Four Different Types of Assault In Utah

Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to hit someone? If you follow through, you could find yourself in jail or even prison. Assault is one of the most common crimes in Utah, and the amount of trouble you get in depends on the situation. 

Here are four types of assault in Utah.

Regular Assault

In Utah, assault is simply when you use unlawful force to cause bodily injury, but you can also be charged with it just for attempting to do so. 

So what if you intend to just punch someone in the arm? It won’t break anything. Does that really amount to bodily injury? By Utah’s definition, it does. Bodily injury is “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.”

Even if you hurt someone “just a little bit,” you can still get charged with assault. It is a class B misdemeanor, meaning up to six month in jail. You might also have to pay a fine of up to $1,000.

That class B is the minimum. It becomes a class A misdemeanor — up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 — if the bodily injury is substantial or if the victim is pregnant, and you knew that.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault in Utah is the same as regular assault, but with an extra variable. This can be one of three things.

  1. You used a dangerous weapon in the assault, such as a knife or a gun.
  2. You did something that impeded either the blood flow or breathing of the victim in a way that they would likely lose consciousness unless there was some kind of intervention. For example, you choked or suffocated the victim.
  3. You use any other means or force that can kill someone or seriously injure them.

This crime is a felony, and that means prison time. The act itself is third degree, or up to five years in prison. However, if you cause serious bodily injury or the victim loses consciousness, the charge is bumped up to second degree, which means one-to-fifteen years. 

Aggravated assault can also be a first-degree felony if you are targeting a police officer. That means five years to life in prison.

Assault Against Specific Professionals

There are four types of professionals who are specifically mentioned under Utah law when it comes to assault. They are peace officers, military servicemembers in uniform, school employees, and healthcare workers.

If you assault anyone in those positions while they are doing their job, that is a class A misdemeanor. However, for all of them except school employees, it can become a third-degree felony.

The punishments can get even more severe for assaulting military servicemembers or peace officers. It becomes a second-degree felony if you use a dangerous weapon or any “other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.” It’s important to note that using a dangerous weapon on a police officer is also first-degree aggravated assault.

In addition to the felonies you can get for peace officers and military servicemembers, there are mandatory minimum sentences of jail or prison. Those minimums are 90 days for people who committed this crime the second time, and 180 days for every time after that.

Let’s say you committed that crime five times. You would get 90 days for the second offense plus three more sentences of 180 days. In total, you would serve 630 days or just over a year and a half, and that’s at minimum.

Assault By a Prisoner

If you go to prison for any reason, it is a bad idea to commit assault while you are there. In Utah, it is a third-degree felony. This can land you with up to five years more plus even more fines of up to $5,000. 

If you commit aggravated assault while in prison, that is a second-degree felony or a first if you intentionally caused serious bodily injury. In a worst case scenario, you can wind up with life in prison even if you were just supposed to be there for a year.

What To Do If You Are Accused of Assault?

Assault is a serious crime to be charged with. If you are arrested for it, the best thing you can do is get a good attorney. You need someone in your corner who has expert knowledge and can tell you what you should and should not say. This will ensure you get the best outcome possible.

The attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat have been defending people in courts for over two decades. They would love to use their expertise to help you out. Call (801) 532-5297 for a free consultation.

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