous and destructive. Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause bodily harm to another by use of unlawful force, as mentioned above. However, aggravated assault typically occurs with some demonstration of immediate violence capable of causing harm. Aggravated assault also involves a dangerous weapon, such as a gun or a knife, or an action that hinders the victim’s breathing or blood flow, like choking.
The charges for aggravated assault are far more severe than those for simple assault. Aggravated assault may be charged as a felony of the third degree. However, much like simple assault, these charges can be upgraded under certain conditions. If the aggravated assault results in serious bodily harm or a loss of consciousness by the victim, the charges can be upgraded to a felony of the second degree. For any assault charges you might be confronted with, our Salt Lake City assault defense attorney can help.
Penalties for Simple and Aggravated Assault in Utah
Simple assault charges are usually class B misdemeanors, although they can be charged as class A misdemeanors if specific conditions are present. For class B misdemeanors, a convicted defendant can be punished by a prison sentence no longer than 6 months. On the other hand, class A misdemeanors are a bit more serious and may be penalized with a prison term not exceeding 364 days.
Aggravated assault charges are typically felonies and the penalties are much harsher than those for simple assault. Aggravated assault charged as a third-degree felony may be punished by a prison term of 5 years or less. Aggravated assault charged as a second-degree felony is punishable by a term in prison of at least 1 year but may not be longer than 15 years. These penalties act as a guide for judges during sentencing. The specific facts of your case will also influence the exact term of your potential sentence. Get in touch with our Salt Lake City assault defense attorney for help understanding your penalties.
Assault Conviction and Your Gun Rights in Salt Lake
In the State of Utah, anyone who commits a crime of domestic violence may be stripped of their gun ownership rights. Assault, when performed against someone like a romantic partner, spouse, or someone you live with, may constitute a domestic violence offense. A conviction of assault could land you behind bars and cause you to lose the right to buy and own a gun or firearm.
Many people own firearms because they feel they need them to protect themselves and their homes. However, there are many other reasons to own a gun that will be affected by your assault conviction. You will no longer be able to own a gun for the purposes of hunting, target shooting, or other gun-related sports. If you are a member of law enforcement or the military, you may no longer be able to maintain your job if you are legally prohibited from owning a gun. An assault that turns into a domestic violence case can have a major impact on your rights. Call our Salt Lake City assault defense attorney for more information.
Call Our Salt Lake City Assault Defense Attorney for a Legal Consultation
If you or someone close to you has been charged with simple assault or aggravated assault, please reach out to our Salt Lake City assault defense lawyer. Our legal team will help you fight your charges and clear your name. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to schedule a free and confidential legal consultation.