About Utah Crime Homicide by Assault Under Code 76-5-209

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

A person can be charged with homicide by assault in Utah when he or she causes another person’s death by assaulting him or her, resulting in a fatal injury.  Homicide by assault is a distinct charge from murder, manslaughter, aggravated murder, simple assault, or aggravated assault.  In order to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor must show that the assault was committed intentionally, using unlawful force or violence.

If one of your family members was arrested for homicide by assault in Utah, it is critically important that you begin reviewing your legal options immediately with an experienced criminal defense attorney handling felonies in Utah.  The penalties for a conviction of homicide by assault can include years in prison and thousands of dollars in criminal fines, as well as the creation of a permanent criminal record.

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Free Consultation with a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal attorney Darwin Overson has more than 16 years of experience representing adults and juveniles charged with homicide by assault and other serious violent crimes.  During his many years practicing criminal law in Utah, Darwin has earned a reputation as a tough and aggressive courtroom opponent who is passionately committed to upholding the Constitution and protecting defendants’ liberties.

While the law offices of Overson Law are located in Salt Lake City, Darwin handles cases throughout Salt Lake County, including Draper, Midvale, Murray, Riverton, Sandy, South Jordan, Taylorsville, and West Valley City.  He also handles criminal cases in Summit County, Wasatch County, Rich County, Cache County, Morgan County, Weber County, Davis County, and counties throughout the state of Utah.

It’s never easy to confront a serious criminal charge, but the sooner you act, the better positioned you will be to fight the accusations against you.  Call Darwin right away at (801) 758-2287 for a free legal consultation.  Darwin will keep your information confidential.

How to Bail a Family Member Out of Jail

Being arrested is not the same as being charged with a crime.  Once the police have arrested the suspect and taken him or her into custody, the prosecutor has 72 hours to formally file charges.  If the prosecutor declines to file charges within this time period, the person should be released.  Unfortunately, it’s increasingly common for prosecutors to obtain long time extensions that last for a week or more, dramatically increasing the amount of time a suspect can be detained.  These time extensions are unconstitutional and will be challenged by Darwin on every occasion.

Most criminal suspects are eligible to be released from jail in exchange for a payment, which is called bail.  In some instances, it’s possible to get a form of free bail called Release on Recognizance (OR or ROR) that doesn’t cost anything at all.  However, not everyone is eligible for ROR.  In order to qualify for ROR, the person must not be considered a “flight risk” (at risk for fleeing law enforcement) or be a danger to public safety.

If your loved one doesn’t qualify for ROR and bail is too expensive, it may be possible to:

  • Get a bail reduction hearing.
  • Use a bail bond, which calls for about 10% to 15% of the total bail amount (e.g. $100 to $150 for $1,000 bail). Not all offenses are bondable.  Be aware that using a bond opens you up to some financial liability if the defendant doesn’t show up in court.

Every county jail and correctional facility has its own set of rules about how, where, and when to post bail.  You can typically find these rules explained on the jail’s website, or, if they aren’t listed there, by calling the jail directly.  As a general rule, you may post bail directly at the jail 24 hours a day as long as you are 18 or older, bring a government-issued ID, follow the jail’s rules, and pay the exact amount (no change).

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Criminal Penalties for a Felony in Utah: Fines and Prison

Like most states, Utah puts crimes into two groups: less serious crimes called misdemeanors, and more serious crimes called felonies.  Some felonies are more serious than others.  The penalties the defendant will face if convicted depend on which type of felony the person is charged with: third degree, second degree, or first degree.

Assault by homicide is a third degree felony under Utah Code §76-5-209(2).  The maximum prison sentence for a third degree felony in Utah is five years, and the maximum fine is $5,000.  The person may also be placed on probation and be required to check in with a probation officer, amongst other rules.  Early release from prison is called parole.

In addition to heavy fines and a potentially long prison sentence, the defendant will also receive a felony criminal record.  This can make it very difficult to get hired, earn professional licenses, or even qualify for loans.

If you or one of your loved ones was arrested for homicide by assault in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, you need a knowledgeable and highly experienced Utah criminal lawyer on your side.  Call homicide defense attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 today to set up your free legal consultation.