Facing assault charges is stressful and overwhelming, and understanding the specific charges against you may feel confusing. Especially because assault definitions and punishments vary from state to state, it may be difficult to reach an understanding of your situation. However, going into your case with knowledge about what the charges mean, their potential consequences and the laws specific to your state can allow you to make more informed decisions about your plan of action.
Assault can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, which means these charges can come with heavy consequences if seen as a violent crime.
Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries and the specific details of the case, punishments may include prison time or substantial fines. Take time to understand the meanings and potential punishments associated with these charges, and take the first steps to finding an experienced assault lawyer to help with your case by contacting Branson West Law.
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Assault and battery are not the same, although they are often confused for one another. This confusion is understandable, since the definitions vary by state and in Utah, battery charges also fall under the assault umbrella.
In Utah, assault is defined as an act of violence that injures or causes a risk of serious bodily injury to another person. Assault can include threats of bodily harm or attempts to injure someone.
In Utah, assault charges may include:
Battery in Utah is defined as the act of physically attacking someone. In most cases, this classifies under the umbrella of assault in Utah, except in the case of sexual battery. Sexual battery occurs when someone purposely touches another person sexually with the understanding that the victim will be alarmed or affronted as a result.
Specific consequences of assault charges will depend on various factors involved in the incident, such as whether a weapon was involved, the extent of the victim’s injuries and whether the victim belongs to a protected class such as a health care worker. These factors determine whether you will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
If the charges involve severe damage upon a victim, Utah law dictates 2nd degree felony charges. If a weapon was involved or if the assault could result in death or serious injury, you may be charged with a 3rd degree felony.
If there is bodily harm to the victim or if the victim is knowingly pregnant by both parties, this dictates a Class A misdemeanor. Many general types of assault fall under Class B misdemeanor charges.
Each of these distinctions is impacted by nuanced factors such as the relationship between the defendant and the victim.
If you’re charged with a 3rd degree felony, you could face 1-5 years in prison with a $5K fine, while a 2nd degree felony conviction can mean up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
To work toward the best possible outcome with your assault case, it’s crucial to choose an experienced assault lawyer. The right lawyer can help choose the right course of action for your particular case to protect your freedoms. Because assault laws and definitions vary so greatly between states, it’s important to find a lawyer with criminal defense experience in Utah specifically.
With experience in more than 4,000 cases in Utah, Branson West Law knows how to defend you against criminal charges. With stakes like 15 years of prison time, it’s essential that you choose an experienced and trustworthy assault lawyer who is ready to fight for your rights.
Local experience and knowledge of Utah’s prosecutors and judges leave Branson West Law well-prepared to help you as a battery lawyer.
Call today for a free consultation.